10 Eco-Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Homes have always made use of natural materials. But these days you can find many products and techniques incorporating tried and true materials in surprising ways. Many of these techniques were used historically and are making a come back. In fact, the percentage of construction firms expecting to have more than 60% of their projects certified green has grown from 16% in 2016, to 32% in 2018 to upwards of 45% by 2021. With more people building green, more sources are also developing innovative, green materials to take advantage of this growing market opportunity. Continue reading

The World’s Tallest Wood Building

Mjøstårnet in Brumunddal, Norway, has been verified as the world’s tallest timber building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 280-foot-high tower was built using cross-laminated timber (CLT), a pioneering material that allows architects to build tall buildings from sustainable wood. Continue reading

What Is Sustainable Architecture?

Sustainable architecture is a general term that refers to buildings that are designed to limit humanity’s impact on the environment. An eco-friendly approach to modern day building encompasses every aspect of the planning and construction process. This includes the choice of building materials; the design and implementation of heating, cooling, plumbing, waste, and ventilation systems; and the integration of the built environment into the natural landscape. Continue reading

New Ultra-white Paint Reflects to Cool Buildings Even in Bright Sunlight

Scientists have developed a white paint that cools below the temperature of its ambient surroundings even under direct sunlight. Their research, published in Cell Reports Physical Science journal, demonstrates a radiative cooling technology that could be used in commercial paints, could be less expensive to manufacture, and that passively reflects 95.5% of sunlight that reaches its surface back into outer space. In contrast, commercial “heat rejecting paints” currently on the market only reflect 80%-90% of solar irradiation and cannot achieve below-ambient temperatures. Continue reading

Timing Your Construction Project

As with many things in life, the timing of your construction project can be critical to its success. Construction tends to be a seasonally-driven industry, with the prevailing goal being to avoid breaking ground during the winter rainy season. This is not a hard-and-fast rule of course – there are notable exceptions which we will discuss. To best understand the ins-and-outs of project scheduling, this article will outline the design process, from selecting your design team, to how permit processing can impact your project schedule, to ball-parking how long it takes to build a construction project. Continue reading

Pros & Cons of Metal Roofing

Due to recent wildfire events, given its fire-resistant qualities, we’ve seen a surge of interest in metal roofing. If you are considering metal roofing for your new or existing home, it’s very important to weigh the pros and cons of metal against other more common roof materials, such as asphalt, wood, and tile. This article offers a close look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of steel, aluminum, and other metal roofing. Continue reading

Casas Em Movimento Solar Homes

Casas Em Movimento, a project from a Portuguese firm, means Moving Houses. The idea behind the project is to turn a house into an architectural sunflower that rotates in order to maximize the amount of solar energy it receives. This technology was developed at the University of Porto, Faculty of Architecture. Continue reading

Concrete that Generates Light

Phosphorescent Concrete Could Light the Way Home
Imagine a future when, as dusk turns to night during a long drive, the darkening highway begins to glow in soft hues of blue and green to illuminate the path ahead. Such a possibility could become reality after the creation of light-emitting cement. The novel material could provide lighted pathways for cars, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians without using electricity. Continue reading

Recover and Rebuild: Expedited Building Permit Processing in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County Planning Department indicates that it is committed to an expedited and streamlined process, to ensure that our community can rebuild as quickly as possible. The Department indicates that the immediate first step is for it to conduct Assessments regarding basic infrastructure and property status before an Owner can begin planning for rebuilding. County staff, in coordination with Cal Fire, are in process of assessing public and private infrastructure and are working hard to assess properties as quickly as possible. Continue reading

Gypsum Plaster : Advantages and Disadvantages

Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of Calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4:2H20). It is widely used as a fertilized, in sculptures and as plaster material. Gypsum is a chalk like material and is very light in weight. It is available in crystalline form in nature. In recent years, the construction sector has witnessed a number of new trends, technology advancements and innovations across applications, all aimed at making construction faster and delivering higher performance. Gypsum although a much older material than the cement & sand plaster has rarely been used extensively in construction industry. Now a days, Gypsum has proved to be a miraculous material aiding interior construction due to its properties. Continue reading