Chartreuse Blog


Environ Biocomposites Dakota Burl
December 30, 2009, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Green Products | Tags:

Environ Biocomposites, located in Mankato, Minnesota, produces environmentally friendly alternatives to wood composite boards.  They use recycled materials and renewable agricultural resources to produce their beautiful and distinctive material options.

Dakota Burl, which utilizes the raw material of sunflower hulls, is made of 84% rapidly renewable and recycled content and is harvested within 250 miles (500 mile maximum) of Mankato, where it is manufactured.  This makes Dakota Burl a regional, recycled, and rapidly renewable material, assisting a project earn LEED credits under Materials and Resources.

Dakota Burl is also manufactured with a urethane based resin rather than a urea formaldehyde system utilizing no off-gassing solvents and emitting no VOCs into the atmosphere.  This helps a project earn LEED Indoor Environmental Quality credits.

Dakota Burl can be cut, sanded, and routed with traditional wood working tools and stained to change the materials appearance.  It is manufactured in four foot by eight foot panels and comes in ½”, ¾”, and 1” thicknesses.  It is intended for indoor horizontal and vertical surfaces including cabinetry, furniture, and architectural applications.

For additional information or to request a sample, visit Environ Biocomposites website at http://www.environbiocomposites.com.

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Environ Biocomposites Biofiber Wheat
December 28, 2009, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Green Products | Tags:

Environ Biocomposites, located in Mankato, Minnesota, produces environmentally friendly alternatives to wood composite boards.  They use recycled materials and renewable agricultural resources to produce their beautiful and distinctive material options.

Biofiber Wheat can be cut, sanded, and routed with traditional wood working tools and stained to change the materials appearance.  It is manufactured in four foot by eight foot panels and comes in ½”, ¾”, and 1” thicknesses.  It is intended for indoor horizontal and vertical surfaces including cabinetry, furniture, and architectural applications.

Biofiber Wheat, which utilizes the raw material of wheat straw, a waste-product of the grain industry, is made of 94% rapidly renewable and recycled content and is harvested within 250 miles (500 mile maximum) of Mankato, where it is manufactured.  This makes Biofiber Wheat a regional, recycled, and rapidly renewable material, assisting a project earn LEED credits under Materials and Resources.

Biofiber Wheat is also manufactured with a urethane based resin rather than a urea formaldehyde system utilizing no off-gassing solvents and emitting no VOCs into the atmosphere.  This helps a project earn LEED Indoor Environmental Quality credits.

Biofiber Wheat is so green that it actually has a negative contribution to global warming offsetting the environmental impacts associated with harvesting, manufacturing, and transportation of the product.  Biofiber Wheat was evaluated with the BEES® (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software which calculates and compares a product’s environmental impact from raw material harvest, manufacturing and processing, shipping, use, and disposal.  The lower the score, the less impact a product has on our environment.  A negative score occurs because more carbon dioxide is removed during the wheat’s growth cycle than is produced during the harvest and manufacturing of the product.

Other wheat products manufactured by Environ Biocomposites include the Microstrand Wheat, a line of industrial grade materials replacing particleboard and plywood applications, and the msDor Core, a product line of non-rated and fire-rated door core panels.

For additional information or to request a sample, visit Environ Biocomposites website at http://www.environbiocomposites.com.



Centennial Woods Snow Fence
December 16, 2009, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Green Products | Tags:

We are always looking for really cool, green products and this is about as green as it gets. Centennial Woods’ Snow fence products are salvaged woods that do not require much (if any) added energy to be reused.

Located in Laramie, WY, Centennial Woods began reclaiming and repurposing weathered wood from Wyoming snow fences in 1999. Snow fence is used along Wyoming’s highways to control blowing snow. These nine to thirteen feet tall fences are made of fast-growing, untreated, ponderosa pine and lodge pole pine from the Rocky Mountain region.

Before Centennial Woods began repurposing this wood, it was often burned or sent to a landfill when boards were replaced.  Since 1999, Centennial Woods has reused “more than 5 million feet of snow fence, saving snow fence owners more than $9 million and avoiding emission of more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions.”

Snowfence can be used as siding, trim, soffit, fascia, flooring, ceiling, and walls.  The products are used in their weathered state.  They are also available milled, surfaced, and wirebrushed for flooring or other applications.  Snow fence does not need to be stained or treated.

View Snowfence spec sheets:
Flooring Spec Sheet
Reclaimed Lumber Spec Sheet
Centennial Woods Portfolio

To learn more or to request a sample, visit Centennial Woods’ website at http://www.centennialwoods.com or call (866) 778-8762.



Building Integrated Photovoltaics
October 8, 2009, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Green Products | Tags: ,

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials used in place of typical construction materials within the building envelop including facades and rain screens, roof surfaces, PV tiles, and solar shingles, and skylights and solar shades incorporating transparent or semi transparent photovoltaics.  Designing with BIPV, as opposed to non-integrated photovoltaics, can offset the high initial cost usually associated with renewable energy by reducing the cost of building materials and labor during construction.

Replacing heat reflective glass or tinted glass with transparent PV glass is a new and popular option and a great way to incorporate PVs into a building, though they are often less efficient than typical PV modules.  Transparent PV glass, where you cannot see the PV film, uses photovoltaic thin film which is the least efficient of all PV technology, approx. 9%, so far.  With that being said, that doesn’t mean that it is not a good system.  PV glass systems provide other benefits compared to heat reflective glass: PV glass cuts heat, visible light transmittance, and cuts UV, meaning that it will reduce energy costs besides generating electricity. 

More efficient transparent PV options are modules where  polycrystalline cells (more efficient than thin film, approx 12-14% efficiency) or monocrystalline cells (most efficient PV technology and most expensive, approx 14-18% efficiency) are sandwiched between layers of tempered glass.  The result is more like a screen than glazing but still transmits light between cells. 

Suntech Power, founded in 2001, is an international manufacturer of photovoltaic modules with sales offices and installation partners in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.  Suntech’s America is located in San Francisco, CA and their corporate headquarters is located in China. 

Suntech has developed a range of photovoltaic options including their monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, semi-transparent modules, and building integrated photovoltaic panels.  Their MSK Solar Design Line includes a few BIPV options such as the Just Roof Building Integrated Roofing System, See Thru Building Integrated Glazing System, and Light Thru Building Integrated Glazing System.

The See Thru system is a semitransparent photovoltaic glazing that looks like tinted glass (an example of the less efficient option) and is used for curtain walls, skylights, canopies, and other glazed surfaces.  See thru comes in 1%, 5%, and 10% transparencies.  The Light Thru system is an example of the more efficient transparent PV option.  It can be manufactured with monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells with varying cell to cell spacing.

To contact a local dealer for Suntech Power, email Suntech America at sales@suntechamerica.com.

To learn more, visit Suntech Power’s website at http://www.suntech-power.com/index.php