We were so excited to head to GreenBuild and see what Boston had in store. Familiar faces and some new innovations were present, most notably the presence of “biophilia” and “Biophilic design.”

While Green and Build may have some word fatigue, Biophilic Design is THE hot topic for building materials Emanating nature in a space, lots of literal green instead of just the word are really trending in materials.

Texture is also the feel good feature of many building products. The hands on aesthetic is really taking off in building materials.

Acoustics is also making itself heard, with a big focus on human comfort. Sorry, Loud Diedre in Cube 6, we are tuning you out with some sound control.

For more of our exciting GreenBuild finds, check out our Instagram feed @caragreenproducts

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October Vignette - The Mod Vampire

From Back to Front:

PaperStone - CharredStone
Kirei - EchoPanel Mura Fabric, Volt 404
Bark House - Sanded Poplar, Red Finish
Lapitec - Lithos, Arabescato Perla
Torzo - Hemp, Onyx

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July Vignette - Christmas in July

From Back to Front:

Torzo - Orient, Onyx
Bark House - White Birch
Koskisen - KoskiDecor Transparent Plywood, Green, 6025
Kirei - Kirei Board
Durat - 168
IceStone - Moroccan Red

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December Vignette - Green in 2017

Clockwise From Bottom Left:

Koskisen - KoskiDecor Transparent Plywood, Green 6029
Kirei - EchoPanel, Hexagon Geo Tile, 362
Torzo - Striata Fusion, Turquoise
Koskisen - KoskiDecor Transparent Plywood, Green 6025
Kirei - EchoPanel, 381
reSAWN Timber - Shou Sugi Ban, Yasai
Durat - 800 & 810
Kirei - EchoPanel, Hex 111

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November Vignette - CaraGreen Spiced Chai

From Back to Front:

Wonderwall Studios - Sand
TorZo - Tiikeri, Dusk
reSAWN Timber - Shou Sugi Ban, Kurumi
PaperStone - Cabernet
Lapitec - Lux, Bianco Crema
Gator Skins - Green

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July Vignette - Summer Blues

From Back to Front:

Torzo - Blue Stain Pine
Kirei - Coco Tiles, Java Collection, Yogya White
Kirei - EchoPanel, Trapeze 443
Koskisen - KoskiDecor Eco Transparent Decorative Plywood, Blue RAL 5024
Lapitec - Vesuvio, Bianco Polare
IceStone - Denim Moss

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February Vignette - Livin’ in the City

Our whole suite of Modern Surfaces:

Merge Design
ReSawn Timber

Come Visit!

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August Vignette - Endless Summer

From bottom to top:

Durat - 110, 470, 480, and 150
TorZo - Tikeri, Ruby
Kirei - Java Coco Tiles, Babakan Urban and Yogya White
Kirei - Sumatra Coco Tiles, Pulao
TorZo - Orient, Natural
Torzo - Tikeri, Bronze

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July Vignette - Rolling Stones

From bottom to top:
Durat - #110
EcoFusion - Color Fusion Strand Woven Bamboo, Morning Mist
PaperStone - Graphite
PaperStone - Cabernet & Slate (the stones)
IceStone - Amber Pearl
Torzo - Tiikeri, Natural
Durat - #441, #450, & #260


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Don’t Go Topless

We now offer a full line of tables and sinks – made in the US.  Whether you are looking for integrated Durat sinks, wall mounted or stand-alone wash basins – we’ve got it.  A selection of Durat sinks is available for your next design in a broad range of neutrals and vibrant colors. See more about Durat sinks here.   
In addition, we have formally rolled out our tabletop line – select from a variety of sizes for cocktail, end tables, dining or conference tables in our concrete, composite and solid surface materials.   The options are many and the products are stunning.  We have a standard offering as well as a designer collection.  See more about our tabletop line here.  For more information on either of these product lines email

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Firring Strips

Meet Striata – strips of Douglas fir with several backing options -  the latest in TorZo’s line of organic materials infused to increase durability and strength for vertical and horizontal surfaces.  Striata is available in its natural state – uninfused – for a lightweight, unique surfaces with an untreated wood feel, or as Striata Infused – with a sleeker, more solid look, for a more wear-heavy environment.  Striata is available one or two-sided and in all TorZo color options.  Email for more information at or call 919.929.3009

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April Vignette - Spring Forward

From bottom to top:
Torzo, Tiikeri, Turquoise
Durat, 750
Durat, 364
Bark House, White Pine
MergeDesign, ecoX, Buscuit 

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Book an Event with CaraGreen

It is not easy to remember everything that CaraGreen carries, so we offer refreshers in the following formats, schedule yours today (

-  Product showcase at your location
-  Hosted visit at our showroom
-  Webex event
-  AIA CE course, GBCI CE course (call for options)

As a quick refresher, our lines extend from the floor to the ceiling – the whole sustainable interior envelope – and include:


-  PaperStone
-  Merge Design
-  IceStone
-  Durat
-  TorZo


-  ECOfusion flooring
-  BABA flooring
-  Plyboo flooring


-  Kirei EchoPanel
-  BarkHouse
-  Kirei board
-  Plyboo plywood
-  UltraTouch insulation
-  TorZo surfaces

Caragreen Swatches

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January Vignette - Reclaimed is in The Game as Cool, Modern Surfaces Stay Strong

From back to front:
MergeDesign - EcoX, #83 Graphite
BaBa Reclaimed Flooring - Antique Oak, #1 F2X
Torzo - Tikeri, Turquoise
MergeDesign - Micro #87C Slate, Micro #121 Super White, EcoX #102C Biscuit, EcoX #61C Cement, and EcoX #70C Natural

January 2015

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November Vignette - Fa la la la…fun + sustainable materials!

From bottom to top:
Durat, color #810
Torzo, Denim
Durat, color #910
Kirei EchoPanel, color #258 and #362

November Vignette 2014

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September Vignette - Cool Fall Arrives

From bottom to top:
Torzo, Blue Stain Pine
IceStone, Sky Pearl

Bark House, Poplar Interior Panel
Kirei EchoPanel, 12mm Color 551



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Let’s Wrap this up…

…in Hawaii.  At the Ala Moana mall, where TorZo Tiikieri was used for column wraps.  The 5/16” bronze sorghum panel is infused using TorZo’s proprietary process to create an incredibly durable, traffic-hardy material that has depth and an organic aesthetic.

The wraps were pre-fabricated at the TorZo facilitiy and shipped to the contractor, where they assembled the material to create a unique eye-catching style at this shopping hot spot in Honolulu.

Interested in creating your own unique TorZo design?  Just email  to get started.

Torzo Column

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May Vignette - Lush Greens and Sunny Skies

From bottom to top:
Oceanside, Hexagon tile in Olive Non-Iridescent
Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #110
TorZo, Orient panel in Natural
Paperstone, panel in Evergreen
Icestone, Recycled glass countertop in Forest Fern

May Vignette

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Torzo Gets Its Bell Rung

TorZo Parda panels in Sapphire can be found in the funky new bar, Nightbell, in Asheville, NC, courtesy of the Heirloom Hospitality Group.  Nightbell has a beautiful interior that is modern and playful and its name harkens back to the prohibition era.  “Nightbell” came from a time when customers would ring a bell for after hour alcohol service.  Nightbell’s main bar was designed using TorZo Parda panels -  made from the fast growing wheat plant.  While the name implies an earthy tone,  designer Liz Button choose to use Parda in Sapphire, one of the 4 specialty colors offered by TorZo.  Nightbell owners love that their guests don’t immediately know what the bar is made of and always inquire about this unique material.   Liz says that they chose TorZo Parda because of the interesting pattern and bright color, and that the sustainability of the product wasn’t just an afterthought.  Nightbell is 3 Star Green Restaurant certified, which looks at sustainability in 7 different categories including Water Efficiency, Sustainable Furnishing and Building Materials, and Sustainable Food.  Nightbell also just received an award from the Buncombe County Historic Preservation Society for “Adaptive Reuse” and received Federal and State Historic Tax credits for the building renovation.  We can’t wait to visit Nightbell to see, touch, and even taste all of their sustainable features!


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Spring Cleaning

The focus of the design community on mitigating waste has resulted in interest in less “sample heavy” design libraries.  We hear you!  We have color cards that capture the aesthetics and color palette for most of our products and offer these in lieu of bulky sample boxes when requested.  A library “refresh” is more of a “clean out” for a lot of firms, as materials change.  If you would like any color cards for Durat, Meld, BarkHouse, PaperStone, EcoFusion, or TorZo, please let us know and we can drop them off or email them to your firm.

Please email or call 919.929.3009 with any requests.

Color Cards


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Blue Stain Pine from Torzo

Check out this beautiful new material from Torzo – salvaged timber made incredibly durable with the company’s acrylic infusion process. Behind the material is a good story of environmental stewardship – trees from forests that have been devastated by pine beetles across the US and Canada, previously left for waste, are being repurposed by Torzo, who takes the seemingly unusable blue-stained timber and highlights this unique characteristic, creating stunning new products in sheet, panel and flooring options. Find out more about Torzo’s efforts to transform this material here.

blue pine

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January Vignette - Radiant Orchid

This vignette was inspired by Pantone's 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid. From bottom to top:
-TorZo Hemp Acrylic Infused Panel, Onyx
-EcoFusion Strand Woven Color Fusion Bamboo Flooring, Morning Mist
-Oceanside Glasstile, Tessera, Shadow
-Meld Luxe Hand Crafted Concrete with Recycled Glass, #83 Graphite
-Durat Recycled Solid Surface, 750

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Best of 2013

Installations - The Rank House
The Rank House used EcoFusion Color Fusion Bamboo Floors from CaraGreen and generated tons of buzz. It won the 2013 Matsumoto Prize and was featured on ArchDaily.

Tradeshows - NeoCon
CaraGreen exhibited at NeoCon in Chicago and received an enthusiastic response from architects and designers on our portfolio of sustainable materials. This year we’re headed to HD Expo in Las Vegas in May!

Best Vignette
We’ve declared a tie between March’s Cherry Blossom and December’s Starry Night. View the sustainable materials that make up these vignettes on our blog.

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December Vignette - Starry Night

From bottom to top:

-Durat Recycled Solid Surface, 054
-EcoFusion Strandwoven Color Fusion Bamboo Veneer, Crushed Wheat
-TorZo Orient Recycled Wood Acrylic Infused Panel, Sapphire
-Bark House White Birch Bark Panel
-Meld Luxe Hand Crafted Concrete with Recycled Glass, Biscuit

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October Vignette - Evergreen

From bottom to top:
-Oceanside Tessera Hexagon glass tiles, Xanadu Non-Iridescent, #140
-TorZo Tiikeri Recycled Sorghum Panel, Turquoise
-ECOfusion Strandwoven Weathered Wood Flooring
-Oceanside Casa 4x8 field tile, Moonstone Matte
-Meld Xposed Hand Crafted Concrete, Caper
-Durat Recycled Solid Surface, 190


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Tiikeri Bar in CharBar No. 7 In Charlotte, NC

A new CharBar No. 7 just opened in Charlotte, NC and features a TorZo Tiikeri bar top in Bronze. Designer Carrie Frye from Studio Fusion said they selected Tiikeri to "complement the other finish selections and to provide an interesting and unique texture." She added that "there are only so many durable finishes that you can use for a bar and Tiikeri is interesting and unexpected." CharBar No. 7 strives to be the best neighborhood bar around. They are focused on providing a comfortable place to bring the kids for dinner or a spot to hang out and watch sports with buddies. The interior contributes to this relaxed atmosphere. Studio Fusion used horizontal reclaimed wood paneling behind the bar and Tiikeri as the workhorse bar surface. The two materials work well with one another and give CharBar No. 7 warmth and dimension.

TorZo Tiikeri at CharBar No. 7TorZo Tiikeri at CharBar No. 7TorZo Tiikeri at CharBar No. 7

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TorZo Tiikeri Used at UNC

TorZo Tiikeri was just used at The University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health in a large state-of-the-art classroom. The Tiikeri material adds pattern, warmth, and a sustainable flourish to the design. Tiikeri was used for an accent wall at the entrance and as a decorative trim around the room's monumental white board.

Rob Kark in the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction at UNC said, "We are thrilled with our decision to use the TorZo Tiikeri material as an accent and trim in our recent large classroom project. We get tons of compliments about the appearance of the product from faculty, students and even our construction shops. It is an added bonus that we get to follow up on those compliments with information about the environmental friendliness of the material. It is very satisfying to see that our end users are left with the feeling that we are creating beautiful spaces for them and are also mindful of our environmental impacts."

TorZo Tiikeri contains 50% recycled and rapidly renewable sorghum straw. TorZo is made in the USA and all TorZo products are free from added formaldehyde. For samples or more information on TorZo Tiikeri, contact us.

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Schedule a TorZo Product Refresher

Let us come share the latest TorZo products with you. TorZo has just produced a new sales kit for their line of sustainable panels which includes examples of the raw material, edge finishing, installations, and samples of their complete line. In addition, they've just released a new sample binder system which consists of three binders: agricultural products, wood products and premium colors. We will be scheduling TorZo product refreshers. To get on the list, contact us. Or, if you'd like to get a new TorZo sample set for your library, contact us.

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NeoCon’s Most Popular Products


In June, CaraGreen exhibited at NeoCon in Chicago. We were pleased to meet many architects and designers who were enthusiastic about our sustainable product portfolio. Here were our top showstoppers...

1 - Bark House Poplar Panels - columns supporting our table were clad in Poplar bark and their pure and natural aesthetic charmed many designers.
2 - Durat Bath Tub - Our bright green Durat tub was a showstopper. When admirers learned it was available in over 60 colors, we saw the design wheels turning.
3 - TorZo Tiikeri Sapphire - The unique look of TorZo Tiikeri in a brilliant blue color appealed to those seeking an exotic, refined, and durable material.
4 - ECOfusion Strand Woven Eucalyptus Flooring - Eucalyptus flooring was new to many showgoers. ECOfusion revealed two beautiful new stained eucalyptus flooring colors at the show, a white and dark brown.

For more information on any of these materials, contact us.

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CaraGreen Headed to NeoCon with Durat, ECOfusion, & TorZo

CaraGreen will be exhibiting Durat, ECOfusion and TorZo at NeoCon in Chicago, June 10-12. NeoCon is North America's largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, providing over 40,000 architecture and design professionals with CEU-accredited seminars, quality keynote speakers and more than 700 showrooms and exhibitors. CaraGreen's booth will feature a Durat tub, sink and table top, both horizontal and vertical applications of TorZo, and ECOfusion strand woven bamboo flooring. We're on the 8th floor, booth 8-1110. Please stop by and see us if you plan to be at the show!

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April Vignette - Pollen

Love it or hate it, it's descended upon us - signaling spring and flourishing plant life.
From bottom to top:
-TorZo Hemp Recycled Hemp Panel, Natural
-ECOFusion Engineered Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring, Natural
-Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #110
-TorZo Durum Recycled Wheat Panel, Natural
-Meld ecoX Handcrafted Concrete and Recycled Glass Slabs, Buttercup
-Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #090
-Bark House Twig

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TorZo Tiikeri Tops at Relish Burger Bistro

The new Relish Burger Bistro, located in The Westin Seattle Hotel, serves up their "perfect burgers" on  TorZo Tiikeri dining tables. The Seattle location is 6700 square feet, located just off the Westin lobby, and in the heart of downtown. The project is the interior design work of Kay Lang + Associates and Julie Brezina. Brezina, the lead project designer, commented, “I have specified Torzo products on a few projects over the past two and a half years...The product has a textural depth that creates an amazing look. As a LEED Green Associate I prefer to specify materials that are part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative whenever possible.” In addition to Tiikeri, recycled lighting was used for sustainability. Brezina shared that everyone is thrilled with the space, from the hotel owners and management to the chef.

Tiikeri resin-infused panels and flooring are made from recycled and rapidly renewable sorghum straw. Like all TorZo products, Tiikeri has no added urea formaldehyde. It comes in 8 colors and can be used for both horizontal and vertical applications. Its durability makes it ideal for commercial applications. To learn more or request samples, contact us.

TorZo Tiikeri Tops at Relish Burger BistroTorZo Tiikeri Tops at Relish Burger BistroTorZo Tiikeri Tops at Relish Burger Bistro

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March Vignette - Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom Materials Vignette

Trees are beginning to flower and the National Cherry Blossom Festival is just a couple of weeks away. Here's how to bring that spring spirit indoors. From left to right:

-Bark House Pin Cherry Panel
-TorZo Orient Recycled Wood Panel, Ruby
-Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #150
-Meld luxe Handcrafted Concrete and Recycled Glass Slabs, Natural
-ECOFusion Solid Lock Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring, Frost

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TorZo Tiikeri at University Park Library

TorZo Tiikeri was used for end panels on bookshelves at the University Park Library project in University Park, TX. This 14,000 square foot library, located within a mixed-use development, is the design of Dewberry Architects. Dewberry sought specialty materials to accompany the prevalent carpet, tile, and cherry wood being used in the space. They landed on Tiikeri and end-grain mesquite, to elevate the design. Tiikeri was used for all end panels on bookshelves. Mesquite was used for a monumental stair. Mia Ovcina, from the Dewberry Project Team, commented, “Torzo has a very cool look and is a sustainable product. We were looking for a unique and sophisticated material to use in our end-panel design and Torzo was a no-brainer.” Ovcina went on to say "Generally, Dewberry strives to use sustainable products in all of our projects, even when the client does not identify a need to do so. Although there were no strict guidelines for sustainability with the library, the client was very enthusiastic about using sustainable design features. The library staff and patrons are thrilled with the finish out, especially the creative materials used. The Torzo end panels are commented on regularly; everyone wants to know what the material is." For more information or samples of TorZo Tiikeri, contact us

Project Team - Denelle C. Wrightson, Eddie Davis, Lenda Sturdivant, Mia Ovcina
Contractor - Rogers-O’Brien
Millworker - LibraryWorx, LDS Group
Client - City of University Park

TorZo Tiikeri at University Park LibraryTorZo Tiikeri at University Park Library

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February Vignette - Here Comes The Sun

The doldrums of winter have us dreaming of basking in warmth and sun. From back to front:
-TorZo Orient Recycled Wood Panel, Natural
-Meld Xposed Handcrafted Concrete Slabs, Saddleback
-Oceanside Recycled Glass Tile, Tessera, Meringue
-Bark House Yellow Birch Panel
-EcoFusion Strand Wood Eucalyptus Flooring, Strawgrass
-Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #620

February Vignette - Here Comes The Sun

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November Vignette - Farewell to Fall

Less than a month left of fall! This vignette embodies the colors of the season and the warmth we're clinging to.
-Bark House, Sanded Poplar Panel
-Oceanside Glasstile, Tessera Mosaics Recycled Glass Tile, Harvest Iridescent
-TorZo Tiikeri, Bronze
-Meld Luxe, Handcrafted Concrete and Recycled Glass Slabs, Slate
-Durat, Recycled Solid Surface, #730

November Vignette, Farewell to Fall

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August Vignette - Sultry

It’s the last month of summer and we alternate between excitement for fall and clinging to the last sultry days of the season. This vignette dips a toe in both seasons with hot reds and moody purples grounded by neutral grays. From top to bottom:
-Bark House, White Pine Bark Laminate Panel (background)
-TorZo Parda, Recycled, NAF Wood Fiber Sheets, Amethyst
-Meld Luxe, Handcrafted Concrete and Recycled Glass Slabs, Slate
-Oceanside Glasstile, Tessera Mosaics Recycled Glass Tile, Disco Inferno

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July Vignette - Thunderstruck

Like a summer thunderstorm, this vignette is both intense and mellowing. From left to right:
-TorZo Hemp, Recycled and Rapidly Renewable Hemp Fiber Sheets, Onyx
-Durat, recycled solid surface, color 190, a minty green
-Oceanside Glasstile, Muse mosaics, Moonstruck #287
-Meld Micro, Handcrafted Concrete and Recycled Glass Slabs, Woods #158

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Durat, Meld, and TorZo to be part of Curated Materials Exhibit at Neocon

Durat, Meld, and TorZo have all been selected to take part in the Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion at NeoCon happening in Chicago June 11th-13th. In this exhibit hundreds of material samples will be displayed side-by-side, with details on their origin, makeup and recommended applications. This experiential, educational exhibit is curated by design historian and materials specialist Grace Jeffers. The exhibit will be on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart, 8-3130. The Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion will be hosting educational exhibits and sponsoring CEU presentations. TorZo will also have a booth at Neocon, 7-7038, which will show their latest innovations. If you’re planning to be at Neocon, we invite you to visit both of these exhibits, browse, ask questions and get inspired!

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TorZo Adds Opulent Color to Oro Restaurant

Oro Restaurant & Lounge in downtown Raleigh, NC opened this month and features Amethyst TorZo Orient in the space, which was provided by CaraGreen. Oro means gold in Spanish and Italian and the design of the space, like the name, has a bit of glitz to it. Overall, the restaurant is minimal and white. But, the TorZo Orient gives a rich pop of jewel-toned color to the interior. Owner, Cara Zalcberg Hylton, said that TorZo was selected because it “achieved a beautiful look in the color purple that was different.” TorZo Orient, which is made from recycled wood chips, is one of many sustainable materials the restaurant used. Dramatic light fixtures, which dangle from the ceiling and adorn walls, are made from recycled amber glass and metal. And, lots of windows were used for natural light as well as LED lighting. The result is an airy, light, and efficient space with a touch of opulence. The design is the collaboration of Barbara Bennett, Alicia Hylton-Daniel and Scott Idol from HagerSmith Design and Cara and Chris Hylton of Hylton Hospitality.

torzo orient amethyst in oro restaurantTorZo Orient Amethyst in Oro RestaurantTorZo Orient Amethyst in Oro RestaurantTorZo Orient Amethyst in Oro RestaurantTorZo Orient Amethyst in Oro Restaurant

TorZo Orient Amethyst in Oro Restaurant

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April Vignette - Nest

Twigs, leaves, bits of string and plastic, all make their way into nests to provide structure and softness. This vignette mimics that through materials with a dash of robin's egg blue. From back to front:
-Barkhouse Sanded Poplar Panels
-TorZo Tiikeri Recycled Sorghum Straw Sheets, Turquoise
-Meld Micro Recycled Glass and Concrete Slabs, Saddleback
-Durat recycled solid surface for horizontal or vertical surfaces, color 280

Nest of Sustainable Materials

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CaraGreen Expands TorZo Territory Into DC and Maryland

CaraGreen now represents TorZo Sustainable Surfaces in DC and Maryland. The additional territory comes as a result of CaraGreen’s success with the product in NC, SC, GA, TN, VA, and FL. CaraGreen has secured specifications in projects ranging from corporate offices to restaurants. Sales Manager, Lisa Feldman commented “We are more enthusiastic than ever about TorZo’s products. They have a stellar sustainability profile, interesting aesthetic, and the company continually innovates.” TorZo sheet goods are manufactured from agricultural by-products, such as sorghum straw and wheat, as well as recycled wood. Their proprietary acrylic infusion process transforms these sheets into hard and very durable surface material suitable for horizontal or vertical applications in both commercial and residential environments. TorZo will take part in the Design Expo at the AIA National Convention in Washington DC next month. Stop by their booth, #1808, and see their materials firsthand. Or, for more more information on TorZo, contact us.

TorZo Tiikeri

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March Vignette - Daffodil

Spring is here and daffodils were among the first flowers to sprout and bloom. Just like the flower, this palette is simple and cheerful. Materials from back to front:
-TorZo Orient recycled wood sheets for horizontal and vertical surfaces, Natural
-Meld Luxe recycled glass and concrete countertops, Natural
-Durat recycled solid surface for horizontal or vertical surfaces, colors 800 & 090

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Durat, Meld, and TorZo Surfaces Used In EMD Chemicals’ Building As They Pursue LEED Gold

EMD Chemicals’ new corporate office in Philadelphia, PA, designed by L2Partridge architecture and interiors, is seeking LEED Gold certification. The space features a number of sustainable finishes, including Durat solid surface, Meld Micro concrete, and TorZo Tiikeri panels. Durat color 540, a warm gray, was used in a café and was fabricated by Giffin Interior & Fixture. Meld Micro Natural #70 was used for tops in the main lobby and was fabricated by BC Stone. And, Torzo Tiikeri Onyx was used for both pocket doors to the main conference rooms off the lobby and prominent cabinetry and was also fabricated by Giffin. These progressive materials were selected for their strong sustainability profiles, contribution to LEED, durability, and modern aesthetic. Our Philadelphia rep, Ethos Sustainable Finishes, worked closely with the architect and contractors on the space and shared these pictures with us.

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Introducing Monthly Material Vignettes - November Rain

This palette soothes the senses with its cool aqueous tones and restful grays.

It combines materials that could be used for flooring, casework, and countertops.

Materials from back to front:
-EcoTimber EcoBamboo Woven flooring, Silver Lining
-Meld Micro recycled glass and concrete countertops, Concrete
-TorZo Tiikeri recycled sorghum straw sheets for casework or flooring, Emerald
-Bio-Glass 100% recycled glass sheets for horizontal or vertical surfaces, Oriental Jade
-Durat recycled solid surface for horizontal or vertical surfaces, color 202
For more information on these materials, contact us.

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Torzo Tiikeri Brings Sustainable Style into University Dining Facility

Torzo Tiikeri was just used in a new dining facility at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The project was a combined effort by food service provider, Chartwell’s Higher Education Dining Services, designer, Vision Builders, project manager, designSMART and custom millworker, American Foodservice. The project was designed as a LEED core and shell project, but they wanted to go beyond that and make the interiors green. The overall look is a marriage of modernity and sustainability. TorZo Tiikeri was selected because to the eye it is apparent that it’s composed of natural materials. “It really helped us achieve the green look we were going for” said Dustin Webb of Vision Builders. Tiikeri was used in both the Fresh Market and My Pantry stations for cabinetry. For samples or more information on TorZo Tiikeri, contact us.

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TorZo Orient and Tiikeri Now Formatted for Floors

Torzo Orient and Tiikeri are now available as flooring products. The flooring comes in four standard colors and is available in 5” wide planks or as tiles in assorted sizes.
The flooring is pre-finished with a ceramic-based UV cured finish. Orient flooring is solid, whereas Tiikeri is engineered. Orient flooring has the highest janka ball rating CaraGreen has ever seen at 4,589 lbs. This means it's incredibly durable and a great choice for commercial applications. All TorZo products are made from recycled and/or rapidly renewable, urea formaldehyde free materials infused with acrylic resin for durability. To read more about TorZo flooring, visit the prouct pages for Torzo Orient and Tiikeri on our website. Or, to request samples, contact us.

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New Turbocharged Tiikeri Colors

TorZo Tiikeri, made from 50% recycled and rapidly renewable sorghum straw, comes in 4 new saturated colors: Emerald, Ruby, Turquoise, and Amethyst. Tiikeri can be used for both vertical and horizontal applications, including wall paneling, furniture, and worktops. Like all TorZo products, it's infused with acrylic resin for durability and contains no added urea formaldehyde. For more information on TorZo Tiikeri, or to get samples, contact us!

Tiikeri Colors

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TorZo Seeta + Birds = One Clever Desk

A desk made from bamboo plywood inlaid with bird silhouettes made from TorZo Seeta was commissioned for a wild bird store, Birdhouse On The Greenway, in Charlotte, NC. Carol Buie-Jackson, the shop owner, contracted with Brian Turkalo of Turk Designs, Inc. to design and craft the cash-wrap, bump outs, and other retail displays. They had planned to use bamboo as the primary material, as Carol wanted everything to be eco-friendly. They were interested in doing some inlay work and Carol selected TorZo Seeta for it's beauty and the fact that it's made of 70% recycled sunflower seed hulls. TorZo Seeta was a clever choice for this project, as seeds are the store's primary product. The design is of a flock of doves which are several different sizes to make it look more realistic. Fabrication was tricky since the top is a single piece and they had to get the inlays flush, while not sanding the Seeta or bamboo too much. In order to give the counter the most natural look possible, and in keeping with the store's 100% green theme, they did not use any epoxy or varnish over the top. Instead, they chose a product called PNZ (imported from Germany by Hunter Coatings) which is a penetrating floor oil made of 100% vegetable-based oils. This oil pulled out the rich colors in the bamboo and Seeta while maintaining a natural matte sheen. 

Brian told CaraGreen, "the project has been a great success and are working on several new jobs
 to do similar custom projects for residential, retail and office spaces." 

For more information on TorZo Seeta, or to get samples, contact us!

Brian Turkalo can be reached at 704-281-6923.

Bamboo and TorZo Seeta Bird Inlay Desk

Bamboo and TorZo Seeta Bird Inlay Desk

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Flores & Associates in Charlotte Uses TorZo and Strives for LEED Silver

Overcash Demmitt Architects recently designed a new 20,000 SQFT, three-story office building for Flores & Associates in Charlotte, NC. The design featured TorZo Seeta countertops in Cocoa, from CaraGreen, which offered a unique look and sustainability. TorZo Seeta is made from 70% recycled and rapidly renewable sunflower seeds. The sheets are saturated with an acrylic resin, which make them hard and durable. The project, which has submitted for LEED Silver, integrated recycled content products, regional materials, certified wood, a green roof, and urban location to help with sustainability and to achieve their LEED goals.  Tim Demmitt said that Torzo was a “unique product with a refined look that offers sustainability” which they would use again.

To get more information on TorZo or samples, contact us.

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Talon Court Project Integrates Sustainable Materials Throughout and Receives LEED Platinum

In Wilmington, NC, Talon Court has become the greenest remodel in the nation by earning LEED Platinum with 113.5 points. To achieve this, every detail of the home, from water and energy conservation, to interior finishes, was carefully considered.

When CaraGreen visited the home, the indoor air quality was obvious and we admired how every surface told a story. Floors are rapidly renewable bamboo strand. Doors are crafted from strips of reclaimed scrap wood. Countertops are locally made concrete. Feature walls are adorned with Kirei board. Torzo Seeta is used for a bar and built-ins.  And, the list goes on.  Sapona Green Building Center in Wilmington, NC, a retail partner of CaraGreen, provided the majority of the interior materials for the project.

The owner and mastermind behind the project, architect Jay DeChesere, also tells a great story about the home on his website.  The residence was the home of his parents, Jean and John DeChesere, from 1986 until recently, when they moved to an independent living facility (they're 95 and 98 yrs old respectively). With the housing market having turned down, they were unable to sell their home. So, Jay, and his wife, Heather Smith, decided to buy the home to relieve them of the stress of selling it. 

As an architect focusing on Green Design, and being on the Board of Directors of the Cape Fear Green Building Alliance, Jay envisioned a complete renovation of this home under the USGBC’s LEED for Homes rating system. This is the first project of this category (a gut-rehab) under LEED for Homes in NC and the second in the Southeast region. Jay assembled a design team and an advisory team to lend their expertise to the project.  A few of the renovation highlights are the solar panel hot water system, green roof installation, water harvesting tank, geothermal air handling unit, and sustainable materials integrated into the interior design.







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New Products Fresh From Greenbuild

With 28,000 attendees and over 1000 exhibitors at Greenbuild in Phoenix, there was much to be seen at this year's show.  We had our work cut out for us making it through the crowds to see all of the exhibitors in two days, but we did it.  We saw many new products that excited us, including the latest offererings from our manufacturers who exhibited there, who are continually improving and expanding their offerings.  Here are some of the highlights of what is coming from them in 2010:

TorZo Surfaces

  • Edge banding!  These strong, durable, and sustainable sheet goods are great for tabletops, desks, cabinets, etc.  With edge banding coming out for the entire line, not only will the finished product be more beautiful, but the fabrication will be more cost effective.
  • ½” Seeta (sunflower seed hull) boards that are more dense (fewer voids) and less expensive than the standard ¾” sheets – a great option for this unique look.
  • We got a sneak preview of some new bio-based boards currently in development.  They are top secret now, but stay tuned for new unique looks from this line of surfaces. 

Bonded Logic /UltraTouch

  • Duct insulation and Pipe wrap:  Finally!  You no longer need to wrap your duct work and pipe in fiberglass.  This foil laminated, r-8, cotton fiber insulation has 85% recycled rapidly-renewable cotton fibers.  The duct insulation will come in 12” wide, 2” thick, and 15’ long bundles.  The pipe wrap is 3” wide, ½” thick, and 50’ long.

Coverings, Etc.

  • Bio-Aluminum:  100% recycled aluminum from salvaged aircraft carriers.  100% recyclable and Cradle to Cradle certified.  A great new option for high-traffic flooring and high-end wall treatments.

As samples and pricing become available, we will announce these new products through our monthly newsletter and on our website.

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CaraGreen Exhibiting at NeoCon East Next Week, Booth # 2767

CaraGreen is heading to Baltimore October 28th and 29th where we’ll be exhibiting at NeoCon East.  NeoCon East is the premier design exposition and conference for the mid-atlantic design community and we are excited to be part of this show!
The CaraGreen booth has installations of Durat, Meld, TorZo, and Turning House Millworks, so designers can see these sustainable products in action.  Durat will have a vibrant and playful lime green tub and kelly green sink on display.  Meld will have two stunning ecoX countertops, one of which shows their new micro glass option, which uses finely ground glass as the aggregate.  TorZo Indure, Tiikeri, and Orient will be featured as wall coverings and shelving in the booth, which adds texture and warmth to the space.  And, Turning House Millworks will cover the floor with their reclaimed multi-plank (engineered) wood flooring.
If you are heading to the show, we hope to see you there!  Otherwise, look for a recap of the event on our blog next month.

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Golden Arches Going Green in Cary, NC

In mid-July, North Carolina’s first green McDonald’s restaurant opened at 1299 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, NC marking it as only the third of its kind nationwide to be built using eco-friendly materials and technologies. Development of the restaurant began with McDonald’s Owner/Operator Ric Richards who wanted to refurbish the 25-year-old building. As reconstruction options evolved, Richards said the environmental impact became clear: building a structure dedicated to sustainability would mean significant cost savings and reduced energy consumption. “Even though the costs to build this McDonald’s were higher in the near term, we knew that going forward with this green initiative we would set the stage for more savings long-term, both financially and environmentally,” Richards said.

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