CaraGreen TV Launches on YouTube

CaraGreen TV is now on YouTube! Our first video tests if red wine will stain Durat solid surface material (spoiler alert, it doesn't). In the video, CaraGreen's own Barbara Ford, Inside Sales Manager, makes the stain disappear with a little elbow grease. And, the video is filmed in a gorgeous kitchen that has Durat countertops. To watch it, click here. We welcome your video test ideas, email 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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CaraGreen Partners With SurfaceSource to Represent Products in New England


CaraGreen is delighted to announce a new partnership with SurfaceSource who will bring Durat and Meld to architects, designers, and construction professionals in New England. SurfaceSource is an experienced team of six materials experts that exclusively represent manufacturers of eco-friendly surfaces, making the addition of Durat and Meld to their portfolio a natural choice. The team is highly knowledgeable about commercial finishes, their suitability for applications, true green attributes, and integration into design schemes. SurfaceSource provides architects and contractors full service product selection and specification services. 

SurfaceSource President Victoria Rickert, our Connecticut rep, is a Certified AIA CES and IDCEC Continuing Education Presenter and a CSI Construction Documents Technologist with more than 20 years construction industry experience including surface specification, fabrication and installation. Boston will be the first market that SurfaceSource rolls out CaraGreen’s products to, which is covered by the capable duo of Bill Blasek and Lisa Walters, LEED AP. To contact SurfaceSource for information on Durat or Meld, click here.

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CaraGreen’s Reach Extends to Florida with Addition of Partner, iSolutions Group

iSolutions Group

CaraGreen welcomes iSolutions Group as our product representative in Florida for Meld, Durat, and TorZo. iSolutions Group provides innovative materials that help inspire Architects and Designers by sparking imaginations and pushing the limits of creativity. Their offering reflects Florida's discerning design culture and helps to create environments that meet the most complex design challenges. They encourage well-rounded products that capture the attention of the design-driven, but also deliver performance and sustainability. iSolutions Group shares CaraGreen’s passion for providing healthy, environmentally friendly products to help create a more sustainable future. They provide solutions that limit resource consumption, improve building performance, and promote health and productivity. And, they provide excellent service to architects, designers, and contractors through project reviews, samples, literature, AIA Continuing Education, NCIDQ seminars, specification reviews, and technical assistance. If you're in Florida and would like more information on Durat, Meld, or TorZo, please contact iSolutions Group.


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Learn About Green Insulation and Earn CEUs Online

Bonded Logic, manufacturer of UltraTouch recycled blue jean insulation, has a new continuing education article which was published in the September/October issue of Greensource and can be found online. The article, “Green Insulation: Specifying a Smarter Solution”, explains how to select the best insulation choice from a growing number of more sustainable products and systems. After reading this article you will be able to:
-Differentiate between traditional and emerging insulation materials, trends, and uses.
-Examine and recognize the different ways that insulation addresses energy losses in a building envelope.
-Analyze and assess multiple other qualities of insulation that can contribute to green and sustainable building design.
-Identify manufacturing qualities that make the installation of thermal insulation more efficient.
This course provides 1.00 HSW/SD credit and was approved by the USGBC for 1 GBCI CE hour(s) for LEED Credential Maintenance.
To read this article, click here. For more information on UltraTouch cotton insulation, visit our website.

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EcoSmart Fires on Sale Now Through November 14th

With a record summer behind us and cool fall evenings settling in, it’s time to think about firing up.
Now through November 14th, take 15% off any purchase of a new EcoSmart Fire - 10% off at time of purchase and 5% by mail-in rebate. Whether you’re creating a custom fireplace feature, renovating an existing fireplace, or looking for a portable piece of art, EcoSmart Fire has a fireplace to meet your needs. Fueled by environmentally-friendly bioethanol fuel, EcoSmart Fires can be installed without chimneys, vents, flues, or gas or electrical connections. Visit the EcoSmart product page on our website for more information.

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Greenbuild Wrap Up 2011: Innovation is Imminent

Greenbuild wrapped up on Oct. 7th in Toronto. This was CaraGreen’s fifth year attending the conference and despite the lack of growth in the overall building industry, there is a growing green building economy and there was plenty of excitement and inspiration to be had.

The theme of the conference and expo was “NEXT” and based on what I saw (admitting a bias towards interior non-structural materials), materials seem to be the next frontier for the USGBC. The Materials and Resource section of LEED is getting a complete overhaul for the next release in 2012. With the changes proposed, we can expect real innovation from manufacturers as they work toward material optimization from a health, environment, and social perspective.

The MR section of LEED is evolving toward transparency, the avoidance of chemicals of concern, responsible sourcing of raw materials, and end of life considerations. Overall, LEED 2012 is adopting a preference for multi-attribute assessment of materials vs. single attribute assessments. This is a leap forward for our industry expanding the definition of what is ‘green’. As most of us know, just because a product doesn’t off-gas or just because it has recycled content, doesn’t mean that it is sustainable, healthy, or manufactured under safe and fair conditions.

The call for transparency is coming from owners, specifiers, and occupants who want to know exactly where the product is coming from, what’s in it, what’s its impact during use, and what will its impact be at the end of its useful life. Credits have been drafted to address many of these questions and it looks like we can expect Life Cycle Assessments to take a major role in the future of materials. 

One area of transparency that can be difficult to make sense of is the ‘chemicals of concern’. Various groups from the EPA to Healthy Building Network and large firms like Perkins+Will and Google have lists of chemicals they want to eliminate to improve indoor air quality and human health. The problem is, lists can vary from one organization to the other, manufacturers don’t consistently know their chemical make-ups down to the parts per million (often due to the depth of their supply chain), and reporting formats vary so comparing products is very difficult.

A promising solution, The Health Product Declaration (HPD) Forum, a group of building designers, specifiers, owners and users, have developed the HPD Open Standard. This form is a voluntary, open standard for the communication of product content and associated health information for building products. Establishing protocols for reporting this information in a consistent manner will help building professionals quickly and easily find the information they need. It will help manufacturers by standardizing the information they need to provide to answer the increasing number of inquiries on these issues. It will also facilitate the integration of building product data into certification programs, product databases and design software.

The open process and database has the potential to encourage widespread industry participation and adoption. Check out the form here and let us know if your firm is moving in the same direction.

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Triangle USGBC’s October Green Drinks to Be Held at LIGHT Art+Design

The Triangle USGBC’s October Green Drinks will be held at LIGHT Art+Design in downtown Chapel Hill on October 20th, 6-8pm. LIGHT, a sister company to CaraGreen, is a curated design shop offering art and functional items for the home by local artists, crafts people, and innovative design brands. All are chosen for their fine craftsmanship, modern point of view, and commitment to a more sustainable future. LIGHT’s current exhibit, RE:, has an environmentally conscious slant, embodying recycling, reuse, restoring, and renewable materials in the work. We invite you to come out and enjoy the RE: show as you network with members of the sustainability community. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. LIGHT is located at 601 W Rosemary St (in Greenbridge), Chapel Hill, NC.

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Durat Comes With 15-Year Warranty

Durat solid surface is known for its exceptional color palette, all around beauty, and strong sustainability profile. Durat also boasts a 15-year warranty, which is among the best in the industry. This warranty accompanies all sales of Durat sheet and shape goods (sinks, tubs, shower trays). Durat has a second 5-year warranty on products they fabricate, such as vanities with integral sinks. Both warranties signify the company’s commitment to durability and longevity. To learn more about Durat and download the warranties, visit the Durat's product page.

durat colors are vibrant

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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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