As we move into the heart of the summer now is  the time to plan exciting outdoor projects that bring satisfaction all year long. Summertime brings great memories – like eating outdoors, enjoying the sun, watching the sun rise, and on and on….Made from natural plant oils

Most of us have an opportunity to capture these moments at home. Outdoor spaces, from patios to decks to rooftops, let us spend time with family and friends. For existing structures, it’s easy to bring out their best with any of our coatings – such as Osmo Deck Oils or Vermont Natural Coatings; while quite different in their application, both bring out the very best in wood spaces like decks and walkways. To get those jobs started use Osmo’s Wood Reviver Power Gel, this has got to be the easiest, safest and most wood-friendly product available. It doesn’t use harsh chemicals that damage wood, does not require power washing (another wood destroyer), and when it is rinsed off it won’t harm surrounding vegetation. Plus application is a snap!

You may not know that concrete can also be treated, sealed and stained to create a warmer, friendlier space. Ecoprocote’s line up of concrete mix, sealers, etchers and architectural stains do amazing things with what was once just a hard white surface (or a discolored stained one!). Our staff can help you make great decisions that’ll bring that old space a brand new look.

For those who don’t have a deck but want one, consider our Western Red Cedar Decking. It’s solid, wide, beautiful to look at and to walk on, and affordable. Our FSC certified Tigerwood decking is remarkable- it’s beautiful varied hues make a statement to all who see it….and it’s from a sustainable harvested tropical source! Be sure to check which locations have these decking materials – once sold out they may not be available until late in the season. 

Moving indoors, there’s no better time to install a new floor than in the summertime. Whether you’re considering a replacement or a refinish, doing it while the weather is best will make it easier on everyone who lives there. We have gorgeous Foundations strand-woven bamboo flooring available for the DIYer and the Professional – while it is beautiful to look at, its real beauty is what you don’t see after it’s down: our Foundations lineup is all solid strand which will add years to its life and performance. On top of it being solid, it is also 14 mm thick… a rarity now as almost all manufacturers are opting to decrease their thicknesses down to almost half of ours. Don’t hesitate to call our stores if you need more information!

The beauty of natural hardwood flooring is unmistakable. We have an outstanding selection of hardwood floors from a select group of top quality suppliers. Consider the options by perusing our Serafina lineup, which includes 10 species in various widths, our FSC Tigerwood flooring or our selections of NW Big Leaf Maple, California Chestnut, NW Madrone, or NW Myrtle. Also available at our West Coast stores is DuChateau, an outstanding FSC certified hardwood flooring pre-finished with beautiful oil finishes.

Another very popular option is Marmoleum. There’s no other resilient flooring material that provides such a selection of remarkable colors and designs than Marmoleum. Available in sheets, tiles or easy to install click-in planks; homeowners are delighted with their new floors from Marmoleum.

Of course, there’s lots of other projects to consider, and we invite you to browse our website and find all the eco-responsible products that deliver outstanding performance to make your home beautiful. And of course, we’ll be delighted to see you at one of our stores.

 

 

 

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Wood is one of the “greenest” building  materials available to us today! It is a renewable resource that is strong, long-lasting and has a myriad of applications. Even better, while trees are growing they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it. At the end of the “first life” of a wood product,  it can often be recycled two, three or more times and, sometimes, even composted. Where wood becomes unsustainable is when it is harvested through destructive logging practices that contribute to habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples, and violence against forest workers and wildlife.

Q: How can we as consumers tell if we are supporting responsible forestry practices or not?
A: Through the FSC!

The international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to combat destructive practices by encouraging responsible forest management. FSC has offices in 145 countries, and 384 million acres of certified forest around the globe. The FSC Logo can be found on all kinds of different products from paper to decking – if you see the logo it means that the wood in that product is from an FSC certified supplier.

When a forest is FSC certified you can be sure that it is a forest that is managed for ecological health, sustainable harvest levels, and social responsibility. Ecological health includes protecting the wildlife, water, air and soil. Sustainable harvest levels are ensured by never cutting more than what will grow back.  Social responsibility is attended to  through rules surrounding indigenous rights, labor rights, and multiple benefits. Indeed, FSC has developed a set of 10 Principles and 57 Criteria that all FSC certified companies must follow. As a third party certifier, the organization carries out regular audits of certified companies’ practices to ensure that they maintain FSC standards.

Here’s a cool infographic that illustrates the important role that FSC plays in the global supply of wood for building materials (and other purposes):

Friday, September 28th, we celebrated International FSC Friday. Learn more about the FSC at www.fscus.org.

 

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Green Depot NYC - Certified LEED Platinum

As the leading retailer of green building products in the nation, Green Depot has long been at the forefront of supplying materials for certified green projects. The product experts at each of our locations have assisted with countless certifications – residential and commercial. So, we were pleased to get to apply our knowledge to our own flagship store in New York City. When we were done with our renovations in 2010, our Bowery store became the first to achieve a LEED Platinum Certified Retail Space in all of New York State .

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation is an “internationally recognized green building certification system,” organized and developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  All buildings which apply for LEED certification are judged on a set of prerequisites and credits – prerequisites being mandatory for all projects, and credits accumulating to raise a building’s certification from Certified, up through Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Credits are judged on criteria as diverse as the siting of the building, water efficiency, energy consumption, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Our New York City store, located at 222 Bowery is a beautiful, unique space and carries nearly all of our green building supplies and green lifestyle products.  We’re located in the building that once held NYC’s first YMCA and was home to a string of artists and musicians – including Mark Rothko – so we worked closely with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission to preserve some of the original structural elements like tiling from the YMCA pool.

We gained LEED credits through our renovation projects: improved indoor air quality, low-VOC finishes, high-efficiency energy handler, LED light fixtures, and reused and recycled construction materials, among other criteria.

If you are in NYC, stop in and take a look at our Bowery store!  If you are working on a green building, we  have people knowledgeable in LEED Certification at all of our locations nationwide and we can assist you in reaching your LEED goals with Green Depot products. Most of our building products count toward LEED points in at least one category, so be sure to ask when you’re getting started on your project!

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

 (Originally posted on April 31, 2011 with the title “Proud to be Green!”)

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Green Building Trends in 2012

December 27th, 2011 | Posted by sschultz in Green Building - (0 Comments)

Predictions for green building trends in the coming year are optimistic, inspiring, and point to a period  of growth and innovation ahead.

Green Building Services, a consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, put out their predictions for the Top 10 Green Building Trends of 2012 – and they are very promising! From design firms building in efficiencies so that they meet future standards (rather than just keeping pace with current ones,) to increased transparency around product ingredients, to the adoption of LEED practices internationally – their list is jam-packed with reasons to feel optimistic about 2012. According to GBS, sustainable practices in general will continue to be increasingly incorporated into the mainstream – a perfect example of this being efforts by our nation’s sports teams to green their venues and events.

Building-Products.com, an online resource for the building industry, predicts that 2012 will be a year of innovation for green building products  despite today’s slow economy. In a recent article titled A Green 2012: Innovation in Interesting Times they describe a building of momentum in the development of increasingly sustainable and efficient products. Because “innovation breeds innovation” they say that we should expect to see very radical ideas presented in the coming year.

There are other promising signs for 2012 as well! One such is that support continues to grow for  The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 – proposing an increase in regulation for the use of chemicals in consumer products. Another promising sign is that light bulb manufacturers have announced their intention to  move forward with the phase out of 100 watt incandescent bulbs – despite the last minute move by congress to save the bulbs from extinction.

If the above trends do, in fact, pick up steam in 2012 it will be a very energizing year indeed. We at Green Depot are looking forward to it with great anticipation – and we wish you a very Happy New Year!!

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The new zHome development in Issaquah, WA.

Several years ago, about 20 miles east of Seattle, Washington, a goal was set to build a model for 21st century homes – and the zHome project was born. September saw the completion of this state-of-the art project, and it is revolutionary on almost every level. Zero-Net Energy The buildings have built-in energy efficiencies to help minimize waste – like heat recovering technology - and that accounts for most of the lowered energy use in these homes. The buildings have solar-panels that generate and offset the remaining energy use to achieve net zero energy use and net zero CO2 emissions over the course of a year. Water Conservation zHomes are slated to use just 40% of the average water use of a typical home.  All 10 units have successfully earned WaterSense New Home Certification. These are the first homes in the State, and among the first in the nation, to receive this recognition. The units save water in a number of ways: high-efficiency water fixtures and appliances, rain-garden landcaping, and rain-water capture for use in flushing toilets and laundry. The zHomes are also the first in the Nation to win Salmon Safe certification for their handling of stormwater runoff. Sustainable Materials Use Each unit is finished with low-toxic, eco-friendly and durable materials from floor to ceiling to inside the walls. The bulk of the materials in the project come from within 500 miles of the site. They also used recycled materials in finishes like tiles and countertops; FSC-certified woods for decking, handrails, siding and more; and super-durable materials for siding and roofing to minimize frequency of maintenance and replacement. On top of that, 90% of the construction waste from the building of these homes was recycled or reused. There are many more exceptional qualities to the zHome project that make it one of the most innovative developments in the country today. Visit http://z-home.org to learn more! This project is a model for 21st century homes – they’ve proved that these ideas are scalable – let’s hope they aren’t unique for long! Click here to visit our website.

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