Friday, April 18, 2008

GreenBuildingTalk Blog says...

Several cabinet companies showcased beautiful bamboo and other sustainable materials. A highlight was Koch & Co.’s Wheat Board cabinetry. Wheat board is a particleboard that is manufactured from wheat stalk fiber instead of tree fiber. Koch's wheatboard cabinets also use low or no VOC finishes, making their product one of the greenest. Koch also offers cabinetry made from German Beech wood, a sustainable wood product from the forests of Germany. When I spoke with Doug Martin, a Pollmeir rep marketing German Beech wood, he impressed upon me that the Beech wood coming from Germany is quite sustainable. Pollmeir’s German Beech wood meets sustainable forestry standards, including the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC) and makes up 57% of Germany’s hardwood forests.
Read GreenBuildingTalk Blog post.

KBIS 2008 Report

The KBIS (Kitchen - Bath Industry Show) held here in Chicago last weekend was a great success. In spite of the soft housing market, it seemed to be a good turnout for the event. I spent most of the weekend in the Koch & Co booth presenting the line to prospective clients and dealers, as well as acting as their spokesperson for an HGTV interview. HGTV was in the booth three different times on Friday for the initial interview and follow up footage on the Koch GREEN Series product.

The Koch GREEN Series features construction of the cabinet box and drawer boxes with a wheat core particleboard without any added urea formaldehyde and is available in an array of wood species and finishes. Bamboo carries some buzz as a fast growing resource but when you factor in the plant’s initial incubation period, the distance it has to be transported, and the question of the chemicals involved in the binders, wheat core particleboard wins hands down on the rapidly renewable and environmentally friendly scales. The wheat core is manufactured from the post harvest leftovers of wheat stalk and stubble that is typically plowed under or burnt off. This is fabulous considering it creates an additional source of revenue for the Midwest farmer for a waste by-product as well as preventing additional pollutants from the burn offs.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Your new home is breathtaking! Maybe it's the formaldehyde?

Your new home is breathtaking! Maybe it's the formaldehyde? I coined this phrase last fall (as far as I can tell since it doesn't show up on a Google search!) In any event, I started using it in presentations to Architects, Developers, Contractors and other prospects for our Koch GREEN Series cabinetry. I like it enough to blog it and see if it takes off. Formaldehyde is in the news and not just in regards to the infamous FEMA trailers:

From Formaldehyde Problems Not Limited to FEMA Trailers "Formaldehyde is an invisible gas that is known to cause cancer. It can also cause other illnesses ranging from nose bleeds to chronic bronchitis. Commonly used in manufactured homes and recreational trailers, formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems and has been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)."

From the EPA site: "Levels in HomesAverage concentrations in older homes without UFFI are generally well below 0.1 (ppm). In homes with significant amounts of new pressed wood products, levels can be greater than 0.3 ppm."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Green Building Is "Good"

From The Chief Engineer:

Three major trends are pushing green building to the forefront of the construction industry’s consciousness: 1) an unprecedented level of government initiatives; 2) heightened residential demand for green construction; and 3) improvements in sustainable materials.

• Government Initiatives. As the largest owner and operator of buildings, the U.S. government has the ability to exert tremendous influence over the construction industry and to put in place policies, rules and regulations designed to drive private sector investment in construction toward a predetermined end. In the first five months of 2007, over 100 green building bills were introduced at the state level. Many states have adopted sustainability requirements for all of their new government-funded construction projects. Governments have also implemented economic incentives in the form of tax rebates and credits, density bonuses and other policies such as expedited permitting and approval for green projects.

• Residential Demand. The heightened level of interest in sustainability within the residential construction sector has contributed to green construction’s movement into the mainstream. While demand for traditional residential construction is slowing down, the green housing and materials markets are expanding. Homeowners are increasing their investment in sustainable housing due to improved economic paybacks resulting from high energy prices and their growing sensitivity to environmental concerns. According to the Overview, the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Conference in April 2007 revealed that green building and remodeling is experiencing a level of demand that exceeds the current supply of qualified firms.

• Green materials. Green materials and building products are becoming more popular due to the upward trend in the green construction market. Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about their health and the environment and are now questioning the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their carpet, paint and wood. They are making a conscious effort to identify what building materials are healthier, more energy efficient and economically sensible. As the demand grows for green products and materials, the cost is mitigated. Today, many manufacturers are making green products, which leads to more competition and better pricing. In addition, distribution outlets for green materials are improving.

Complete article here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Building Green Can Provide an Edge in a Tough Market

Building Green Can Provide an Edge in a Tough Market, Report Finds as reported at ...
"...building and renovating green homes and facilities can make property more desirable, according to a new report from CarbonFree.
The report, Zero And Low Emission Buildings, looks at energy-saving building technologies ranging from new materials to low-power appliances, and examines a green building market that, as the number of housing starts continues to fall, is shifting towards the retrofitting of low emission solutions into existing buildings." Read more...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Koch is going to KBIS!

Koch is going to KBIS! Join them at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Booth S3443 in the South Hall. KBIS 08 is only the largest gathering of the industry and it is hosted right here in Chicago!

I am hearing rumors of an exciting Pre-show announcement coming soon. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, for a free registration pass to the show floor ($55 value) send an email with subject “KBIS Pass Request” to and you’ll receive the registration link in reply. Make sure to mention you saw the offer here! (This is not an auto respond link so the reply may take up to 48 hours.)