Some products help us use other products or materials more efficiently. For example, drywall clips allow the elimination of corner studs, engineered stair stringers reduce lumber waste, and concrete pigments and polishing systems can turn concrete slabs into attractive finished floors. We also recognize some products, like vacuum plumbing systems, which use less material than their conventional counterparts. Many products with this attribute are fairly unique, so we bring a skeptical eye to manufacturer claims, but not a specific standard.
Included here are various erosion-control products, foundation products that eliminate the need for excavation, and exterior stains that result in lower VOC emissions into the atmosphere. Fluorescent lamp and ballast recyclers and low-mercury fluorescent lamps reduce environmental impacts during maintenance and disposal of luminaires.
Diamond Pier™ DP-100 and DP-50 permit installation of pier foundations with neither excavation nor site-poured concrete. These products provide structural foundation systems for decks, outbuildings, and boardwalks. Held in place with four steel pins driven at angles through the piers and deep into the ground, they are particularly appropriate for frost conditions, fragile ecosystems, heaving soils, or difficult access sites. The company's Butterfly™ and Speed Pile™ systems are no longer offered.
Conventional foundation excavation can disturb plantings and soil, and cause sediment runoff and erosion, especially in fragile environments, such as boardwalks and decking in wetlands, and in erosion-prone areas. When the soil conditions are poor, it is sometimes removed entirely, trucked to a landfill, and replaced with engineered fill, requiring the expenditure of energy to remove transport the loads to and from the building site. Other foundation support systems in poor-soil conditions typically require use of steel or cement.
Products listed in GreenSpec require less extensive excavation or less transport of materials.
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