Eco-friendly Gold LEED certified The South 5th Condos 78704 – Insulated Concrete Walls is a local realtor at Prudential Texas Realty looking at Ecofriendly Green features at The South 5th Condo in 78704 with insulated c…

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ICF Manufacturer Makes Hurricane Resistant and Energy Efficient Dream Home a Reality for a South Alabama Family

Fort Deposit, AL (PRWEB) April 12, 2006

When a consumer reporter for Alabama Public Television decided to build a new home, she did what any reporter would do…research. Lori Cummings producer and host of the statewide program Alabama @ Work began searching for the best way to build both a wind resistant and energy efficient home. Cummings says three letters kept popping up in her research; ICF, which stands for insulated concrete forms. I decided to do a story for our television program on building with ICFs and became intrigued by the concept, says Cummings, it just made so much sense and I wondered why everyone wasn’t building with insulated concrete forms.

But when Cummings tried to find her own contractor to build her dream home she could not find an ICF builder. I was discouraged, but decided to do more research. I went to the Portland Cement Association web site and started emailing block manufacturers, Tritex ICF Products responded quickly. Cummings replies.

A few months later, General Sales Manager Thad Tobaben came with a Tritex team from North Alabama including Barry Camper, Mark Cobb and Tim Liptak along with Greenville, Alabama contractor Randall Nicholas was at the Cummings home site breaking ground on her new concrete home.

Tritex believes in their products and the simplicity of building with our Insulated Concrete Forms, Alabama builder Randall Nicholas caught on quickly and is already planning two more concrete homes, says Tobaben. Tritex stayed on the Cummings project until the ICF portion was complete walking Nicholas and his crew through the entire process.

Nicholas told Tritex, I have to admit I didn’t know if I was going to like building with ICFs, but we just finished the last concrete pour on the Cummings’ house and I am extremely pleased with the product and how easy it is to use. I will definitely be building with Tritex blocks again.

Cummings knows her dream home would not be a reality without Tritex ICF Products and is looking forward to living in her new home this summer. According to the Portland Concrete Association, her new home built with insulated concrete forms requires 44 percent less energy to heat and 32 percent less energy to cool than comparable frame homes. ICF constructed homes can withstand up to 225 mile and hour winds which is an F5 tornado or Category 5 hurricane.

Tritex went above and beyond the call of duty and I will never forget what they have done for me and my family. I won’t have to worry this hurricane season and I will be able to afford my energy bills even when I retire. Thank you Tritex! Cummings says with a smile.

About Tritex:

Founded in 2003, Tritex is a new name in insulated concrete forms. Manufacturing plants are located in Conyers, GA, Pardeeville, WI, and Colorado Springs, CO.

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Pizza Fusion Addresses Organic Demand With LEED Expansion Into South and Northeast Markets

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (PRWEB) November 13, 2007

Pizza Fusion (, the leader in environmentally sustainable restaurant practices, will be unveiling several new locations in the coming months from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia up into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey; introducing all four states to their first ever LEED certified restaurant establishments. Through several area development and individual franchise deals, entrepreneurs are finding value in bringing Pizza Fusion’s sustainable approach to organic food service to their communities.

“We’re from California but wanted to bring the Pizza Fusion concept to the Atlanta market because it’s more green and organic than any major city in Southern California,” Jeff Melnick, Pizza Fusion area developer for Atlanta, explains. “With 7 Whole Foods, 5 Trader Joe’s and 3 Fresh Markets for a total of 15 organic food markets and 53 LEED Certified buildings it was a no brainer. It’s going to be a great Hybrid ride providing gourmet organic food to the residents of Atlanta. We’re already getting phone calls and emails from people wanting to know where and when we will open.”

Pizza Fusion, whose motto is ‘Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time,’ serves a gourmet, organic menu of pizza, focaccia sandwiches, wraps, desserts, beer and wine in fast casual LEED certified environments. They also offer health conscious alternatives for people with selective diets and food allergies, including gluten-free, vegan and lactose free options. Taking the lead in the environmentally sustainable restaurant sector, Pizza Fusion practices a detailed eco-friendly approach to their entire existence, including their restaurants’ buildout, service and overall operations, all the way down to the 100% post consumer toilet paper they use in their bathrooms. Currently, the company has over 50 LEED certified restaurants opening in seven states across the U.S., including California, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida.

Wende Goncz, the area developer behind Pizza Fusion’s Pittsburgh expansion, states, “Pizza Fusion is an excellent fit with Pennsylvania’s eco-conscious, organic hungry demographics. We’re very excited to introduce a socially responsible organization like Pizza Fusion to Pittsburgh, as well as open the state’s first LEED certified restaurant. We believe Pizza Fusion will not only enhance the city’s restaurant portfolio, but bring a positive example to the community as America’s greenest restaurant.”

Pizza Fusion’s LEED certified restaurants feature a number of unique, eco-efficient products, techniques and designs, including eliminating the use of water heaters and air heating units by recycling heat from their ovens to warm their water and the restaurants themselves. Other eco-friendly store elements include countertops made from 100% recycled detergent bottles, bamboo flooring, 30% recaptured industrial concrete, ceiling panels made from 74% recycled aluminum cans and 24% post industrial metals, USG Gypsum Board made from pre-used drywall, insulation made from recycled blue jeans, ceiling baffles made from recycled composite board, low voltage and low heat lighting, seat cushions made with soybean oil, furniture made from reclaimed wood and much more.

Pizza Fusion’s first LEED certified stores to open will be in Palm Beach Gardens ( and Weston, Florida ( in mid-December. Their LEED certified restaurants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia will be open and operational by the end of the first quarter of 2008.

About Pizza Fusion

Founded in February of 2006, Pizza Fusion leads a new niche market by combining an eclectic organic menu with a detail-oriented environmental business approach in chic LEED certified fast casual environments. Pizza Fusion serves gourmet pizzas, focaccia sandwiches, salads, desserts, beers, wines and more in their purest form – untainted by artificial additives, such as sweeteners, pesticides, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones. For additional information, visit:

For editorial inquires, contact:

Eric Haley

Vice President of Communications

Pizza Fusion

6555 Powerline Rd., Suite 101

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Office: (954) 449-7244

Fax: (954) 449-4957


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Whirlwind Solar Installs BIPV Solar Laminate System on First Certified “Passive House” on South, West Coasts

Houston, TX (Vocus) July 13, 2010

Whirlwind Solar, a Division of Whirlwind Steel Buildings, Inc. a Houston, TX-based company announced today, in conjunction with Corey Saft, an Architecture Professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the first application of Solar Laminates on a certified Passive House home. It is the first such home across the South and West Coast. Keihly Moore, with the Illinois-based Passive House Institute US that gives the certification, says of Saft: He is the first in the South. Hes blazing a trail. The use of solar photovoltaics, along with the Passive House design criteria of 90% reduction in energy usage over traditional homes built to current codes, makes this an affordable zero-energy prototype for the extreme conditions in the hot and humid South as well as anywhere else.

The project incorporated many innovative thermal techniques to reduce energy consumption. Following the general Passive House strategy, the home is super-insulated and extremely well sealed, making the construction act more like a thermos to preserve the conditioned air inside and consequently requiring much less overall conditioning of air. As an analogy, think of plugging in your coffee maker to heat the water to make your coffee but then transferring the coffee to a thermos to maintain the temperature throughout the day. Once you cool or heat your house the most efficient way to maintain the temperature is not with additional electricity but through a well sealed and insulated container. In terms of energy consumption the results are obvious and this is what the Passive House philosophy is all about. Combine this with the efficiency of Whirlwind’s solar laminate panels and you quickly see how in the first month of operation this building was a zero-energy consumer.

The systems in the house are all standard and readily available but it is their integration into a whole house strategy that makes the final product so efficient and unique. The primary system is based on a a small (1 ton) mini-split air-conditioning system and the Ultimate Air RecoupAerator Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). With 95% energy recovery, MERV 12 filtration, and dehumidification the ERV is the black box in the system that makes it all possible. In conjunction with this primary strategy we also use an air-to-water heat pump to supplement cooling and dehumidification as well as provide hot water.

The wall assembly itself manages most of the thermal issues, as it is much thicker than normal and is made up of several parts that each play a different role in reducing the energy bill. Our wall is a wood stud assembly 24 o.c. laid out using advanced framing techniques. Half of the house is 2×6, but the other half throughout the double height space is 2×8 studs. On the inside, added mass from concrete counters, tile and extra thick drywall is used to store the cool in the summer and the warm in the winter. The space in between the studs is filled with open-cell spray foam for an extra air seal and the whole house is then wrapped with 1 of Polyisocyanurate insulation to eliminate thermal breaks throughout. There is then a radiant barrier and an air space that is used to back-ventilate the final exterior skin of fiber-cement siding. This rain-screen system also acts as a whole house sun-shading device ridding the building of much of the heat even before it gets to our insulated wall.

As well as reduced energy consumption, the design of the home focuses on a richly developed living experience. The home is a modern open plan with a full half of the house boasting a sixteen+ foot double height space. The kitchen, the mezzanine and the stairs hanging off of it create a dynamic spatial experience. Feeding this large open volume is a twelve foot bank of high north facing clerestory windows that fill almost the whole home with artist quality natural light. When artificial light is required in the evening, there is a mixture of LED and CFL lights to keep the energy draw to a minimum and allow the small solar array to balance all its needs.

This house was an experiment on many fronts. As well as being the first home anywhere on the South or West Coast to meet the stringent energy requirements of the Passive House standard, it is also designed to be a cost effective urban prototype. With a footprint of less than 800 sq ft and a total livable square footage of 1200 sq ft, it is a 3 bedroom 2 bath designed for great density. Its long, thin and tall form allows it to be easily converted to a row house or flats above a commercial base on any downtown street. The rich spatial and experiential qualities could easily be maintained in any dense urban situation while the energy requirements would be reduced because of the shared party-walls and reduced number of exterior walls. With these efficiencies and a larger roof area to strategically group the solar array, we could easily develop this project into a net-energy producing urban block.

The construction of this project was a collaboration between Saft and one of his former students, Jaron Young. Young’s company, H.J. Construction, oversaw the building process and also understood it as a unique experiment. Beyond Passive House certification this home is in the final stages of attaining the first LEED platinum rating in Acadiana from the U.S. Green Building Council.

One of the main difficulties in building a project like this is the financing. The appraisal that the underwriting of a traditional construction loan requires rarely takes into account any of the innovative efficiencies present in our home because there are no ‘comparables’ with which to judge how much a consumer might pay for them. The result is that they are just not factored in and the home is severely undervalued. It is a system set up to resist change. This, says Saft, is probably the most significant impediment to a large scale transformation of our building stock.

The solar array, which is laminated to the Whirlwind Weather Snap metal system, is sized at 3.264 kW. The solar laminate system enabled some of Corey Saft’s students to more fully understand photovoltaic’s and at the same time be involved with some cutting edge technology.

The Made in USA BIPV system is manufactured by United Solar Ovonic LLC, based Rochester Hills, MI, and is sold through their authorized distributor, Whirlwind Solar, a division of Whirlwind Steel Buildings, Inc. with corporate headquarters in Houston, TX.

A comprehensive video documentation of the installation is available here:

The Solar laminate system is comprised of approximately 24 photovoltaic laminates each 16 wide and 18 – 0″ long, and approximately

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