Blog
New Video - Nat'l Park Service Comm Center

This week we posted new video (see video section on our website homepage - scroll down a bit if you don't see it) sent to us by the builder that in part shows our wall panels being used on a recent US Government project in Western North Carolina.  Eco-Panels was fortunate to work with Gawain Mainwaring and his team at The Smartbuilders in Asheville, NC, again - this time on a telecommunications building for the National Park Service at the Blue Ridge Parkway headquarters complex.  This is an approx 2,000 sqft building that is climate controlled primarily by mini-splits while all the while maintaining the look and feel of other buildings seen along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, the most visited National Park in the United States.

These were R26 rated wall panels that were erected in a little more than an hour with the exterior siding already on the panels - batten strips were later applied for the final look.  As a communications center responsible for coordination of resources in times of emergency this building had to be as strong and resilient as possible while fitting into a tight budget.  Eco-Panels met this requirement by offering a panel system significantly stronger than traditional construction, all while supplying a solution that not only fit into the long-term cultural heritage of our National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway buildings, but also one that allowed our client to come in UNDER BUDGET (always a good thing!).

 
Eco-Panels Will Build You a Stronger, Safer, Significantly More Energy Efficient Home

This past weekend Kansas saw more tornadoes in one day than they typically see in the entire month of April.  Article here.  And the weather extremes seem to be getting more and more extreme with every passing week.

With the strongest structural insulated panel system on the market today - by virtue of our single piece corner panel - Eco-Panels can help you build a stronger, safer and significantly more energy efficient home.  Stick built homes are inherently energy inefficient and build a weaker structure than we can give you with a home made from Eco-Panels.

For tornado reconstruction, please do not build more homes out of sticks.  We are not saying that we will survive a direct hit from a tornado, we're simply saying we can give you a significantly stronger home than will be more survivable than a traditional stick-built home.

 
Weather Extremes - The New Normal....

It has been an amazing start for this year's weather.  Whether seismic events, a rash of tornadoes or a record number of high temperatures, extreme global conditions can affect even individual home-owners through high energy bills or most dramatically a destroyed home.  With single piece corner panels and a unique panels system helping to create a significantly stronger home than traditional construction, Eco-Panels can offer you more secure living for only a slight increase in home price - actually reducing the long term cost of the home.  We have even seen positive returns on investment in fewer than five years when choosing our panel system to build their house.

The danger of extreme weather is real.

"We're at just the beginning of a very unusual" tornado season, NBC weather anchor Al Roker said on TODAY. The numbers show just how unusual: March saw 223 twisters, up from an average of 80 from 1991-2010, according to the National Weather Service. February saw 63, compared to an average of 29; and January saw 97, compared to an average of 35."

See full article here.

This represents an increase of more than 250% of a normal season for tornadoes!  And it's only April!

And as reported in this article in USA Today, March saw over 7,500 record high temperatures.

Protect the most important asset you have - your family - with Eco-Panels.  Stronger - Safer - Significantly more energy efficient.

 
McDonald's Starts Phasing Out Polystyrene Cups for Health & Sustainability Concerns

Good for them.  McDonald's restaurants have announced that they will start phasing out polystyrene cups due to increasing health and sustainability concerns.  The vast majority of structural insulated panels - SIPs - use polystyrene foam insulation.  Eco-Panels are entirely styrene-free, which is good according to a new report from the National Toxicology Program.

From Daily Finance:

McDonald's Coffee Cups Getting a Recyclable Makeover

Posted 9:32AM 03/27/12 Posted under: Company News, McDonald's, Green, Food & Drink

McDonald's Coffee cupsMcDonald's (MCD) has finally made a move to revolutionize its ubiquitous cup. It's testing ways to finally ditch the foamy polystyrene cups that have accompanied the company's McFare for ages.

The material has several problems -- it's not commonly recycled, and its main component, styrene, has been labeled a likely carcinogen by the National Institutes of Health.

And come on, foam is so old-school. McDonald's stopped using foam food containers for its products in 1990, but it has been slow in making similar progress with cups. And it's not like it would be that hard: Coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) hasn't had trouble using paper cups in its business, after all.

Feeling the Heat

Mickey D's will test new paper cups in 2,000 (15%) of its stores. Because paper cups can be recycled, McDonald's could greatly reduce its volume of waste byproducts by using recyclable for the billions and billions served by the fast-food giant.

These paper prototypes have another advantage. They will incorporate a "double-hulled" design to avoid an uncomfortable burning sensation from hot beverages.

Of course, McDonald's is concerned about burns: Over the past few decades, the company's been subject to numerous lawsuits from patrons scorched by hot coffee, and news of the latest lawsuits lodged came out this week.

McDonald's probably didn't just experience a sudden change of heart regarding its polystyrene use, though. Shareholder activist organization As You Sow has been pushing the fast-food giant to take a harder look at beverage containers and devise packaging recycling goals.

Happier Meals

Over the years, As You Sow has brought this issue to light at major companies like Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), Starbucks, Yum! Brands (YUM), Coca-Cola (KO), and PepsiCo (PEP).

Gaining some traction at a massive company like McDonald's is a huge deal when it comes to improving practices all along consumption and supply chains. The Humane Society of America recently scored a victory when McDonald's pledged to engage with pork suppliers like Smithfield (SFD) about phasing out cruel gestation crates for breeding sows.

Big companies can make really big changes for the good when they put their ingenuity to the test. If McDonald's can get polystyrene out of the waste stream -- and enable more recycling of its food and beverage containers -- it could reduce a heck of a lot of wasteful pressure on the planet. That would create a much Happier Meal.

Motley Fool analyst Alyce Lomax owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's, Starbucks, Yum! Brands, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls on Starbucks and creating a diagonal call position in PepsiCo.

 
More Tornadoes - More Destoryed Homes and Lives

Last year was the "deadliest year in nearly a century" for tornadoes, and after seeing a more than 50% increase in tornado activity this year compared to last year, you have to wonder why people continue to build their homes with stick-built construction.  Building a home out of "sticks", whether 2x4 or 2x6, does NOT create a very strong house, and with the sticks comprising almost 25% of the building envelope, this also makes it very thermally inefficient, wasting money day after day after day.

One of the weakest parts of a home is where two walls come together.  The Eco-Panels panel solution is the ONLY panel solution on the market today that offers a single piece corner panel that simply eliminates that weak joint.  Our embedded cam-locks offer thousands of pounds of holding force between panels.  Tieing down the walls to the foundation and the roof are other potential weak joints, and our solution can extend the exterior siding of our panels to allow uninterupted sheathing from the bottom rim joist to the roof truss.  NO OTHER PANEL SOLUTION CAN OFFER THIS LEVEL OF PROTECTION FOR YOUR HOME.

PLEASE stop building your homes out of sticks or cheap panel solutions.  Protect your family with the best the market has to offer.  We have clients who have re-built after tornadoes and are VERY happy with our panels and would be pleased to offer an endorsement.

 

 
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