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Sustainable building

Cover of Spring 2020 issue of Washington State Magazine
Spring 2020

Ever a green state

There’s nothing new about being green.

Two millennia ago, Chinese Minister for Agriculture Tsai Lun in the first-century Han dynasty called for subjects of the emperor to boil old linen rags for papermaking. Professional recyclers in medieval England collected dust and ash left from fireplaces, then sold it to brick manufacturers as an inexpensive base material. More recently, World War II saw an uptick in recycling, with many common household items like clothes, scrap metal, and tires turned into new products for the war effort.

The same spirit of innovative recycling inspired Washington State University’s Taiji Miyasaka and David Drake to invent a construction block from … » More …

Spring 2009

Building Green

Jeff Feinstein ’85 finds green investment a hedge against a down economy

Our gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing automobiles draw a lot of the blame for the build-up of greenhouse gases most scientists say is making the world warmer. That’s led to a worldwide flurry of investment in biofuels research and more fuel-efficient vehicles–even hybrid diesel Kenworth semis, built by Paccar in Kirkland.

But amid all that traffic, a quiet community of builders and designers is starting to speak up, saying that if we want to make real reductions in energy use, we just have to look closer to home–to our houses, offices, and high-rise condos.

“The … » More …