Monday, January 12, 2009

Countertop Specialists Project Awarded "Green House of the Year"

Several months ago Countertop Specialists had the unique opportunity to participate in project built by RJ Walter Homes. In a partnership with SMUD, several manufarcturers, and contractors, RJ Walter Homes constructed the second home in all of California to qualify for Platinum Certification under the USGBC LEED Certification program.

The home, which was finished in the Fall of 2008 was recently awarded by Green Builder Magazine, the Green House of the Year award. From a pack of 57 projects from around the nation and Canada, the RJ Walter Homes project was chosen as Grand Winner. The project was highlighted for its "traditional Craftsman architecture and understated interior finishes" as stated in article featureing the project. RJ Walter homes did a great job of blending and eco-concious approach to development with the taste of the everyday home buyer.

As a part of this project, Countertop Specialsts partnered with Vetrazzo and Paperstone to offer countertop surfaces and a fireplace surround. The addition of these stunning green features garnered a great deal of attention from those touring the home.

This was a great project for RJ Walter homes and for Countertop Specialsts. We wish to congradulate the team at RJ Walter Homes for the noteriaty they have recieved for their achivement. Bravo!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

DuPont jumps into Recycled Glass with an addition to it's Terra Collection

DuPont has recently added to its collection of materials that include recycled materials. Only this time, instead of simply adding industrial waste from their existing products they have entered into the recycled glass countertop market with the addition of four colors to their Zodiaq product line. Not currently available from any other quartz manufacturer, the company has found a means of integrating the advantages of the quartz products with the innovations of the recycled glass countertop manufacturers. The four colors (seen on the left) span dark brown, tan, blue, and green color spectrums that will make it a viable choice for a variety of projects.


With the recycled glass portion of the product only amounting to 50% pre-consumer, few will hail the Zodaiq as the sole redeemer of wasteful products. Especially considering the minute amount of glass in the product altogether. The products closest competition would be that of Vetrazzo, IceStone, and Trinity Glass – each a vastly different product. Compared to Vetrazzo’s commitment to 100% recycled post consumer, post industrial, or demolition glass, Zodiaq’s initial product offering may appear to some to be an example of green washing. However, we would like to applaud the efforts of the DuPont Corporation to adapt to the emerging market trends. It should be the hope of those that desire more purely environmental materials that companies like DuPont, which produce many widely available consumer materials, would continue to adapt to the public’s desire for more eco-conscious products.


The Zodiaq Terra Collection comes in at Zodiaq’s highest price level. Even still, consumers and commercial developers interested in the product can expect to pay only half to on third the cost of other materials containing recycled glass.It has been our observation that even in those individuals that are seeking an eco-conscious choice in counter top materials; many are still in search of the color and texture that meet their personal aesthetic sensibilities. These new colors from Zodiaq will be another amongst the emerging products seeking to meet the needs and aspirations of the green public.