Page E1 . 21 June 2006       
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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ENVIRONMENT THIS WEEK

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VINYL: ANY COLOR BUT GREEN

In the debate over the "greenness" of building materials, vinyl has become a divisive topic. The U.S. Green Building Council conducted what it termed an exhaustive study of the environmental impact of vinyl and decided to drop recommendations to avoid the use of vinyl in its LEED certification program. As a result, the USGBC has found itself at odds with some environmental groups.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEST

More than just resource-efficient buildings, projects from Venezuela, Germany, Italy, and Canada recently chosen as recipients of the first global Holcim Awards demonstrate "sustainability" as integration with their larger urban, social, and technological context. They were recently selected from 15 finalists after a series of regional competitions with more than 3,000 submissions from 118 countries.

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TWO GREEN HOUSES

Fifty-one-year-old Kengo Kuma, among the best-known Japanese architects of his generation, tends to use each of his residential commissions to explore a single building material. In a dense Tokyo neighborhood, for example, he designed the so-called Plastic House.

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