December 2005

Volume 14, Number 12

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BuildingGreen Announces 2005 Top-10 Products

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BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec®Directory and Environmental Building News™, announced the fourth annual Top-10 Green Building Products during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference and Expo in November. The Top-10 represent the most exciting products added to GreenSpec in the past year. A press release about this year’s Top-10 Green Building Products, including more information about each, is online at www.buildinggreen.com/press/.

•BioNet® Erosion-Control Mats from North American Green. Erosion control is important for both job sites and ecological restoration projects. The 100% biodegradable BioNet series of erosion-control mats is made of a core of straw or straw and coir (coconut fiber) held by woven-jute netting and stitched with cotton thread. Biodegradable stakes made of either corn-derived polylactic acid (PLA) or wood secure the mats to the ground. North American Green is online at www.nagreen.com.

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Columbia Forest Products expects to be using soy-based binders in place of the conventional urea-formaldehyde for all of its veneer-core and veneered agrifiber-core panel products by the end of 2006.

Photo: Columbia Forest Products

•PureBond™ Hardwood Plywood and Agrifiber-Core Panels from Columbia Forest Products. Columbia Forest Products, the largest North American manufacturer of hardwood plywood, announced this year a transition to soy-based binders for all of its veneer-core and agrifiber-core panels. In place of the industry-standard urea-formaldehyde, PureBond panels use a soy-protein binder that is water-based, nonflammable, and nontoxic. The company’s agrifiber-core panels are made from straw, and its veneer-core panels can be specified to be certified according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. For more information, see www.columbiaforestproducts.com or EBN Vol. 14, No. 6.

•Nybacker™ Tile Backer Board from Nycore, Inc. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Nycore manufactures several products from post-consumer and post-industrial recycled carpet. Nybacker is a strong, flexible tile backer board. A rough surface on one side of the board promotes tile adhesion. Unlike cement-based backer board, Nybacker does not release silicon dust (which can cause the respiratory disease silicosis) when it is cut. Nycore is online at www.nycore.com.

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Free of PVC, halogens, and plasticizers, Stonescape flooring emits no VOCs.

Photo: American Biltrite Canada, Ltd.

•Stonescape™ Polymer Composition Tile from American Biltrite Canada, Ltd. This resilient flooring tile, an alternative to vinyl composition tile (VCT), is made from limestone and ethylene acrylic polymers. The tile is free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), halogens, and plasticizers, and it emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is also much harder than VCT, allowing for less-frequent stripping and waxing, according to the manufacturer. This product is also marketed by Mohawk as StoneWalk™. For more information, visit www.american-biltrite.com or www.mohawkgroup.com.

•Terratex® Biobased Textiles from Interface Fabrics and Carnegie. Launched in 1996 with polyester fabrics made from recycled plastic and reclaimed wool, the Terratex brand was expanded in late 2004 to include fabrics made from polylactic acid (PLA) produced from corn and other agricultural feedstocks. Terratex PLA fabrics are now available on commercial workstation panels from Herman Miller, AllSteel, and Teknion, and in September 2005 Carnegie began offering Terratex PLA fabrics under the name Insight. Designtex also offers a line of these fabrics. For more information, visit www.terratex.com or www.carnegiefabrics.com.

•Uppercut™ Dual-Flush Flushometer Valve from Sloan Valve Company. By introducing the Uppercut flushometer, Sloan became the first company to introduce dual-flush technology to commercial toilets that rely on water-line pressure. The Uppercut uses 1.6 gallons (6 l) of water to flush solid waste or 1.1 gallons (4 l) for liquid waste and paper. The unit is sold as either a complete flushometer or a retrofit kit. If it replaces an older, higher-volume flushvalve, the Uppercut saves about 30% in its low-flush mode. For more information, see www.sloanvalve.com or EBN Vol. 14, No. 9.

•Aquia™ Dual-Flush Toilet from Toto USA, Inc. The Aquia toilet, introduced to the North American market in 2005, uses 1.6 gallons (6 l) of water to flush solid waste or 0.9 (3 l) gallons for liquid waste and paper. For details, see www.totousa.com or EBN Vol. 14, No. 11.

•Ice Bear™ Thermal Energy Storage System from Ice Energy, Inc. The Ice Bear 50, designed for small commercial buildings and large homes, freezes about 500 gallons (1,890 l) of water in an insulated module each night. During the day, refrigerant circulated through the ice cools the building via a standard evaporator coil and blower. This reduces peak electricity demand for cooling by up to 95% and reduces costs to building owners who pay demand charges or have time-of-day billing rates. For details, see www.ice-energy.com or EBN Vol. 14, No. 10.

•UltimateAir™ RecoupAerator® 200DX Energy Recovery Ventilator from Stirling Technology, Inc. Energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) save energy by transferring heat and humidity from stale exhaust air to fresh incoming air. Stirling Technology brought ERVs to a new level of controllability and efficiency with its UltimateAir RecoupAerator 200DX. A brushless DC, variable-speed, electronically commutated permanent-magnet (ECPM) motor allows the 200DX to deliver 50 to 200 cubic feet per minute (94 l/s) of airflow very efficiently, even at low flow rates. It achieves up to 96% heat-recovery efficiency. For more information, see www.ultimateair.com or EBN Vol. 13, No. 12.

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Enbryten LED luminaires provide high-efficacy light without using mercury vapor.

Photo: Permlight Products, Inc.

•Enbryten™ LED Luminaires from Permlight Products, Inc. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the only non-incandescent light source that does not rely on mercury vapor. They are also long-lasting (from 30,000 to 50,000 hours), and their efficacy has increased dramatically in recent years—to over 50 lumens per watt for today’s best white LEDs. Permlight is using these LEDs in a range of pendant, downlight, and sconce luminaires. The Enbryten ENBC series downlight luminaire, for example, provides output similar to a 60- or 75-watt incandescent bulb, but consumes just 15–18 watts. Enbryten’s replaceable LED modules allow for easy replacement as needs change or LEDs improve. Permlight is online at www.permlight.com.

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December 1, 2005