BuildingGreen Announces 2010 Top-10 Green Products

Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

BuildingGreen, LLC, publisher of the GreenSpec Directory and Environmental Building News (EBN), announced its ninth annual Top-10 Green Building Products during the 2010 Greenbuild conference in Chicago. The list recognizes the most exciting products drawn from recent additions to GreenSpec, coverage in EBN, and BuildingGreen blogs.


NyloDeck is made from 100% recycled carpet and a water-blown polyurethane binder.

Photo: Nyloboard

NyloDeck, introduced by Nyloboard, LLC, in September 2010, is an American-made composite decking produced from pre-consumer recycled carpet fiber and water-blown, VOC-free, polyurethane binder. In early 2011, the company plans to convert to 100% post-consumer recycled carpet and add an edge-groove option to accommodate the use of hidden fasteners. NyloDeck is impervious to moisture, termites, mold, and mildew. The 5-½"-wide decking is available in two thicknesses: 7/8", which is suitable for spanning 16" on-center joists, and 1-1/8", which can span up to 24" on-center joists. Decking must be spaced to allow for thermal expansion and contraction. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing. We also featured this product in a blog post.

Foamglas cellular glass insulation, from Pittsburgh Corning, is 100% glass—silica sand (60%), limestone (20%), soda (15%), and trace minerals (5%). Production is free of harmful blowing agents, and the material’s high compressive strength and resistance to water and water vapor make it an appropriate substitute for extruded polystyrene. Foamglas is dimensionally stable, noncombustible (without using flame retardants), and resistant to corrosion, termites and rodents. Its closed-cell and inorganic structure will not support the growth of mold, fungi, or microorganisms; and when installed with a suitable adhesive, it serves as a radon, air, and vapor barrier. Foamglas insulates to R-3.44 per inch. It is available in flat or tapered sheets, either unfaced or faced with a bitumen-impregnated sheet. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing or EBN Oct. 2010. We also featured this product in a blog post.


The first installation of Ornilux glass was in 2006 on the facade of an indoor swimming pool building in Plauen, Germany.

Photo: Arnold Glas

Ornilux Bird-Safe Glazing, from the German company Arnold Glas, is a specialty glazing with a pattern that reflects UV light, which is more visible to birds than to humans. While the original Ornilux glass had vertical stripes of the UV-reflective material, the current version, Mikado, has a random pattern of UV-reflective lines. Ornilux glass is available in two insulated, argon-filled configurations: one with low-emissivity coating, the other with a heat-rejection coating. For outdoor displays and partitions Ornilux is available in a triple-laminated configuration, providing the visible UV pattern when viewed from either side. Cost of Ornilux is significantly higher than standard glass, but it may be cost-competitive compared with other bird-protection strategies. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing. We also featured this product in a blog post.

Knoll FSC Furniture from Knoll, Inc. is a full line of commercial office furnishings, including casegoods, office systems, and tables, in a wide range of styles, materials, and finishes. All of Knoll’s standard furniture lines that incorporate wood now come standard with wood certified according to standards from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). With just a few exceptions, effective December 2009, Knoll began providing FSC-certified wood without asking, at no surcharge, and at standard lead times. Knoll is the only furniture company—and perhaps the only company of this size in any market sector—that has made such a significant commitment to sustainable forestry and FSC. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing or EBN March 2003. We also featured this product in a blog post.


This Bensonwood home in Alstead, New Hampshire, combines high-tech panelized construction and superb energy performance with simple elegance.

Photo: Bensonwood

Bensonwood OBPlus Wall System (“OB” for “open-built”) and advanced panelized construction system provide superb energy performance, excellent durability, and use environmentally responsible materials. The wall system is framed using 9.5"-deep I-studs filled with R-35 dense-pack cellulose insulation, then clad with exterior moisture-resistant OSB sheathing. Advanced gasket technology is used for air sealing, detailing is provided to minimize thermal bridging, a drainage plane is installed on the exterior, and integral baseboard raceways are provided on the interior for electrical and data cables to eliminate wall penetrations. Bensonwood houses are designed using sophisticated Swiss BIM (building information modeling) software, with direct output to computer-based milling equipment. The company also offers Passive House options, achieving up to R-60 walls and comparable roof systems. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing. We also featured this in an Energy Solutions blog post.

Niagara Stealth Toilet from Niagara Conservation Corp. is a 0.8 gallon-per-flush (gpf) ultra-high-efficiency toilet, which uses vacuum-assist technology, very little water, and is exceptionally quiet. The vacuum is created when an air bubble is formed in the trapway as the toilet tank is filling up after flushing. Air at the top of a sealed tank-within-a-tank is forced into the trapway below the toilet bowl, and this bubble creates the vacuum during the flush. The toilet evacuates the same flush volume that many dual-flush toilets use on the light flush, and it’s used for all flushing. This two-piece vitreous china toilet comes with either an ADA-compliant elongated bowl or a round-front bowl. It is also sold in Canada as the Hennessy & Hinchcliffe Proficiency N7717 and N7716. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing or EBN July 2010. We also featured this product in a blog post.


The Grundfos advanced, variable-speed, "smart" pumps for hydronic heating systems can reduce pumping energy use by 80%.

Photo: Grundfos USA

Wilo ECM “Smart” Pumps (both commercial Stratos and residential Stratos ECO versions) use integral variable-frequency drives (VFD) and electronically commutated motors (ECMs) to reduce circulation energy by over 70%. The pumps use advanced circuitry logic to analyze their own rotational speed and current draw and compute where the unit is on its “pump curve” to optimize pump speed. Additional features include soft-start, high-torque design, built-in data logging, overload protection, and such accessories as infrared remote control and interface modules for remote monitoring and control. Manufactured in Germany, these pumps are used for hydronic heating, air conditioning, solar water heating, ground-source heat pumps, and other water-circulation applications. By adapting to changing water demands and reducing the amount of water circulated, the pump speed is optimized to avoid the problem of pump oversizing, which wastes energy. Zone valves allow these pumps to achieve savings in heating fuel use and pumping energy. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing or EBN Sept. 2010. We also featured this product in a blog post.

Halton Heat Recovery Unit (HRU) for Commercial Kitchens was first introduced in 2006 by Martin Air Systems and is now distributed worldwide by Halton Group. The HRU is a pre-packaged exhaust and make-up air unit that incorporates energy recovery. The system uses demand-control ventilation to adjust the speed of the exhaust fan (based on feedback from heat and infrared sensors) and the make-up-air fan. A fin-tube heat exchanger captures heat from the exhaust and transfers it to a glycol loop that can be routed to pre-heat make-up air or water or both. Exhaust air speeds through a 90° bend, which “impinges” most of the grease out of the air. The grease is then collected for disposal, and any that remains can be removed during routine cleaning. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing.

The Xicato Spot Module (XSM) is an LED module that is coupled with a separate heat sink, reflector, and remote driver. Designed for use in place of MR16 halogen lamps, the Xicato module is available with outputs of 400, 700, and 1,000 lumens (1,300- and 2,000-lumen models are in development) in 2700K, 3000K, and 4000K color temperatures. Xicato’s “remote phosphor” coating absorbs the off-color light emitted from the LEDs and re-emits a consistent, color-corrected light that is similar to that of halogen lamps, with a color-rendering index (CRI) of 81 for the standard XSM (45–55 lumens per watt) and 98 for the Artist Series XSM (33–40 lpw), which is virtually indistinguishable from halogen. Interchangeable reflectors allow different beam angles. Xicato does not produce fixtures; the OEM manufacturer supplies the LED module component to several dozen fixture manufacturers. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing.


EZ-Wiring’s completed assemblies, like this quick connect outlet box, save time in the field.

Photo: Electec

Electec No-Smoke, Zero-Halogen EZ-Wiring and EZ-Cabling Systems are cost-effective, plug-and-play, modular wiring systems that contains no halogens (bromine, chlorine, or fluorine) and no heavy metals. Rated as “low-smoke, zero-halogen” (LSZH), these systems are compliant with the European Union’s RoHS and REACH programs. The EZ-Wiring D-Series is a four-wire system targeted primarily to lighting applications. The H-Series is an eight-wire system for applications such as systems furniture, advanced lighting controls, and raised-floor systems. Electec’s EZ-Cabling is a LSZH steel-shielded voice/data zone cabling system that satisfies requirements for Cat 5e, 6, and 6A cabling. All of these systems are designed for easy reuse and reconfiguration using foolproof, uniquely keyed connections. For more information, see our GreenSpec listing or EBN May 2010.

Comments (1)

1 HRU for Commercial Hoods posted by James Petersen on 11/19/2010 at 11:47 am

We will take a hard look at the cleaning process and overall durability. With the very high air volume requirements of commercial kitchens, the associated heating energy loads are high. The prospect of substantially reducing energy use in kitchens is good to hear. James Petersen, Petersen Engineering, Inc.

Post new comment

Welcome !
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Glossary terms will be automatically marked with links to their descriptions. If there are certain phrases or sections of text that should be excluded from glossary marking and linking, use the special markup, [no-glossary] ... [/no-glossary]. Additionally, these HTML elements will not be scanned: a, abbr, acronym, code, pre.

More information about formatting options

November 18, 2010