December 2012

Volume 21, Number 12

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BuildingGreen Announces Top-10 Products for 2013

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Resilience and building science are the focus in our eleventh annual product awards.

BuildingGreen, publisher of EBN, has announced its Top-10 Green Building Products for 2013. The eleventh annual awards, announced at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, are our editors’ picks of the most innovative green building products, drawn from product reviews published in our online GreenSpec guide and in EBN.

WUFI software from Fraunhofer IBP and Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a family of PC-based modeling tools that calculate heat and moisture transfer in multi-layer building components. The tools can predict long-term moisture risk in a variety of building assemblies in any climate conditions.


Atlas Block with CarbonCure is the first product brought to market that sequesters CO2 without requiring a dramatic change in current CMU manufacturing processes.

Photo: Atlas Block

Atlas CMU block with CarbonCure significantly improves the carbon sequestration process by taking CO2 supplied from local industrial sources and injecting it directly into concrete masonry units (CMUs) during production using a specially designed mold. Injecting CO2 into CMUs during manufacture also improves their strength, reduces the amount of portland cement required, and speeds curing.

Proglaze ETA Engineered Transition Assemblies from Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing is a complete assembly system comprised of sealants, membranes, primers, and flashings (all its own products) and insulation and sheathings (from other manufacturers) designed to integrate well together. Tremco offers an industry-first warranty on the performance of the air and water barriers.

LoE-i89 glazing from Cardinal Glass Industries is a sputtered indium tin oxide hard-coat that can be installed on an exposed surface of an IGU. This option allows two low-e coatings to be used on a double-glazed IGU, and it enables a double-glazed window to achieve a level of performance that was previously achievable only with triple-glazing.


To produce rigid boardstock insulation, cork granules are steam-heated in an autoclave, which expands the cork and activates a natural binder, suberin, contained in the cork; additional binders, flame retardants, or other chemicals are not used in production.

Photo: Amorim Isolamentos, S.A.

Amorim expanded-cork boardstock insulation is a 100% natural, rigid-insulation material produced from natural cork. The material insulates to R-3.6 per inch, offers excellent acoustic control, is highly durable, has high vapor permeability, and meets fire-safety requirements (Euro Class E, based on EN 13501) without flame retardants.

Viridian Reclaimed Wood processes wooden pallets, crates, and packing materials in its Oregon facility and then creates flooring, tabletops, paneling, veneers, and other products for use in commercial and residential buildings. This FSC-certified reclaimed wood includes European beech, oak, spruce and pine from Russia, and “Jakarta market blend,” a mix of Asian hardwoods.

GeoSpring hybrid electric water heater from GE has an energy factor of 2.35 in hybrid mode and a first-hour rating of 63 gallons. It offers four operating modes, ranging from all-electric-resistance (using two 4,500-watt elements) to all-heat-pump operation. Among stand-alone heat-pump water heaters, the GE GeoSpring is also the quietest.


One of the most efficient ceiling fans on the market, the Haiku fan is designed for either commercial or residential use.

Photo: Big Ass Fans

Haiku ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans have brushless, electronically commutated DC motors for increased energy efficiency. Designed for both residential and commercial applications, Haiku ceiling fans use 2–30 watts, significantly exceeding Energy Star requirements. The fans come with an LED display and remote control, and can spin in reverse.

XS-P Series streetlight from Cree Lighting incorporates Cree LED light engines and BetaLED’s NanoOptic Precision Delivery Grid optics to deliver 100 lumens per watt of either 4000K or 5700K light precisely onto the ground where needed. The XSP is designed to be affordable, with a payback of as little as three years, yet it is compatible with dimming drivers and is available with optional occupancy sensors, remote monitoring, and other lighting controls.

Cyber Rain irrigation controllers were the first product to be certified to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense standards for weather-based irrigation controllers. The systems use local weather data along with plant, sprinkler, soil, slope, and sun exposure data to calculate evapotranspiration and provide just the right amount of water to maintain the health of different plant species and avoid overwatering.

More complete descriptions are available at

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November 29, 2012