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BuildingGreen Announces 2006 Top-10 Green Building Products

Denver, CO (November 15, 2006)

BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News™, today announced the 2006 Top-10 Green Building Products. This fifth annual award, announced at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild Conference in Denver, recognizes the most exciting products drawn from additions to the GreenSpec Directory and coverage in Environmental Building News.

"The range of product types showing exemplary innovation is amazing," noted GreenSpec coeditor Alex Wilson. Three of BuildingGreen's winning products this year have the primary environmental attribute of saving energy. Two products save water. Three products are green in part because they are made from recycled waste; one is a system of salvaging material. Rounding out the list are an innovative way of turning an ordinary material, concrete, into one of the best flooring options for commercial buildings, and a provider of renewable energy credits, an excellent way for any building owner to support renewable energy. "Most of the Top-10 products this year have multiple environmental attributes," said Wilson.

BuildingGreen's Top-10 product selections, as in previous years, are drawn primarily from new additions to the company's GreenSpec product directory. More than 250 product listings have been added to the GreenSpec database during the past year. "New products seem to be appearing at an ever-faster pace," said Wilson. The GreenSpec database his company maintains now includes more than 2,100 product listings. Not all GreenSpec product listings or Top-10 selections are new to the market. "While many of the products we add to GreenSpec are brand new and innovative, others have been around for a while." said Wilson. "In some cases, we like to see evidence of success in the real world before recognizing green products."

A big driver in the development of green products continues to be the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Rating System (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which awards points for the use of certain product types or for the energy or water savings that green products can achieve. "Designers of LEED buildings are looking for green products, and manufacturers are responding," said Wilson. In the online version of GreenSpec, users can find products organized by LEED credits.

The 2006 Top-10 Green Building Products are listed below. More complete descriptions and contact information is provided on the attached pages:

Descriptions and manufacturer contact information

  • Polished concrete system from RetroPlate
  • Underwater standing timber salvage by Triton Logging
  • PaperStone Certified composite surface material from KlipTech Composites, Inc.
  • Varia and "100 Percent" recycled-content panel products from 3form, Inc.
  • Recycled-content interior molding from Timbron International
  • SageGlass tintable glazing from Sage Electrochromics
  • Water-efficient showerhead with H2Okinetic technology from Delta
  • WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controls from HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc.
  • Coolerado Cooler advanced, indirect evaporative air conditioner from Coolerado, LLC
  • Renewable Energy Credits from Community Energy, Inc.

About GreenSpec Directory: GreenSpec is the leading national directory of green building products. Products are selected by editors of Environmental Building News (EBN) based on criteria developed over the past 15 years. Manufacturers do not pay to be listed in GreenSpec, and neither GreenSpec nor any other BuildingGreen publication carries advertising; both are supported exclusively by users of the information. "Our policy of not accepting money from manufacturers allows us to be objective in our review of products," said Wilson. A new 7th edition of the printed GreenSpec Directory will be published in 2007. The GreenSpec product database is also available online as part of BuildingGreen Suite, which is growing quickly in popularity. Environmental Building News, founded in 1992, is the oldest and most widely respected newsletter in the green building field. For information on BuildingGreen resources, visit www.BuildingGreen.com or call 800-861-0954.

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2006 BuildingGreenTop-10 Products

Described below are the Top-10 Green Building Products for 2006, selected by the editors of GreenSpec® and Environmental Building News™. These products have either been added to GreenSpec during the past year (though some may have been on the market longer), or covered in Environmental Building News. Additional information on these products is available in the online edition of GreenSpec or Environmental Building News, both of which are available through the subscription-based BuildingGreen Suite (www.BuildingGreen.com).



Polished Concrete System from RetroPlate

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

Polishing concrete is a relatively new technique for turning both new and old concrete slabs into attractive, durable, finished floors. RetroPlate™ (from Advanced Floor Products, Inc.) of Provo, Utah, pioneered this process of grinding, polishing, and chemically hardening (densifying) concrete in the 1990s, and its system has now been used on more than 100 million square feet of flooring. The RetroPlate process was developed by combining European stone-grinding and polishing technology with concrete hardening and densifying agents that had been used in North America. In the process, large walk-behind diamond-wheel grinders remove between 1/16th and 1/4 inch of the concrete floor surface. Consecutively finer-grit grinding and polishing wheels achieve a fine polish (up to 3,000-grit). During the polishing process, sodium silicate is applied; this is absorbed and reacts with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to form calcium silicate hydrate, which crystallizes within the concrete matrix. The resultant concrete surface is highly durable, easy to maintain, free of VOC emissions, and more reflective (which can reduce light level requirements). The system enables the concrete slab to serve as the finished floor surface, thus reducing material use.

What makes this product green?

  • Reduces impacts from construction or demolition
  • Reduces heating and cooling loads
  • Alternative to hazardous components
  • Releases minimal pollutants
  • Exceptional durability or low-maintenance

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 1 - Building Reuse

Mentioned in EBN: February 2006

Product information:
RetroPlate - Advanced Floor Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 80533
Provo, UT 84605
Phone: 801-812-3420
Toll-free: 888-942-3144
Fax: 801-812-3400
www.retroplatesystem.com

Media contact:
Vernon Talbot, Managing Director
RetroPlate - Advanced Floor Products, Inc.
Phone: 801-812-3420
Fax: 801-812-3400
vernon@retroplatesystem.com
 



Underwater Standing Timber Salvage by Triton Logging

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

Triton Logging, Inc. harvests underwater standing trees from forests that were submerged decades ago by reservoirs created by hydroelectric dams. In British Columbia alone, Triton estimates that there are five billion board feet of salvageable underwater timber, and worldwide the total could exceed 100 billion board feet. The company uses its proprietary Sawfish™ logging submarine, which is tethered to a surface ship and controlled remotely. The Sawfish clamps onto a standing tree, attaches inflatable floats, then cuts the trunk with an electric chainsaw; the tree floats to the surface where it is processed and loaded onto a barge. Because the trees are cut the reservoir floor, sediments are not disturbed in the process. The company recovers Douglas fir, western white pine, lodgepole pine, hemlock, and other species year-round using three Sawfish submarines. All of the milled wood is certified as SmartWood Rediscovered by the Rainforest Alliance. The company produces a range of lumber products and is launching a line of glulam beams made from underwater-salvaged timber.

What makes this product green?

  • Salvaged products

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 3 - Resource Reuse

Mentioned in EBN: July 2006

Product information:
Triton Logging, Inc. 
6675 Mirah Road
Saanichton, BC V8M1Z4
Phone: 250-652-4033
Fax: 250-483-1955
www.tritonlogging.com

Media contact:
Jim Hayhurst, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Triton Logging, Inc.
Phone: 250-652-4033
jim.hayhurst@tritonlogging.com
 



SageGlass Tintable Glazing from Sage Electrochromics

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

SageGlass® is an electronically tintable exterior glazing that provides glare control on demand while preserving views. Unlike earlier switchable glazing products that degraded with exposure to UV light, SageGlass is a multi-layer, thin-film tungsten-oxide coating that is as durable as low-emissivity coatings. The glazing uses 0.28 W/ft2 to switch the glass from clear to tinted state, a process that takes several minutes, and 0.1 W/ft2 to maintain that tinted state. Used with typical clear glass in an insulated glazing unit, SageGlass reduces the visible transmittance from 62% to 3.5% while reducing the solar heat gain coefficient from 0.48 to 0.09. Sage Electrochromics, Inc. is partnering with numerous window, skylight, and curtainwall manufacturers to produce both commercial and residential products with this glazing control options; these products can provide energy savings, control peak electricity demand, enhance comfort, and potentially result in higher worker productivity. The product is available from such partners as Velux®, Architectural Wall Systems, Inc., Harmon, Inc., the Vistawall Group, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, and YKK AP America, Inc. While SageGlass is currently very expensive (increasing the cost of insulated glass six- to seven-fold), Sage Electrochromics expects the cost to eventually become competitive with standard high-performance glazing combined with interior mechanized shades.

What makes this product green?

  • Building components that reduce heating and cooling loads
  • Improves light quality

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EA Credit 1 - Optimize Energy Performance
  • IEQ Credit 6 - Controllability of Systems
  • IEQ Credit 7 - Thermal Comfort
  • IEQ Credit 8 - Daylight and Views

Mentioned in EBN: June 2006

Product information:
Sage Electrochromics, Inc.
One Sage Way
Faribault, MN 55021
Phone: 507-331-4848
Toll-free: 877-724-3321
Fax: 507-333-0145
www.sage-ec.com

Media Contacts:
Heather West
Heather West Public Relations
612-724-8760
heatherwest@earthlink.net 

Lou Podbelski, Vice President Marketing
Sage Electrochromics, Inc.
Phone: 507-331-4935 
lpodbelski@sage-ec.com
 



PaperStone Certified Composite Surface Material from KlipTech Composites

 

[view GreenSpec listing: Composition Siding]
[view GreenSpec listing: Countertops]
[view GreenSpec listing: Toilet Partitions]

PaperStone™, from KlipTech Composites, is a dense, hard, water-resistant, solid-surface composite material used for skateboard ramps, countertops, toilet partitions, and exterior rainscreen siding. It is made from cellulose fiber (paper) and a non-petroleum phenolic resin derived in part from a natural phenolic oil in the shells of cashews. KlipTech offers two versions of the product: standard PaperStone contains at least 50% post-consumer recycled paper; the newer PaperStone Certified has 100% post-consumer recycled paper. The latter product is third-party certified by SmartWood to carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recycled-content label. Overall, the product is 60% paper fiber by weight and 40% resin. KlipTech has been producing the PaperStone rainscreen product (PaperStone XV) exclusively for Starbucks until November, 2006, when it rolled out the product for broader uses. While PaperStone Certified today includes some coal-derived phenolic resin, company founder and vice-president Joel Klippert expects to convert to 100% natural resins in 2007.

What makes this product green?

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 4 - Recycled Content
  • MR Credit 6 - Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • IEQ Credit 4 - Low-Emitting Materials

Mentioned in EBN: April 2006

Product information:
KlipTech Composites
2999 John Stevens Way
Hoquiam, WA 98550
Phone: 360-538-9815
Fax: 360-538-1510
www.paperstoneproducts.com

Media contact:
Joel Klippert, Founder and Vice-President
KlipTech Composites
Phone: 360-538-9815
joel@kliptech.com
 



Varia and "100 Percent" Recycled-Content Panel Products from 3form, Inc.

 

[view GreenSpec listing: 100 Percent]

[view GreenSpec listing: Varia]

Two interior panel products from 3form, Inc. offer interior designers a wide range of design opportunities coupled with recycled content and low emissions. Varia™ is 3form's line of eye-catching transparent and translucent panels made from its 40% pre-consumer recycled-content Ecoresin™, which is a copolyester (PETG) that is chemically similar to the PET used in beverage containers. Some of the Varia products include plant materials—collected by indigenous peoples using environmentally responsible practices—that impart biophilic design features to the product, helping building occupants feel more connected to nature. The opaque 3form 100 Percent product is made from 100% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Available in a range of colors and patterns, 100 Percent is appropriate for such applications as toilet partitions, interior workstations, and interior trim. The company has recently added UV-inhibitors that make the product appropriate for outdoor applications. Scientific Certification Systems has certified the recycled content of 3form Varia and Greenguard Environmental Institute has certified its low emissions; similar certifications for 3form 100 Percent are expected in 2007.

What makes this product green?

  • Post-industrial recycled content
  • Post-consumer recycled content
  • Does not release significant pollutants into the building

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 4 - Recycled Content
  • EQ Credit 4 - Low-Emitting Materials

Mentioned in EBN: November 2006

Product information:

3form, Inc.

2300 South 2300 West, Suite B

Salt Lake City, UT 84119

Phone: 801-649-2500

Toll-free: 800-726-0126

Fax: 801-649-2699

www.3-form.com

Media contacts:

Jennifer Voros, Marketing Coordinator

3form, Inc.

Phone: 801-649-2592

Cell: 801-641-0808

jen.voros@3-form.com
 



Recycled-Content Interior Molding from Timbron International

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

Timbron® International, Inc. produces interior molding in a variety of profiles that are made from at least 90% recycled polystyrene—75% post-consumer and 15% pre-consumer, certified by Scientific Certification Systems. (The company claims that the typical recycled content is 95%-97%.) The product, first introduced in 2000, is made from both expanded polystyrene packaging foam and high-impact polystyrene from such sources as compact disc jewel cases; small quantities of a coloring agent, a UV stabilizer, and a foaming agent; additional flame retardants are not added. Timbron is highly durable, waterproof, termite-proof, paintable (though also suitable unpainted as white), and fully workable with carpentry tools. The manufacturer is planning to have third-party VOC emissions testing conducted and expects Timbron to be certified as non-emitting. While usable anywhere indoors, the product is especially appropriate for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements, where moisture or humidity levels may be high. Timbron is manufactured in Stockton, California, distributed nationally, and available in more than 1,700 Home Depot stores. Cost is comparable to or slightly higher than finger-jointed pine.

What makes this product green?

  • Post-consumer recycled content
  • Pre-consumer recycled content
  • Exceptional durability or low maintenance
  • Low emitting

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 4 - Recycled Content
  • EQ Credit 4 - Low Emitting Material

Product information:
Timbron International, Inc.
1333 North California Avenue, Suite 545
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: 925-943-1632
Fax: 925-943-1164
www.timbron.com

Media contact:
Heather Gadonniex, Environmental Stewardship Representative
Timbron International, Inc.
Phone: 925-943-1632
Cell: 510-333-1815
hgadonniex@timbron.com
 



Water-Efficient Showerhead with H2Okinetic Technology from Delta

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

In April 2006, Delta Faucet Company introduced a revolutionary showerhead that delivers superb performance using just 1.6 gallons of water per minute. Delta worked with Bowles Fluidics Corporation to develop their H2Okinetic Technology™, which produces droplets that are fairly large, resulting in good heat retention and body wetting. By comparison, many low-flow showerheads either create very small droplets or aerate the water, either of which can allow the water to cool quickly and make showering less satisfactory. The showerhead is currently available only with a chrome finish, but a stainless steel model and other designs are coming in early 2007.

What makes this product green?

  • Fixtures and equipment that conserve water
  • Equipment that conserves energy

LEED Credits:

  • WE Credit 3 - Water Use Reduction

Mentioned in EBN: May 2006

Product information:
Delta Faucet Company
55 East 111th Street
P.O. Box 40980
Indianapolis, IN 46280
Phone: 317-848-1812
Toll-free: 800-345-3358
Fax: 317-848-0713
www.deltafaucet.com

Media contact:
Emily Linendoll
Gibbs & Soell, Inc.
Phone: 212-697-2600
elinendoll@gibbs-soell.com

 



WeatherTRAK Smart Irrigation Controls from HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc.

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

The best option for outdoor landscapes is usually native, climate-appropriate plantings that do not require irrigation, but where irrigation is required, efficiency is essential. HydroPoint® Data Systems, Inc. has revolutionized irrigation management in North America through its WeatherTRAK® irrigation control systems that create watering schedules based on physical landscape features (soil type, slope, and plantings) as well as weather data that is beamed wirelessly to the controllers each day. While most irrigation controllers base water delivery on time-of-day metering, sometimes with override controls for soil moisture, the WeatherTRAK system uses actual local weather conditions to examine evapotranspiration (ET) rates and regulate water delivery accordingly—so that irrigation will occur in the correct amounts and not if rainfall is occurring or predicted. According to HydroPoint, 60%-65% of urban water use goes to outdoor irrigation, and 30%-60% of that is wasted. The WeatherTRAK system has been shown to reduce outdoor water use by up to 59%, according to the Santa Barbara County Water Agency and reduce non-point source runoff pollution by as much as 71%, according to various agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Water Reclamation. Both residential and commercial WeatherTRAK systems are fully compatible with most irrigation systems, and they also offer an Internet control unit. The company has partnerships with irrigation equipment providers The Toro® Company and Irritrol® Systems.

What makes this product green?

  • Fixtures and equipment that conserve water
  • Reduces stormwater pollution

LEED Credit relevance:

  • WE Credit 1 - Water Efficient Landscaping

Product information:
HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc.
1726 Corporate Circle
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 800-362-8774
Fax: 707-769-9695
www.weathertrak.com

Media contact:
Caroline Nordahl Brosio, Marketing Director
HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc.
Phone: 707-285-3243
caroline@hydropoint.com


Coolerado Cooler Advanced, Indirect Evaporative Air Conditioner from Coolerado, LLC

 

[view GreenSpec listing]

The Coolerado Cooler is a revolutionary air conditioning system that relies on the evaporation of water (latent heat of vaporization) to cool a space, but its similarity to standard evaporative coolers, or swamp coolers, is so remote that the company does not even use the term "evaporative" to describe its product. Conventional (direct) evaporative coolers cool the air that is blown into the living space by evaporating water into that air, raising the humidity. Direct-indirect evaporative coolers introduce less moisture, but still raise humidity. The Coolerado is an all-indirect system that does not add any moisture. (Because of this, it can be used in some areas of the country that are inappropriate for direct or direct-indirect evaporative coolers, though it still makes the most sense in drier areas in the western U.S.) It can be used in series or parallel with conventional compression-cycle air conditioning, because it won't add moisture and make the conventional system work harder. The Coolerado R600 delivers four to six tons of cooling with electricity consumption of 1,200 watts—750 watts if specified with an electronically commutated motor (ECM). The cooling output depends on the temperature and humidity of the outside air; in Las Vegas the cooling output in tons will be much greater than in Boston. The energy efficiency ratio (EER) is 40-plus, according to the company—two to three times as efficient as the best compression-cycle air conditioners. Water consumption can be significant; it is comparable to or slightly lower than that of direct evaporative coolers—as much as 12 gallons per hour at peak load, but typically averaging about 4 gallons per hour over the cooling season.

What makes this product green?

  • Energy savings

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EA Credit 1 - Optimize Energy Performance

Product information:
Coolerado, LLC
4700 West 60th Ave., Unit 3
Arvada, CO 80003
Phone: 303-375-0878
Fax: 303-375-1693
www.coolerado.com

Media Contact:
Rick Gillan, president
Phone: 303-375-0878 ext. 105
rickgillar@idalex.com
 



Renewable Energy Credits from Community Energy, Inc.

 

Renewable energy credits (RECs), often referred to as "green tags," provide a way for building owners who are unable to install their own renewable energy systems to buy conventional grid power, while also buying the environmental attributes of electricity produced from renewable energy. Buyers of RECs aren't actually getting electrons derived from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources, but by paying extra for their power—from a fraction of a cent to several cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)—they are helping to displace conventional grid power and subsidize the further development of renewables. Quantitatively, each renewable energy credit (or certificate) aligns with one megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean, renewable electricity generation. Community Energy, Inc., founded in 1999, is one of the leading North American providers of RECs and one of the few that develops its own renewable energy generation capacity. Community Energy jointly owns the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm and the Bear Creek Wind Farm, and has additional wind projects under development in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Rocky Mountains. To date the company, which provides RECs under the brand name NewWind Energy®, has sold more than 4 billion kWh of wind energy to 100,000 residential customers and wholesale through marketing arrangements with 18 investor-owned and municipal utility companies.

What makes this product green?

  • Renewable Energy

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EA Credit 6 - Green Power

Mentioned in EBN: October 2006

Product information:
Community Energy, Inc.
150 Strafford Avenue, Suite 210
Wayne, PA 19087
Phone: 610-254-9800
Toll-free: 866-946-3123
Fax: 610-254-9781
www.communityenergy.biz or 

Contact:
Paul Copleman, Sales and Marketing Operations Manager
Community Energy, Inc.
484-654-0106
paul.copleman@newwindenergy.com

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