Chicago, IL (November 08, 2007)—
BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News™, today announced the 2007 Top-10 Green Building Products. This sixth annual award, announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference in Chicago, recognizes the most exciting products drawn from additions to the GreenSpec Directory and coverage in Environmental Building News.
“Our selections of the Top-10 Green Building Products represent a wide range of product types in many different application areas,” noted GreenSpec coeditor and BuildingGreen president Alex Wilson. Four of BuildingGreen’s winning products this year save energy. Two products save water. Three products are green in part because they are made from recycled or recovered material; two because they avoid hazardous manufacturing or disposal of materials, and one aids in the siting of solar energy systems. “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 from new additions to the company’s GreenSpec product directory. More than 200 product listings have been added to the GreenSpec database during the past year. “New products seem to be appearing all the time, making it a challenge for our staff to keep up,” said Wilson. The GreenSpec database the company maintains now includes more than 2,000 product listings.
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 2007 Top-10 Green Building Products are listed below. More complete descriptions and contact information is provided on the attached pages:
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 was published in 2007. The GreenSpec product database is also available online as part of BuildingGreen Suite. Environmental Building News, founded in 1992, is the oldest and most widely respected newsletter in the green building field. BuildingGreen, Inc., celebrates its 22nd year in business this year.
Described below are the Top-10 Green Building Products for 2007,
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
FreeForm is a new FSC-certified particleboard that is produced with
no added urea-formaldehyde. A melamine-formaldehyde binder is used
rather than industry-standard urea-formaldehyde. Initial chamber testing
has shown formaldehyde emissions to be in the range of 0.09 to 0.13
parts per million which meets the recently announced Phase I California
Air Resources Board (CARB) standards for formaldehyde emissions—but not
the Phase II standards. Within a year, the company anticipates that
FreeForm will meet Phase II standards, and it hopes to eventually
eliminate formaldehyde-based binders altogether. All FreeForm
particleboard carries the Forest Stewardship Council label, designating
products sourced from third-party-certified, well-managed forests. In
contrast, with many other FSC products, the certification is an option
available only at an upcharge. While low-formaldehyde particleboard made
with phenolic binders is darker than conventional UF-particleboard (due
to the reddish color of phenol-formaldehyde), FreeForm is lighter in
color, because melamine binder is white.
180 Walls from Milliken is a highly permeable, woven wallcovering for
commercial applications made from 100% pre-consumer recycled polyester.
It has a self-adhesive backing that eliminates the need for paste. This
product has achieved a Silver rating in McDonough Braungart Design
Chemistry's Cradle-to-Cradle certification program, and is certified to
meet the Greenguard Children and Schools standard. (It was the first
Greenguard-certified wallcovering to be tested with its adhesive.) 180
Walls is less expensive than most fabric wallcoverings.
The top-of-the-line 800 Series SHE98M line of Evolution Dishwashers
from Bosch are the most energy efficient and quietest full-size
dishwashers available in America. The SHE98M model is rated at just 190
kWh per year of electricity consumption, has an Energy Factor of 1.14,
and a noise level of 42 dBA. This dishwasher sets the standard for green
performance today. The Energy Factor of this dishwasher is 148% higher
than the federal standard in the U.S. and 73% higher than the Energy
Star requirement. This dishwasher is also available in the Integra line
as the SMX98M model. As a company, Bosch has made a strong commitment to
the environment and is the only appliance manufacturer with 100% of
applicable products currently meeting Energy Star standards.
Danyel Tiefenbacher, Brand Manager, Dishwashers
BSH Home Appliance Corp.
Skyline Design’s Greenplay furnishings for children’s environments
include tables, seating, shelving, and play spaces. Products are made
with environmentally responsible and healthy materials and finishes,
including post-consumer recycled plastic, sunflower hulls, and
FSC-certified wood. All paints and coatings are zero- or very low-VOC;
adhesives are entirely avoided in favor of mechanical attachments,
improving end-of-life recyclability. Skyline Design also has a take-back
policy in which it will accept outgrown Greenplay components to
repurpose and donate.
Caroma’s new Cube3 Ultra urinal is an advanced,
ultra-low-flush urinal that flushes using just one pint (0.5 liters) of
water. The product features a bowl that is optimized for very low water
use and a liquid-sensing (as opposed to motion-sensing) automatic flush
mechanism that prevents false flushes. The high-gloss vitreous china
surface minimizes staining and improves sanitation and cleaning. With
mixed success of waterless urinals in the field and lingering resistance
by building officials, ultra-low-flush urinals (using one quart, 1
liter, or less) provide an attractive alternative.
Nearly all electrical cable today is insulated and sheathed with PVC
or other halogenated plastics, such as Teflon (a fluoropolymer); many
cable products also contain lead and other heavy metals as well as
phthalate plasticizers (which are likely endocrine disruptors).
LifeGuard is a line of low-smoke, near-zero-halogen electrical cables
(some may contain trace amounts), many of which are lead-free and RoHS
compliant (for the European Reduction of Hazardous Substances accord).
Houston Wire & Cable Company sells LifeGuard primarily for
high-reliability needs in utility and industry applications. The cable
has also been used in highly populated commercial applications such as
hospitals, transportation corridors, and universities where toxic smoke
from halogenated cable is of particular concern. Products are available
that are appropriate for commercial and residential applications,
though, to date, high cost has discouraged use for residential wiring.
Lance Howland, Marketing Services Manager
Houston Wire & Cable Company
EnOcean produces a variety of energy-harvesting wireless controls for
lighting and other building-automation equipment. Developed by German
engineering giant Siemens and spun off as a separate company, EnOcean
has engineered radio-frequency communication to use just one-tenth the
power of most such controllers, and figured out how to power these
devices by harvesting ambient energy—including mechanical energy from
operating a light switch or photovoltaic energy from lighting in a room.
This enables the controllers to operate without batteries, thus saving
the materials, energy, and waste from battery manufacturing and
disposal. Because wiring is not required, advanced controls may be more
widely used, thus resulting in significant building energy savings.
The Solmetric SunEye is a hand-held electronic device for measuring
solar shading and calculating solar access for solar installers and
green builders. It has an integrated fish-eye lens and digital camera
that captures an image of the site. Integrated electronics plot solar
exposure at that location. Users can edit images, simulating the removal
of obstructions such as trees or structures. Shading percentages in
monthly, seasonal, annual, and multi-skyline averages can be determined
in the field or uploaded to a personal computer via USB data cable for
further analysis, reporting, and printing. The Solmetric SunEye
automatically generates reports for sales quotes and solar rebate
Incandescent lighting is highly inefficient—converting about 90% of
the electrical energy into heat, rather than light. Fluorescent lamps,
including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are three to four times as
energy efficient as incandescent light sources and last up to ten times
as long, but they require mercury, a toxic heavy metal. LED
(light-emitting diode) lighting requires no mercury, and LED light
sources have extremely long lifetimes—up to 50,000 hours, or three to
five times that of fluorescent lamps. Until recently, LEDs did not
approach fluorescent lamps in efficacy—the light output in lumens per
watt of electricity consumption—and the light quality was not nearly as
good as incandescent lamps. Now LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. (LLF) has
introduced an LED downlight, the LR6, that uses just under 11 watts to
provide 650 lumens of light, for a measured efficacy of 60 lumens per
watt, which is better than CFL downlights. Just as significantly, the
lamp has a color rendering index (CRI) of 92, which is significantly
better than most CFLs. LLF achieves this performance by using a
proprietary mix of red and yellowish-green LEDs—42 per fixture—behind a
diffuser to provide a natural-looking, warm-white light. By contrast,
most “white” LEDs achieve the white light by coating blue LEDs with a
yellow phosphor, which results in a cool-blue rendering. The LLF LR6 was
the grand prize winner in the Solid State Lighting category in the 2007
Lighting for Tomorrow competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of
Energy and others. The product is designed to fit into standard 6"
recessed cans and is available with Edison screw-base and the newer
Gary Trott, Vice President for Product Development
LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc.
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