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BuildingGreen Announces 2008 Top-10 Green Building Products

Boston, MA (November 20, 2008)

BuildingGreen, LLC, publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News™, today announced the 2008 Top-10 Green Building Products. This seventh annual award, announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference in Boston, 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 BuildingGreen president Alex Wilson. There are a particularly large number of interior products in this year’s group of winners: the first FSC-certified and formaldehyde-free bamboo flooring; doors made with wheat-straw particleboard; a line of zero-VOC paint; a transparent finish produced from a byproduct of cheese making; and a line of organic fabrics.

Three of the products this year save energy, including a low-cost, solar water-heating system; a combination heating, water heating, and heat-recovery ventilation system; and a system for monitoring real-time energy (and water) use in buildings. Water saving products are represented by a line of rainwater storage tanks—the first rainwater storage equipment ever recognized in our Top-10 lists.

Fully half of the products this year are green in part because they are made from natural, rapidly renewable, or agricultural waste materials; natural materials often require significantly less energy to manufacture. A new compressed-earth masonry block is particularly noteworthy in this regard. “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, such as certified wood, 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 2008 Top-10 Green Building Products are listed below. More complete descriptions and contact information is provided on the attached pages:

  • Integrity Block
  • Safe ‘N Sound Emerald doors from Masonite
  • FSC-certified Plyboo Pure bamboo flooring from Smith & Fong
  • Natura Paint from Benjamin Moore
  • PolyWhey Floor Finish from Vermont Natural Coatings
  • O Ecotextiles Natural-Fiber Fabrics
  • Matrix Total Home System from NTI
  • SunCache solar water heating system from Harpiris Energy
  • Agilewaves Resource Monitor
  • Rainwater H2OG storage tanks 

About GreenSpec

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 Environmental Building News carries advertising. “Our policy of not accepting money from manufacturers allows us to be objective in our review of products,” said Wilson. 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, LLC., celebrates its 23rd year in business this year. For information on BuildingGreen resources, visit www.BuildingGreen.com or call 800-861-0954.

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2008 BuildingGreen Top-10 Products

Integrity Block is a compacted-earth block used as a cost-competitive replacement for concrete masonry units (CMUs). Made from a proprietary soil mix that includes up to 60% pre-consumer recycled content (byproduct from mining or quarrying), Integrity Block uses 40% less energy to produce and meets ASTM C-90 for load-bearing CMUs. The portland cement content is approximately half that of standard block. Integrity Blocks are the color of the earth used in manufacturing, giving them a unique natural appearance without any added dyes or pigments. The company’s landscape product is currently available, with structural full and half blocks to be rolled out in late 2008. Integrity Blocks are initially being shipped in Northern California, though the company has plans for at least five additional plants nationwide within the next several years so that regional markets can be reached with low transportation (and carbon) impacts.

What makes this product green?

  • Pre-consumer recycled content
  • Natural or minimally processed
  • Releases minimal pollutants

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 4 — Recycled content

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Integrity Block

4966 El Camino Real, Suite 223

Los Altos, CA 94022

Phone: 650-641-3104

Fax: 650-963-1544

www.integrityblock.com

Media Contact:

Shawn Cunningham

Vice President of marketing

Integrity Block

4966 El Camino Real, Suite 223

Los Altos, CA 94022

Phone: 415-637-0800

Fax: 650-963-1544

www.integrityblock.com 

 

Safe ‘N Sound Emerald Doors from Masonite

Masonite’s Emerald Safe ‘N Sound solid-core interior doors have wheat-straw particleboard cores, skins made from composite wood, and stiles and rails made from made from solid wood certified according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. These doors reduce sound transmission and do not contain any added urea-formaldehyde. Safe ’N Sound Emerald doors are available in 1-3/8th-inch thickness and 6' 8", 7' 0", and 8' 0" heights, with widths from 1' 0" to 3' 0" for passage doors and 2' 0" to 6' 0" for bifold doors.

What makes this product green?

  • Agricultural waste material
  • FSC-certified wood
  • Rapidly renewable

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 4 — Recycled content
  • MR Credit 6 — Rapidly renewable materials
  • MR Credit 7 — Certified Wood

Mentioned in EBN: September 2008

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Masonite International Corporation

1 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Ste. 950

Tampa, FL 33609

Phone: 813-877-2726

Toll-free: 800-895-2723

Fax: 813-739-0106

www.masonite.com

Media Contact:

John Stahl, Product Manager

jstahl@masonite.com 

 

FSC-Certified PlybooPure Bamboo Flooring from Smith & Fong

Smith & Fong has introduced the first bamboo flooring to carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Available under the brand name PlybooPure, the flooring is also made with low-emitting, non-formaldehyde polyisocyanurate binder. PlybooPure comes either flat- or vertical-grained in a natural or amber color. It is available unfinished or prefinished with aluminum oxide; all flooring measures 5/8" x 3-3/4" x 75" and comes 23.4 ft2 per box. The company also offers a comprehensive range of trim moldings in stairnosing, threshold, reducer, and baseshoe profiles, and baseboard prefinished in amber or natural color.

What makes this product green?

  • Releases minimal pollutants
  • Rapidly renewable
  • Releases minimal pollutants

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 6 — Rapidly renewable materials
  • EQ Credit 4 — Low-emitting material
  • MR Credit 7 — Certified Wood

Mentioned in EBN: January 2008, May 2008

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Smith & Fong Company

475 6th St.

S. San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: 415-896-0577

Toll-free: 866-835-9859

Fax: 415-896-0583

www.plyboo.com

Media Contact:

John McIsaac, Media Director

503-481-9621

john@mcisaacpr.com 

 

Natura Paint from Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s Natura line of zero-VOC paints and primers are made for residential and light commercial use. These spatter-resistant paints dry quickly with little odor. Natura contains a proprietary 100% acrylic resin that, according to the company, will meet the Master Painter Institute’s Green Performance standard as well as Green Seal’s 2009 GS-11 standard covering chemical content and paint performance—though Benjamin Moore has decided to seek its own independent testing and will not be applying for MPI or GS-11 certification. While most zero-VOC paints use colorants containing as much as 150 grams per liter of VOCs, Natura uses Benjamin Moore’s own Gennex zero-VOC colorants. Natura is available as a primer as well as in flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss.

What makes this product green?

  • Releases minimal pollutants

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EQ Credit 3 — Construction IAQ management plane
  • EQ Credit 4 — Low-emitting materials

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Benjamin Moore & Co.

101 Paragon Dr.

Montvale, NJ 07645

Phone: 201-573-9600

Toll-free: 866-708-9181

Fax: 201-573-6673

www.benjaminmoore.com

Media Contact:

Eileen McComb, Director of Communications

201-949-6620

Eileen.mccomb@benjaminmoore.com 

 

PolyWhey Floor Finish from Vermont Natural Coatings

PolyWhey is a waterborne wood finish that uses recycled whey protein, a by-product of the dairy industry, as a binder. These LEED-qualifying, low-odor coatings contain no toxic heavy metals and have a VOC level less than 180 g/L. They provide a clear coating with water, chemical, and scratch-resistance and with twice the durability of other waterborne finishes, according to the company, making them suitable for high-traffic residential and commercial areas. PolyWhey finishes cover 500-600 square feet per gallon and can be applied with brush or spray gun, drying to the touch in under two hours and fully curing in under a week. As with traditional polyurethanes, proper preparation of the floor or other wood surface before coating is critical to create even coats and a quality seal. A slightly different formulation is available as a furniture finish. These coatings are available in gloss, semi-gloss, or satin finish; in five-gallon, gallon, quart, and pint sizes. The cans are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled polypropylene.

What makes this product green?

  • Agricultural waste material
  • Pre-consumer recycled content
  • Releases minimal pollutants
  • Rapidly renewable

LEED Credit relevance:

  • MR Credit 6 — Rapidly renewable materials
  • EQ Credit 4 — Low-emitting materials

Mentioned in EBN: June 2008

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Vermont Natural Coatings

180 Junction Rd.

P.O. Box 512

Hardwick, VT 05843

Phone: 802-472-8700

Fax: 802-472-5227

www.vermontnaturalcoatings.com

Media Contact:

Andrew Meyer, President

802-472-8700

andrew@vermontnaturalcoatings.com 

 

O Ecotextiles Natural-Fiber Fabrics

O Ecotextiles produces a diverse and luxurious collection of premium organic textiles that have been produced with careful attention to three critical factors: toxicity (both in the growing of the fibers and the production of the cloth), carbon footprint, and social justice. In pursuit of safe fabrics, every ecologically harmful aspect of the textile industry was carefully considered and almost entirely ameliorated. O Ecotextiles are made from 100% organic cotton or other sustainably grown fibers, including hemp, flax (linen), abaca, ramie, silk, and bamboo. The textiles are produced in living-wage environments. Manufacturing processes throughout the supply chain eliminate the use of a wide range of hazardous substances typical to the textile industry, and produce wastewater safe for aquatic life. Many of these fabrics exceed heavy-duty contract specifications as defined by ACT standards. Fabrics are third-party certified to meet the Oeko Tex Standard 100, with some fabrics also certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Other than certain functional finishes available on request, such as for flame retardancy and stain resistance, the fabrics are free of hazardous chemical residues.

What makes this product green?

  • Releases minimal pollutants
  • Alternative to hazardous components
  • Rapidly renewable
  • Reduces pollution or waste from operations

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EQ Credit 4 — Low-Emitting Materials

Mentioned in EBN: November 2007

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

O Ecotextiles Inc.

942 18th Ave. E.

Seattle, WA 98112

Phone: 206-633-1177

Fax: 206-322-9974

www.oecotextiles.com

Media Contact:

Julie Du Brow

Phone: 310-821-2463

Julie@dubroworks.com 

 

Matrix Total Home System from NTI

NTI’s Matrix is an integrated appliance that combines a gas-fired condensing boiler and furnace, condensing demand water heater, and heat-recovery ventilator into a single unit, and it is pre-configured for air conditioning. According to NTI, the Matrix’s advanced heat exchanger is capable of reducing gas consumption by 30% compared with a conventional system, providing an AFUE of 94 for forced-air and 92.7 for hydronic heating, and an energy factor of 0.85 for water heating. The Matrix can deliver five gallons of hot water per minute at 110°F (43°C) without a tank or standby energy loss. Features include an efficient, variable-speed, electronically commutated (ECM) motor; a microprocessor that adjusts heat output based on the home environment; and a sealed-combustion system that draws in outdoor air and directly vents exhaust. Compared with standard products, the efficient combustion results in less cycling, improved efficiency, and less noise, and it can be vented using conventional plastic piping. The Matrix is the first product to meet Canada's new CSA-P.10 standard for integrated mechanical systems, and it achieved a premium designation for the highest efficiency.

What makes this product green?

  • Equipment that conserves energy and manages loads
  • Blocks introduction, development, or spread of indoor contaminants

LEED Credit relavance:

  • EA Prerequisite 2 — Minimum energy performance
  • EA Credit 1 — Optimize energy performance
  • EQ Credit 2 — Increase ventilation effectiveness
  • EQ Credit 7 — Thermal comfort

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

NTI, Inc.

31 Industrial Dr.

Sussex, NB E4E 2R7 Canada

Phone: 506-432-1130

Fax: 506-432-1135

www.nythermal.com

Media Contact:

Ashley Hanlin, Marketing Coordinator

506-674-7658

ahanlin@nythermal.com 

 

SunCache Solar Water Heating System from Harpiris Energy

The SunCache integral-collector-storage (ICS) solar water heater uses a roof-mounted, water-filled, unpressurized, polyethylene panel and copper heat exchanger to pre-heat water for domestic use. Developed through research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the relatively inexpensive SunCache captures heat in 50 gallons of non-circulating water stored in a rooftop panel. When a hot-water tap is turned on, cold water from the supply line flows through copper heat exchanger embedded in the panel, extracting heat from the stored water. The pre-heated water then flows, via cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing, to a conventional storage or tankless water heater. No pumps are used. The acrylic glazing minimizes convective heat loss, but nighttime losses from the collector will still be significant. People using hot water in the afternoon or early evenings will see the greatest energy savings. SunCache is affordable and easy to install, making it appropriate for both professional and do-it-yourself installations. The water heater is designed for warm climates, including the Sun Belt, and is not intended for use in cold climates.

What makes this product green?

  • Renewable energy and fuel cells

LEED Credit relevance:

  • EA Prerequisite 2 — Minimum Energy Performance
  • EA Credit 2 — Renewable Energy

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Harpiris Energy

25205 Baronet Rd.

Corral de Tierra, CA 93908

Phone: 530-220-7000

Fax: 831-373-2344

www.harpiris.com

Media Contact:

Eric Lee, President 530-220-7000 eric@harpiris.com 

 

Agilewaves Resource Monitor

Agilewaves Resource Monitor provides residential and commercial building owners with real-time data on electricity, gas, and water consumption. This system can be accessed via the Internet, providing monitoring data from circuits, rooms, water lines, and appliances. Agilewaves can also track, store, and analyze temperature, humidity, air quality, output from PV and solar water-heating systems, utility costs, and carbon footprint information. It can also communicate with certain building management systems to actively manage loads based on real-time usage. By influencing occupant behavior, Agilewaves can help reduce energy, gas, and water consumption by up to 20%, according to the company. Each system is custom-configured to meet specific monitoring needs, such as runoff from green roofs.

What makes this product green?

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

LEED credit relevance:

  • EA Credit 1 — Optimize energy performance
  • EA Credit 3 — Additional Commissioning
  • EA Credit 5 — Measurement and Verification

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Agilewaves, Inc.

441 S. California Ave., Ste. 2

Palo Alto, CA 94306

Phone: 650-326-6500

www.agilewaves.com

Media Contact:

Rebecca Geller

Phone: 415-963-4409

rebecca@rebeccageller.com 

 

Rainwater H20G Tanks

The Rainwater HOG is a modular rainwater storage tank for use in tight spaces such as under decks, against houses, or even within walls. Two versions are available: a potable water tank made from virgin food-grade polyethylene and a non-food-grade tank made with 15% recycled content. Each module holds 50 gallons of water that can be used for gardening, irrigation, toilets, laundry, or (with the food-grade tank and after proper filtration) potable water. When installed within a building envelope, the tanks can serve as thermal storage for passive solar heating systems. These 71" x 19.5" x 8.5" tanks can be installed horizontally or vertically, and they can be installed in series. They come with inlet screens, elbow vents, and outlet valves; tanks and components are designed for future reuse. Rainwater HOG is available as a stand-alone tank that is plumbed into the downspout or as part of a complete rainwater harvesting system called Rainwater Rescue, which combines the Rainwater HOG tank with GLI Systems’ RainTube roof-level water collector. Standard colors include bronze or olive green, but other colors are available for orders of 20 or more units. Rainwater HOG comes with a one-year guarantee. A 350-gallon HOGzilla tank is being introduced in 2009.

What makes this product green?

  • Pre-consumer recycled content
  • Renewable energy and fuel cells
  • Fixtures and equipment that conserve water
  • Reduce pollution or waste from operations

LEED Credit relevance:

  • SS Credit 6 — Stormwater management
  • WE Credit 1 — Water-efficient landscaping
  • WE Credit 3 — Water use reduction
  • MR Credit 4 — Recycled Content

Mentioned in EBN: November 2007

View GreenSpec listing

More information:

Rainwater HOG

402 Redwood Avenue

Corte Madera, CA 94925

Toll-free: 888 700 1096

www.rainwaterhog.com

Media Contact:

Simon Dominguez, President

415-891-8758

simon@rainwaterhog.com 

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