Sustainable Industries, a sustainable business magazine, recently released their 2009 Top 10 Green Building Products guide, which showcases the best products of the year. A leading panel of green building experts and the editorial team from Sustainable Industries act as the judges to determine the most innovative products that will help reduce our environmental impact. The products were selected based on their environmental performance, scalability/market impact, innovativeness, design aesthetic, value and compatibility with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Read on to find out more about the winning products in no particular order.
Acadia Combined Heating and Cooling System, by Hallowell International
The Acadia system by Hallowell International is an incredibly efficient residential heat pump that comes close to the efficiency of a geothermal heat pump, but at a much lower cost. This heat pump also works really well at colder temperatures, where other heat pumps drop in efficiency as the temperature drops. While it may cost about 30% more than traditional heating/cooling systems, the Acadia will use about 30% less energy.
ec-H20, by Tennant Co.
The ec-H20 is a powerful cleaning machine that can clean almost any surface with just water, which eliminates the need for cleaners. While not useful in a home setting, the commercial scrubber reduces water usage by 70-80%. The machine works by activating water electrically so it acts as a powerful detergent.
InSpire Wall, by ATAS International
This innovative building system technology is a exterior wall that acts as a solar collector for air. The InSpire Wall is installed a few inches from the building’s wall. Air enters through tiny perforations and is heated in the interior space by the sun. The air then rises and enters the building’s ventilation system as pre-heated air, thereby reducing heating costs by up to $5 per sq foot of building space. In the summer, the InSpire wall acts as a barrior to the sun’s heat and vents hot air back out rather than heating the building.
kama EEBS Structural Systems, by kama Energy Efficient Building Systems Inc.
The kama building system combines light gauge metal stud framing with expanded polystyrene insulation to create a tight, energy-efficient building envelope. This metal stud framing system eliminates thermal bridging and has a very high R value. Despite the fact that the polystyrene is still made from petroleum products, the building system is produced and transported efficiently.
Plyboo Pure Bamboo Plywood, by Smith & Fong Co.
Plyboo isn’t the only bamboo flooring out there, but it was the first imported bamboo in the US and is now the first FSC certified bamboo flooring. Since bamboo is technically a grass, it was not considered eligible to be FSC certified, but Smith & Fong lobbied the organization to include it, and because of this it is included in 2009 winners.
RainTube, by GLI Systems Inc.
The RainTube is a rain gutter filter made from 100% recycled high density polyethlyne (milk jugs) and is also Cradle to Cradle certified. Not only is it made from a recycled material, but the product can be recovered at the end of its useful life. The RainTube filters debris from roof run-off so that all the available water can be collected and used. GLI Systems also manufactures rain barrels that work with the RainTube.
Separett Villa, by Separett
This composting toilet separates urine and solids and eliminates the need for plumbing or water. This kind of system is perfect for where no plumbing exists, but is even better for water reduction and also making it possible to reuse the waste for composting and fertilizing. The PVC-free toilet could significantly help reduce disease in developing areas where there is little access to clean sanitation and water.
Serious Windows, by Serious Materials
Serious Windows are incredibly efficient windows made from fiberglass and foam that have full frame R-values from R-7 up to R-11. These windows go above and beyond even Energy Star rated windows and have the potential to eliminate heating systems to rely solely on waste heat from indoor appliances.
Solatube Daylighting Systems, bySolatube International
Solatube has been around for years and has helped many homeowners add more daylight to dark areas and reduce the need for lighting. Recently Solatube has released a commercial daylighting system for larger and commercial spaces, which will improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and improve sales.
Your Old Light Fixture, by Eleek
Eleek is the only company to be on the Top 10 list for 4 years running, which is due to their important business of lighting renovation. One aspect of their company is to take old lighting fixtures and completely restore the fixture reusing most of the parts and only updating the wiring to comply with code, and the lamp base to take CFL or LED bulbs. Their service is not only handcrafted specialty, but also reduces the need for new fixtures.