Launch Slideshow

BuildingGreen's Top Products for Green Homes

Here's a look at the 5 winning products that are suitable for residential use.

BuildingGreen's Top Products for Green Homes

Here's a look at the 5 winning products that are suitable for residential use.

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    Bensonwood. Using eco-friendly materials, the OBPlus wall system is framed with 9 ½-inch-deep I-studs filled with R-35 dense-pack cellulose insulation, and then clad with exterior moisture-resistant OSB sheathing with taped joints. Advanced gasket technology is used for air sealing, a drainage plane is installed on the exterior, and interior baseboard raceways eliminate wall penetrations for wiring. Also offered is a Passive House option, achieving up to R-60 walls and comparable roof systems, according to the company. 877.203.3562.

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    Electec. EZ-Wiring is a cost-effective plug-and-play modular wiring system that contains no halogens, which are commonly used in cable sheathing, and no heavy metals. The EZ-Wiring D-Series is a four-wire system for lighting applications, designed for reuse and reconfiguration using foolproof, uniquely keyed connections. This makes retrofits simpler and prevents buildup of abandoned cabling behind the gypsum, says the company. 613.836.0300.

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    Niagara Conservation. The Stealth ultra-high-efficiency toilet uses vacuum-assist technology to achieve 0.8 gpf with very little noise, says the company. After flushing, an air bubble is formed in the trapway as the tank refills and creates a vacuum when the air at the top of the sealed tank within a tank is forced into the trapway below the toilet bowl during the next flush. The Stealth toilet, which the firm says is quieter than many standard gravity-flush toilets, is available in white. The two-piece vitreous china unit comes with a 10-year warranty on parts with an ADA-compliant elongated bowl or a round-front bowl. 973.829.0800.

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    Wilo. The Stratos Eco pump uses an integral variable-frequency drive and electronically commutated motor to reduce circulation energy by over 70% compared with standard pumps, according to the manufacturer. The pump analyzes its rotational speed and current draw and optimizes its speed accordingly. Used for hydronic heating, air conditioning, solar water heating, and ground-source heating, the pumps solve the problem of appliance oversizing, a primary energy waster, because they adapt to changing water demands, saving water. Additional features include a soft-start, high-torque design, built-in data logging, overload protection, and a remote control and monitoring module. A wide range of pump sizes are available. 866.945.6872.

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    Nyloboard. NyloDeck, made from recycled carpet fiber and a water-blown VOC-free polyurethane binder, is a composite decking impervious to moisture, termites, mold, and mildew, says the manufacturer. The 5-½-inch-wide planks are available in two thicknesses: 7/8 inch, which is suitable for spanning 16-inch on-center joists, and 1-1/8 inch, which can span up to 24-inch on-center joists. The decking has a three-dimensional, embossed wood-grain surface, and is available in three uniform colors: caramel, American gray, and cocoa. The decking must be spaced to allow for thermal expansion and contraction. 770.385.6168.

Chicago, Nov. 18 -- BuildingGreen, publisher of the highly regarded Environmental Building News newsletter, announced today at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo its Top 10 green building products for 2010, including five residential products ranging from composite decking made from recycled carpet to a super-quiet ultra-high-efficiency toilet to a line of “smart” pumps with electronically commutated motors.

In the ninth consecutive year of the award, BuildingGreen analyzed approximately 180 products added to its GreenSpec Directory during the past year, looking for the best sustainable innovations across a wide variety of categories.  

“There’s been somewhat of a drop in the products being produced in the last couple of years reflecting the economy, but in the green products arena, that drop hasn’t been as significant,” said Alex Wilson, BuildingGreen founder and executive editor.

Wilson, a long-time green building advocate, received The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing during a ceremony at Greenbuild last night. The Hanley Award, sponsored by the Hanley Foundation, Hanley Wood, and EcoHome magazine, comes with a $50,000 grant.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system continues to drive the green product market, Wilson said. Designers of sustainable buildings look for materials that add LEED points, and manufacturers are responding with products that feature recycled materials, save energy, reduce waste, and more.

To view the five products suitable for residential products, click on the slide show above. For the full list, click here.

Evelyn Royer is Assistant Editor for Building Products magazine.