Bringing together for the first time the International Builders’ Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the inaugural Design and Construction Week showcased some of the best in design and technology from the building industry’s largest manufacturers. The editors at Residential Architect hit the show floor to review the latest wares from sleek surfaces to efficient systems. Here’s what we found.
Mousharabia, Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Ann Sacks
Los Angeles–based designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard incorporated textures and patterns inspired by his global travels into a trio of tile collections for Ann Sacks. From demure animal prints to geometric forms derived from Moroccan architecture, the series adds an artisan touch to indoor and outdoor surfacing. Among the collections, Mousharabia (shown) is informed by carved wood latticework screens and features a relief. The raised patterning plays with shadow and light in six colorways that make the series’ five designs at home in contemporary applications. For use in vertical applications.
FoldFlat, NanaWall Systems
Minimizing visual obstructions is just one challenge facing designers who strive to create a seamless indoor and outdoor living space. Among them are folding glass doors whose panels, when opened fully, can stack up on one end of the wall and protrude into functional outdoor living space. NanaWall Systems is upgrading the operable glass wall with an angled track that allows the door panels to rest parallel to the wall opening when not in use. For residential and commercial interiors, FoldFlat is currently available for the company’s WD65 wood and SL45 aluminum folding door systems.
48” BioFresh Refrigerator and Freezer, Liebherr
Finessing bulky appliances into a kitchen can be a challenge when a cohesive space is desired. Liebherr, a German manufacturer whose appliances can integrate with millwork, has added a 48”-deep unit fitted with side-by-side 24”-deep refrigerator and freezer towers. The refrigerator features the company’s BioFresh technology, which offers compartment storage at humidity levels suited for meat, fish, dairy, and fruits and vegetables. The unit installs flush with standard 24”-deep cabinetry.
Bath-products manufacturer Toto is giving its shower fixtures the spa treatment with a proprietary technology that draws air in through the showerhead and pumps it into each water droplet to enhance the spray volume without increasing water consumption. Toto offers the AeroJet+ technology combined with its Gyrostream spray mode, which releases the water in short pulses for a massage effect, in the company’s new Aero line of showerheads and hand showers. The showerhead model offers a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), while the hand shower can be set at either 2.0 gpm or 2.5 gpm.
Native Stone, Native Trails
Mixing bio-based, 100% recyclable jute fiber with cement renders this line of artisan sinks from Native Trails up to 40% lighter than those made from standard concrete, according to the San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based manufacturer. NativeStone is offered in kitchen, bar or prep, and lavatory models, including a trough bath sink (shown). Its manufacture includes a five-day cure, hand polishing, and the application of multiple coats of a proprietary nano-sealant to help resist stains, scratches, and water absorption. Offered in ash, slate, and pear finishes. Available spring 2014.
Designed to look like marble, Neolith’s Classtone high-performance compact surface material achieves its look through the oxidization of its mineral components—which may include clay, feldspar, silica, and mineral oxides—after they are sintered. Made entirely of natural materials, the product is 100% recyclable and has a stain-resistant surface with near-zero porosity. Designed for use on countertops, flooring, interior walls, and exterior facades.
WhisperGreen Select, Panasonic Eco Solutions
Panasonic’s sustainable products division is growing its suite of WhisperGreen bathroom ventilation fans with the WhisperGreen Select. The fan can be customized for a range of applications with the option to add plug-in modules such as a multi-speed operator, motion sensor, condensation sensor, and LED night light. Two base models are available, offering air-flow combinations of either 50, 80, and 110 cubic feet per minute (cfm) or 110, 130, and 150 cfm. The multispeed operator may help in achieving ASHRAE 62.2 continuous ventilation requirements.