BuildingGreen names the most innovative products of the year.

Top 10 Green Products

BuildingGreen names the most innovative products of the year.

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    Amorim Expanded-Cork Boardstock Insulation
    To produce Expanded Insulation Cork Board, cork granules are steam-heated in an autoclave, which expands the cork and activates a natural binder, suberin, contained in the cork. The material insulates to R-3.6 per inch, offers excellent acoustic control, is highly durable, has moderate vapor permeability, and meets fire-safety requirements without flame retardants. Most of the company’s cork forests are FSC-certified and its facilities are FSC chain-of-custody certified. bcork.amorim.com/en.

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    Atlas CMU Block with CarbonCure
    The CarbonCure Block System injects carbon dioxide supplied from local industrial sources directly into concrete masonry units (CMUs) during production using a specially designed mold. The company is using the CarbonCure system primarily to reduce the carbon footprint of its products, but injecting carbon dioxide into CMUs during manufacture also improves their strength, reduces the amount of Portland cement required, and speeds curing. atlasblock.com.

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    LoE-i89 Glazing from Cardinal Glass
    This sputtered indium tin oxide hard-coat can be installed on an exposed surface of an insulating glass unit (IGU), allowing two low-E coatings to be used on a double-glazed IGU for a performance level that was previously achievable only with triple-glazing. In certain configurations, a unit U-factor as low as 0.20 can be achieved. Very high light transmittance means that this coating can be appropriate for glazing applications where solar gain is desired. The product currently is being used on tempered glass and will become fully available on all glass types, including annealed glass, in 2013. cardinalcorp.com.

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    XS-P Series Streetlight from Cree Lighting 
    The XS-P Series LED street and area light delivers 100 lumens per watt of light precisely onto the ground where needed. It is designed to be affordable, with a payback of as little as three years, yet it is compatible with dimming drivers and is available with optional occupancy sensors, remote monitoring, and other lighting controls. These lights have a lumen maintenance (L70) of over 100,000 hours; meet the Illuminating Engineering Society's TM-15-11 test for backlight, uplight, and glare; and come with a five-year warranty. cree.com.

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    Cyber Rain Irrigation Controllers
    Cyber Rain is the first product to be certified to WaterSense standards for water-based irrigation. The system uses local weather data along with plant, sprinkler, soil, slope, and sun exposure data to calculate evapotranspiration (ET) and provide the right amount of water to maintain the health of different plant species and avoid overwatering. The controllers are linked to cloud-based software via the Internet or directly through a USB port, and can be accessed remotely for real-time adjustments using smartphones or other remote devices. cyber-rain.com.

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    GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater from GE
    The 50-gallon GeoSpring has an energy factor of 2.35 in hybrid mode, and has a first-hour rating of 63 gallons. It offers four operating modes, ranging from all electric-resistance (using two 4,500-watt elements) to all heat-pump operation. Among stand-alone heat-pump water heaters, the GeoSpring is the quietest, at just 55dB; the product also carries a limited 10-year warranty. geappliances.com.

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    Haiku by Big Ass Fans 
    Designed for both residential and commercial applications, Haiku ceiling fans use 2 to 30 watts, significantly exceeding Energy Star requirements. The elegant, 60-inch-diameter blades are made from either an advanced composite material in black or white, or hand-finished, laminated bamboo in a caramel or cocoa finish. The fans come with an LED display and remote control, and can spin in reverse. bigassfans.com.

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    Proglaze ETA Engineered Transition Assemblies from Tremco 
    For commercial building applications, Proglaze ETA Engineered Transition Assemblies is a complete system comprised of sealants, membranes, primers, and flashings (and insulation and sheathings from other manufacturers) designed to integrate well together. These aluminum and silicone components are designed to bridge between windows and other wall openings and sheet membranes in the field of the assembly. Third-party testing shows that air leakage through the assembly is 0.004 cfm per square foot and water vapor transmission is 2.59 perms. All components are Greenguard Children & Schools certified for low emissions. tremcosealants.com.

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    Viridian Reclaimed Wood
    In its Oregon facility, Viridian processes wooden pallets, crates, and packaging materials to create flooring, tabletops, paneling, veneers, and other products for use in commercial and residential buildings. This FSC-certified reclaimed wood includes beech, oak, spruce, pine, and a mix of Asian tropical hardwoods sorted for consistent hardness. The company also offers reclaimed Douglas fir from local warehouses and school bleachers. viridianwood.com.

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    WUFI Software from Fraunhofer IBP and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    WUFI (for "Wärme and Feuchte Instationär," or transient heat and moisture) is a family of PC-based software tools developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Germany and Oak Ridge National Lab in the U.S. The software calculates heat and moisture transfer in multi-layer building components exposed to various climate conditions and can be used to assess the performance of roof or wall assemblies in driving rain, estimate the drying time of masonry with trapped moisture, and predict the impact of renovations. wufi-pro.com.

BuildingGreen, publisher of Environmental Building News, has announced its annual list of the most innovative green building products for residential and commercial use.

The eleventh annual Top 10 Green Building Products awards, announced at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, are BuildingGreen editors’ picks of products drawn from product reviews published in its online GreenSpec guide and in Environmental Building News.

"After a year of record droughts and floods across the country, this year's Top 10 products include several for managing moisture in buildings or for irrigating more responsibly," says BuildingGreen founder and GreenSpec executive editor Alex Wilson. "In selecting this year's products, we looked for companies addressing resilience, energy efficiency, thoughtful use of materials, cutting-edge system optimization, and other needs."

This year's selections include software for modeling heat and moisture flows; concrete masonry units that help sequester carbon dioxide; and a low-E coating for windows that opens new possibilities to energy-efficient, passive solar windows.

The 2013 list highlights the role of building science and system-level thinking in driving today's green product innovations, Wilson says. Click on the slide show above to learn more about each product.