Top 15 Reader-Requested Products of 2010

#1 CertainTeed Energy Edge EnergyEdge insulates concrete slab edges, which the company says can account for 8% to 24% of a homes energy loss. The R-10 system consists of PVC rails, snap-on braces, and expanded polystyrene insulation. A retrofit product also is available. 800.233.8990.

#2 Dow Structural Insulated Sheathing SIS Structural Insulated Sheathing combines a moisture-resistant blue foil outside face, a polyisocyanurate foam core, and structural sheathing. Builders can use ½-inch (R-3) panels to sheathe entire exteriors or 1-inch-thick (R-5.5) panels as shear panels on corners to match up with 1-inch foam sheathing on the rest of the exterior. Joints between panels are sealed with Weathermate tape. SIS panels contain 80% post-consumer recycled content and are Energy Star–rated. 866.583.2583.

#3 Rheem Passive Solar Water Heating System SRCC-labeled Solaraide passive solar water heating systems operate without pumps or controllers. A closed-loop, indirect heat exchange design wraps completely around the unit’s roof-mounted thermo-siphon exchange tank for optimum efficiency. Single or double flat-plate collectors in 47- or 80-gallon capacity include multiflow risers that transfer heat rapidly and provide heated potable water directly to the home’s existing or backup water heater. The company also makes SolPak active solar thermal systems and storage tanks. 800.621.5622.

#4 Sustainable Flooring Showercork Flooring Showercork flooring is made with ¼-inch pieces of cork cut from post-industrial wine corks. The durable material is suitable for wet applications such as shower floors and pool surrounds, is slip resistant, comes prefinished or unfinished, and offers thermal and acoustical properties. The sheets, which come 12 inches by 24 inches, are adhered with thinset or glue and then grouted. 303.544.6076.

#5 ELT Modular Planted Panels Consisting of modular planted panels, the EasyGreen Living Wall System provides for easy installation of a living wall. The panels angled cells hold soil and plants in place while creating maximum green surface area, the maker says, and the overall design allows water to move downward through every cell in the panel. The 4-inch-deep panels mount directly to the wall or on a standalone frame. 866.306.7773.

#6 EarthNet Energy PV Ground-Mount System Because not all rooftops are suitable for solar collector placement, the company offers a Ground Mount Pedestal mounting system adaptable to most types of flat-panel and evacuated-tube solar collectors. The heavy duty, powder-coated-steel pedestals are available in 5-foot-tall bolt-mount or 7-foot-tall direct-burial models. The company also manufactures complete evacuated-tube and flat-panel solar collector systems. 717.414.7652.

Kichler. Design Pro Linear packages LED lighting in strings of thin, 1/4-inch pods for installation in tight spaces such as in and around corners, cabinets, toekicks, and tray ceilings. The LEDs offer up to 75% energy savings versus traditional incandescent lighting, the company says, and have a life span of 20 years. Black and white finishes are available. The product is UL-listed. 866.558.5706.

Rinnai. The company’s new condensing tankless water heaters offer the continuous hot water of a traditional tankless unit with even greater energy savings: The Energy Star–qualified units operate at 95% thermal efficiency, according to the company. The water heaters feature two commercial-grade heat exchangers; a concentric venting design provides for better safety and easier installation. Four models are available. 866.746.6241.

#9 Kingspan Solar Thermal System SRCC-certified “Solar in a Box” packages of Thermomax solar thermal systems are available direct to contractors or through area distributors. Each package is designed for a typical household size and contains all parts, materials, and equipment needed for installation and operation in all U.S. geographical locations. The kits offer a choice of high-performance vacuum-tube or flat-panel solar collectors. 410.799.6600.

#10 Woorharbor Frameless Cabinets CastPointe frameless cabinetry is crafted with Environmentally Preferred Products made from 100% recycled material and compliant with California CARB regulations for formaldehyde emissions. The cabinetry is available with a low-VOC, formaldehyde-free topcoat available in 38 spray stain color combinations and 32 spray stain/glaze color combinations. 641.423.0444.

#11 Icynene Medium-Density Spray-Foam Insulation MD-R-200 medium-density spray-foam insulation uses 100% water-blown technology. The insulation provides an R-value of 5.2 per inch and offers a low vapor permeance for use in areas with higher levels of humidity; according to the company, it also is ideal for projects requiring the enhanced structural strength of a more rigid foam. 800.758.7325.

#12 BASF Medium-Density Spray-Foam Insulation Comfort Foam and Spraytite medium-density, closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulations provide an R-value of 6.7 per inch and 6.6 per inch, respectively, and meet FEMA guidelines as suitable insulation materials for flood regions. Also in the company’s portfolio is Enertite, a low-density, open-cell water-blown polyurethane foam that delivers an R-value of 3.5 per inch. All three products are Energy Star and Greenguard listed and incorporate renewable, sucrose-based polyols and recycled and/or bio content. 800.526.1072.

#13 Centor Architectural Retractable Screening System The S1E retractable screening system combines the company’s insect screen with a privacy blind. For summer days, the blind can be pulled out to block solar heat gain; in winter, it can help retain the home’s heat at night. The shade, made of tightly woven PVC fiberglass mesh, is available in privacy or shade fabrics for varying levels of translucence. The screen and blind slide horizontally along separate tracks; a shock-absorption system prevents the screens from being damaged if a person or pet walk into them. 866.255.0008.

#14 Solar Stik Solar-Powered Generator The Nano-Series Solar Stik 100 & Power Pak 100 system is designed for light- to medium-duty applications and can store up to 1 kWh per day. Dual power receptacles allow for the connection of additional Stiks. The Stik transports in a reusable box or a Pelican transport case with custom foam inserts. The Power Pak has wheels and an extending handle for easy transport, the maker says. 800.793.4364.

#15 DeepRoot Partners Stormwater Management System The Silva Cell modular system holds soil for tree growth and stormwater management while supporting paved surfaces. The system holds 10 cubic feet of soil per unit, protecting tree roots from compaction and providing room for stormwater infiltration and surrounding utilities. The 48-by-24-by-16-inch fiberglass and polypropylene cells have galvanized steel supports and can be stacked up to three cells high and laterally as wide as necessary before the decking is attached. 800.458.7668.

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