When people speak of the need for an energy version of the Manhattan Project, for the Apollo Project for Energy, the analogy is far from perfect. What is often missed, when conceiving this, is the client issue (who buys the nuclear weapons or the lunar landing module, eg, not your average homeowner) and the question of development. Truth be told, a tremendous amount of what we required to turn around our reckless rush over the Global Warming tipping point to catastrophic climate change already exist, they’re on the shelf: whether literally at your local hardware store or figuratively in having completed testing and available for deployment. Renewable power systems; smart growth; public transport; energy efficiency; so much is already on the shelf to be taken advantage of to provide a more Energy Smart society and economy. And, well, every day there are new things added to the shelf.
“Our selections of the Top-10 Green Building Products represent a wide range of product types in many different application areas,” noted GreenSpec coeditor and BuildingGreen president Alex Wilson. Four of BuildingGreen’s winning products this year save energy. Two products save water. Three products are green in part because they are made from recycled or recovered material; two because they avoid hazardous manufacturing or disposal of materials, and one aids in the siting of solar energy systems. “Most of the Top-10 products this year have multiple environmental attributes.”
All of these products are, to give a heads-up, pulled from their own product directory but that shouldn’t stop us from considering these 10, which are pulled from the over 200 new products they’ve added to their database this year.
“New products seem to be appearing all the time, making it a challenge for our staff to keep up,” said Wilson.
This is the good problem that we face; new things coming down the pike faster than we can keep up with them.
Building Green’s list:
- Collins Pine FreeForm from The Collins Companies Near-elimination of formaldehyde from the binding process: Yeah!
- Alpen Fiberglass Windows from Alpen Energy Group: Let’s talk windows with R-20 equivalency. That is higher than the wall insulation requirement in most building codes in this country.
- 180 Walls from Milliken & Company This is interesting approach to wallcoverings, 100% receycled material and a backing that eliminates paste requirements.
- Bosch Evolution 800 Series SHE98M Dishwasher. “The enegy factor for this dishwasher is 148% higher than the federal standard in the U.S. and 73% higher than the Energy Star requirement.” Let’s talk Bosch, for a second: Bosch “is the only appliance manufacturer with 100% of applicable products currently meeting Energy Star standards.”
- Greenplay Children’s Furniture from Skyline Design Beautiful furniture, from agricultural waste and recycled material.
- Cube3 Ultra Urinal from Caroma Not quite zero-flush, but this gets quite close … “advanced, ultra-low-flush urinal that flushes using just one pint (0.5 liters) of water.” And, the automatic flush mechanism is based on liquid-sensing, which reduces “false flushes”.
- LifeGuard Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cable from Houston Wire & Cable Company
- Wireless Controls from EnOcean What is amazing about these controls is that EnOcean “figured out how to power these devices by harvesting ambient energy—including mechanical energy from operating a light switch or photovoltaic energy from lighting in a room. This enables the controllers to operate without batteries …” No wiring, no batteries … we’re talking real reductions in material use and conservation of energy.
- SunEye from Solmetric Corporation: “A hand-held electronic device for measuring solar shading and calculating solar access for solar installers and green builders.” This can facilitate MUCH faster information about solar power generation quality and improve decision-making about whether and how to install solar systems. More about the SunEye.
- LED Downlight from LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. These look to be significant steps forward in terms of LED lighting for the home, designed to fit into standard 6″ recessed cans. Compared to CFLs, LEDs have much longer life spans, use less electricity, and do not have mercury.
These are ten great examples of steps forward that show how many opportunities exist ‘on the shelf’ to move toward an Energy Smart society.
Hat Tip to JetsonGreen for covering this.