This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 22, 2006

BuildingGreen Names Top Ten Green Building Products for 2006

Photo of a metal box mounted on the roof of a house. The box has vents on its side and a duct at one end that passes into the house.

This high-efficiency indirect evaporative cooler is among the top-ten green building products of the year, according to BuildingGreen, Inc.
Credit: BuildingGreen, Inc.

BuildingGreen, Inc., a publisher of green building news and directories, has named its 2006 Top-Ten Green Building Products, most of which have some relation to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The most obvious one is renewable energy credits (RECs) from Community Energy, Inc., which BuildingGreen recognized as one of the leading North American providers of RECs and one of the few that develops its own renewable energy generation capacity. Among the obvious energy efficiency products are windows that can be electronically switched from clear to tinted. Called SageGlass, the product from Sage Electrochromics, Inc. uses "electrochromic" tungsten oxide coatings that turn dark when a voltage is applied to them, allowing automated or manual control of daylighting. Other top efficiency products are a water-efficient showerhead from Delta Faucet Company and the Coolerado Cooler, a high-efficiency indirect evaporative cooler that cools air without adding humidity. Coincidentally, the Delphi Corporation announced last week that it has taken over the production of coolers using the Coolerado Cooler technology, and the coolers will now be called Delphi Heat and Mass Exchangers (HMX). See the Delphi Corporation press release.

Top green building products with a more tenuous relationship to energy include a polished concrete system from Advanced Floor Products, Inc. that allows for attractive floors made of poured concrete. The product could be useful in passive solar buildings that use concrete as a means of thermal storage, or in buildings with radiant floor heating. Other materials on the top-ten list could help reduce petroleum use, including PaperStone, a biobased composite made from paper and a non-petroleum resin, which is derived in part from cashew shells. Likewise, 3form, Inc. produces panels from recycled plastics, and Timbron International, Inc. does the same for interior molding. Last but not least are water-saving irrigation controls from HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc. The system modifies its watering schedule based on weather data, reducing outdoor water use by as much as 59 percent. Although reducing cold water use provides no energy savings for the consumer, it saves energy that would otherwise be used to treat and pump the water. See the BuildingGreen press release and details on all the products on the top-ten list on the BuildingGreen Web site.