Top 10 Green Building Products for 2016

December 7, 2015

Thanks to BuildingGreen and Construction Dive for this list of soon-to-be-released products that hope to push the green envelope further than it has gone before.

Personal Comfort Systems Hyperchair

Personal Comfort Systems Hyperchair

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have been developing the Personal Comfort Systems Hyperchair, which aims to improve the comfort levels of people in office settings. The Hyperchair gives people the ability to control their individual temperature setting with a smart phone. It uses a lithium-ion phosphate battery that charges at night and during off-peak hours.

Gunlocke Savor Guest Chair with Ecovative Myco Board Backing

Gunlocke Savor Guest Chair

Gunlocke, a furniture manufacturer, decided to break from the pack and utilize Myco Board technology from Ecovative — which recently won the Saint-Gobain 2015 NOVA Innovation Competition — as an alternative building material. Myco Board is formaldehyde-free and is made up of biomaterials that don’t harm the environment. The eco-friendly material also offers a cost-competitive option. Gunlocke chose the product not just for its environmentally safe qualities, but for its superior quality and cost-effectiveness, according to BuildingGreen’s Brent Ehrlich.

Sloan Hybrid Urinal

Sloan Hybrid Urinal

Sloan offers a new type of urinal that uses “Jetrinse Solution Technology” to send one gallon of water through the system every 72 hours. This feature eliminates the need for constant maintenance that other waterless urinals require, and uses only about 120 gallons of water per year. The Hybrid Urinal is powered by a Li-ion battery and has an eight-year lifespan. “It could potentially save more water than waterless urinals,” Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen said. “We expect hybrid will change the game.”

Unity Homes High-Performance Panelized Homes

Unity Homes High-Performance Panelized Homes

Unity Homes, based in New Hampshire, is looking to defy traditional practices and implement off-site construction along with more sustainable materials used for their homes. A 1,620-square-foot house, built as a demo for Greenbuild, was designed using computer-assisted manufacturing, or CAD/CAM technology, and was constructed as multiple panels and pods off-site and then shipped to the conference and assembled on-site. The house, which has the potential to be net-zero with the use of solar panels, also used environmentally friendly products and a panelized wall system with tight seals and improved insulation. The company said it also has the ability to adapt this system to construct multifamily buildings or tiny houses.

Whirlpool HybridCare Ventless Heat Pump Dryer

Whirlpool HybridCare Ventless Heat Pump Dryer

Whirlpool has developed a new clothes-drying system that uses an energy-efficient heat pump and a refrigeration system to dry and recycle the same air. The product can result in 40% in energy savings for a home, comes with a reduced fire risk, and is easier on the clothes during the drying process. If you have a regular dryer be sure to clean the dryer vent regularly to improve efficiency and safety.

Honeywell Solstice SPL Liquid Blowing Agent

Foam insulation with blowing agents that contribute to global warming are basically a standard in the construction industry. However, multinational corporation Honeywell has created a new liquid blowing agent that essentially erases its potential to contribute to global warming, according to Wilson. The product aims to increase foam yield, improve compressive strength, and deliver a higher R-value.

Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack

Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack

Currently, there is not an effective way for homeowners with solar panels to store the energy produced overnight, or to be completely cut off from the grid. But the Powerwall — and larger-scale Powerpack for utilities — offers battery storage and back-up with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The Powerwall, currently in production, will come in two sizes — the 10 kWh battery for backup applications and the 7 kWh battery for daily cycling applications.

Duo-Gard Bike Racks and Shelters

Duo-Gard Bike Shelter

Increasing the number of people who bike can dramatically impact energy consumed by transportation. Duo-Gard is developing new and innovative ways to store and provide shelter for bikes, especially in urban areas. Duo-Gard offers several different biking products, including standard racks, as well as fully enclosed shelters and bike depots. An influx of these types of bike storage options could encourage more people to elect to bike rather than drive, according to Ehrlich.

Sanden Heat Pump Water Heater with CO2 Refrigerant

The Sanden CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater uses CO2 as a refrigerant, which drastically reduces its global warming potential. The company touts its benefits as featuring high efficiency, reliability and safety, as well as allowing for low-temperature installation.

NuLED Power-Over-Ethernet Low Voltage LED Lighting

NuLED’s Power-Over-Ethernet Low-Voltage LED lighting technology connects lighting to the Internet and uses low-voltage cables. The LED light fixtures can become fully programmable through the Internet with NuLED’s technology. The process is much safer and easier to wire, and can be installed by a non-electrician.

Source: ConstructionDive



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.