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Top-10 Products for 2013 Take the Long View on Resilience and Durability

Resilience and building science are the focus for our eleventh annual BuildingGreen Top-10 product awards.

Last year's BuildingGreen Top-10 product awards were the first to emphasize resilient design. This year, in the wake of more droughts, wildfires, and the last straw—SuperStorm Sandy—our need to focus on resilience is ever more urgent. Hand in hand with resilience is durability: sound building science helps prevent moisture problems that can compromise our buildings during normal times as well as during and after extreme weather events.

Below you'll find the basics, but you can get a lot more details about each product on our press page—including relevant LEED credits and contact info for each company.

If you're at Greenbuild this year, please stop by the manufacturers' booths to congratulate them and learn more about these forward-looking products. You might also be able to squeeze into Alex Wilson's presentation about the products, bright and early Friday morning!

Amorim expanded-cork boardstock insulation


Photo Credit: Amorim Isolamentos, S.A.

Amorim expanded-cork boardstock insulation is a 100% natural, rigid-insulation material produced from natural cork. The material insulates to R-3.6 per inch, offers excellent acoustic control, is highly durable, has high vapor permeability, and meets fire-safety requirements (Euro Class E, based on EN 13501) without flame retardants.

Atlas CMU block with CarbonCure


Photo Credit: Atlas Block

Atlas CMU block with CarbonCure significantly improves the carbon sequestration process of concrete curing by taking CO2 supplied from local industrial sources and injecting it directly into concrete masonry units (CMUs) during production using a specially designed mold. Injecting CO2 into CMUs during manufacture also improves their strength, reduces the amount of portland cement required, and speeds curing.

Cyber Rain irrigation controllers


Photo Credit: Cyber Rain

Cyber Rain irrigation controllers were the first product to be certified to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense standards for weather-based irrigation controllers. The systems use local weather data along with plant, sprinkler, soil, slope, and sun exposure data to calculate evapotranspiration and provide just the right amount of water to maintain the health of different plant species and avoid overwatering.

GeoSpring hybrid electric water heater from GE


Photo Credit: GE Appliances

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 GE GeoSpring is also the quietest.

Haiku ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans


Photo Credit: Big Ass Fans

Haiku ceiling fans have brushless, electronically commutated DC motors for increased energy efficiency. Designed for both residential and commercial applications, Haiku ceiling fans use 2–30 watts, significantly exceeding Energy Star requirements. The fans come with an LED display and remote control, and can spin in reverse.

LoE-i89 glazing from Cardinal Glass Industries

LoE-i89 glazing is a sputtered indium tin oxide hard-coat that can be installed on an exposed surface of an IGU. This option allows two low-e coatings to be used on a double-glazed IGU, and it enables a double-glazed window to achieve a level of performance that was previously achievable only with triple-glazing.

Proglaze ETA Engineered Transition Assemblies from Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing


Photo Credit: Tremco, Inc.

Proglaze ETA is a complete assembly system comprised of sealants, membranes, primers, and flashings (all its own products) and insulation and sheathings (from other manufacturers) designed to integrate well together. Tremco offers an industry-first warranty on the performance of the air and water barriers.

Viridian Reclaimed Wood


Photo Credit: Viridian Reclaimed Wood

Viridian Reclaimed Wood processes wooden pallets, crates, and packing materials in its Oregon facility and then creates flooring, tabletops, paneling, veneers, and other products for use in commercial and residential buildings. This FSC-certified reclaimed wood includes European beech, oak, spruce and pine from Russia, and “Jakarta market blend,” a mix of Asian hardwoods.

XS-P Series streetlight from Cree Lighting


Photo Credit: Cree Lighting

The XS-P Series incorporates Cree LED light engines and BetaLED’s NanoOptic Precision Delivery Grid optics to deliver 100 lumens per watt of either 4000K or 5700K light precisely onto the ground where needed. The XSP 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.

WUFI software from Fraunhofer IBP and Oak Ridge National Laboratory



WUFI software is a family of PC-based modeling tools that calculate heat and moisture transfer in multi-layer building components over time. The tools help predict and manage long-term moisture risk in a variety of building assemblies in any climate conditions.

Posted by Paula Melton on November 13, 2012

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