With energy-consuming equipment, such as water heaters and refrigerators, we have good data on energy consumption and can set clear standards accordingly. In some product categories—clothes washers, for example—Energy Star standards were adopted because those standards provide a high enough threshold to represent just the very top segment of the product market (less than 10%). In other product categories—e.g., refrigerators and dishwashers—we set a higher threshold than ENERGY STAR: for example, exceeding those standards by 10% or 20%. With lighting and lighting control equipment, certain generic products qualify, such as compact fluorescent lamps and occupancy/daylighting controls, while in other categories only a subset of products qualify. In some cases, products that meet the energy efficiency requirements are excluded, because of evidence of poor performance or durability. Microturbines are included here because of the potential for cogeneration (combined heat and power) that they offer.
Alternative wastewater disposal systems reduce groundwater pollution by decomposing organic wastes or removing nutrients more effectively. Hand dryers reduce water and paper towel use, alternative treatments for cooling tower water reduce chemical use, and carpet tile allows modular replacement of worn areas. In screening products for this area, we focus on quantifiable environmental benefits and strong performance records.
Saniflow offers several touch-free hand dryers that meet GreenSpec standards for energy efficiency, speed, and noise level. The Speedflow M06 dries hands in 10–15 seconds at 64 dB using a maximum of 1,150 watts of power. The Machflow M09 dries hands in 10–15 seconds at 68 dB using a maximum of 1,300 watts of power. The Dualflow Plus M12 series dries hands in 8–15 seconds at 68 dB using a maximum of 1,300 watts of power. An adjustable infrared sensor (2"–8") provides touch-free hand drying, while an automatic disconnection system shuts the unit off after 60 seconds of continuous use. The Dualflow Plus series models have a plastic base and Biocote, an antimicrobial, silver ion nanotechnology, incorporated into all external surfaces. The Speedflow series has an aluminum base, the Machflow series has a plastic base, and both series are available with a stainless steel one-piece cover with satin or polished finish, and are configured with universal voltage for easy installation.
Use of electric hand dryers generally carries significantly lower environmental burdens than use of paper towels. Electric hand drying also significantly reduces custodial labor requirements.
GreenSpec lists high-performance electric hand dryers that are energy-efficient, fast, and convenient—maximum 1,600 watts, less than 15 seconds drying time—resulting in significantly lower energy use than conventional electric hand dryers.
One weak point of hand dryers in general, including high-performance hand dryers, is their noise. Although not widely used, the NSF Protocol P335 certification establishes a 15-second drying time and a 90 dBA limit on continuous noise, which GreenSpec has also adopted.
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