Advocate by Bradley

This 3-in-1 system takes recent innovations in hand-dryer technology and inserts it into the sink system. It makes so much sense, it’s surprising it’s taken until 2013 for someone to do it. The touchless soap dispenser, faucet (0.38gpm), and two-sided LED-lit dryer reduce water use and avoid the waste of paper towels but also save building owners maintenance costs by keeping water off the floors. This aspect of the Advocate also responds to safety hazards and makes it ideal for laboratories and hospitals (the product is ADA-compliant). Advocate’s molded bowl is made of a GREENGUARD-certified solid-surface material called Terreon, is manufactured by Bradley in Wisconsin, and comes in 31 colors.


Airblade Tap by Dyson

UK-based Dyson unveiled the Airblade Tap, which could be considered the Airblade’s multitalented little brother. The Tap adds a faucet to the hand-dryer, allowing users to wash and dry their hands from a single location. It uses the company’s coveted digital motor technology (spinning at 92,000 rpms) and hospital-grade HEPA filters (removing 99.9% of bacteria from the air). Because “touchless” technology can, ironically, be touchy, Dyson engineered the Tap so that the faucet and dryer cannot operate simultaneously, thus conserving energy (the dryer won’t accidentally start until hand-washing is complete). In addition to being the only hand-dryer certified “hygienic” by the NSF, in a lifecycle cost analysis by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dyson’s Airblade was found to have the smallest environmental impact of most hand-drying methods.


ArchiCAD 17 by Graphisoft

The newest iteration of ArchiCAD seeks to leverage all that BIM actually can do. Most significantly the program incorporates building materials intelligence, integrating these complex calculations into ArchiCAD’s well-known drag-and-drop functions. This new version also uses multiple-core CPUs to do more at even faster speeds, saving architects time and headaches. A soon-to-be-released add-on, EcoDesigner, will complement Archicad 17 and offer new energy-modeling capabilities. Look for it later this year.

COTA - Columbus, OH

Benchmark by Kingspan

For commercial buildings of all types, Kingspan unveiled a single-component insulated panel and cladding system. The company’s polyiso insulated panels feature an extruded rail upon which can be mounted a multitude of cladding options, including architectural panels, ceramic tile (40% lighter than terra cotta), ZCM (a composite material with a zinc skin), or brick. The design of the system reduces thermal transfer; a project using six-inch panels can achieve up to R-60 in its walls. Plus, the singe-component system reduces time on-site, and manufactured panels have been shown to reduce waste.



EnergyShield by Atlas Wall

Established roof-products manufacturer Atlas unveiled at the AIA Expo its polyiso continuous insulation wall board, the prescribed method for avoiding thermal bridging in residential and commercial buildings. Atlas’s EnergyShield, unlike some, comes out of fire tests at the top of its class, charring in place instead of melting and causing further damage. Additionally, drawing on the company’s expertise in polyiso roofing products, this wall board can achieve higher R-values with thinner thicknesses, saving money and materials. The product is green itself as well, certified by GreenGuard and GreenGuard Schools & Children. Available nationwide.



Enviromax by ThyssenKrupp

Hardly the first thing anyone will notice about a green building, if they ever notice it at all, Enviromax is the industry’s first plant-based oil for use in hydraulic elevators. The oil, which is made from North American-grown canola, a rapidly renewable resource, has two huge benefits over petroleum-based fluid. First, it’s not a petroleum-based fluid. Second, the high-performance oil doesn’t thicken or thin out due to changes in climate, an issue that has long plagued hydraulic elevators and caused them not to level correctly, which wastes energy. Avoiding this issue altogether means that the temperature-control devices some buildings employ to prevent these effects can be eliminated. ThyssenKrupp is currently working to get the technology approved as an Innovation in Design point under LEED.


Haiku by Big Ass Fans

This residential-scale ceiling fan isn’t new. What is new to the Red Dot Award winner is an LED module. The light adds to the fan’s 10 speed settings 16 different increments of brightness, delivering the equivalent of a 100-watt bulb with just 20 watts. Adding the light to Haiku’s already well-loved features (FSC-certified bamboo blades, absence of noise) has meant that Big Ass Fans can barely meet demand. Because the fans are hand-balanced, they are time-intensive to produce, and the Lexington, Kentucky-based manufacturer has expanded its residential division just to meet demand. Haiku comes in three heights and four colors: white, black, cocoa, and caramel.


Harmony by Sherwin-Williams

Low-VOC paints are all but expected by clients today, but Sherwin-Williams went one better this year, unveiling a new version of its Harmony line, which actually reduces formaldehyde levels in indoor air. The process is proprietary, but according to Sherwin-Williams the paint uses technology that transforms formaldehyde and other VOCs into water vapor. Various studies are legitimizing these claims, and if the numbers pan out, Harmony is perfect for renovations (given the unhealthy materials that may have been used during construction) and buildings where users are at-risk: hospitals, senior housing, inner-city schools and others.

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Versetta Stone by Boral

Boral, known for its realistic stone veneers, is simplifying installation with Versetta Stone, a panelized siding that can be hung with just nails or screws, avoiding mortar altogether. Most importantly, the product is made with more than 50 percent recycled content, verified by UL Environment, and is an NAHB approved green product. Furthering efficiency, even on large-scale projects such as multifamily housing, installation can be done in days rather than weeks. The product, which comes in panels 36 inches long and 8 inches tall, also avoids trapping moisture with an integrated drainage system.


XLERATOR Xchanger Kit by Excel Dryer

Excel Dryer is entering its 50th year in business, but the company still has several new tricks up its sleeve. The first, on sale now, is the XLERATOR Xchanger Kit, which is a stainless steel product that can seamlessly replace commercial paper towel dispensers. Building owners who want to make the transition from paper towels to hand dryers can save on costs by retrofitting the existing dispensers with this system, which recesses the XLERATOR dryer, making it ADA-compliant. Not yet available is the XLERATOR Eco, which was unveiled in the UK this year, a version of the hand-dryer that uses one-third of the wattage of its predecessor, requiring just 500 watts to operate but still drying hands within seconds. Excel says the need was greatest in the European market, but XLERATOR Eco should be available in the United States by the start of the new year.