Be an early adopter and you’ll gain valuable brand recognition, industry acceptance and homeowner buy-in.
Homeowners will be captivated by the “new factor” and the social “do good” qualities of green products. Green translated for manufacturers, means stricter building codes and increased production costs. Green translated for homeowners surfaces as buying benefits like energy efficiencies and health and eco safety. While homeowners have big buy-in for green products, companies who can prove return on their investment will get not only buy-in, but buy-ing.
Get inspired and learn from two leading sustainable publishers, BuildingGreen and Inhabit.
BuildingGreen, is an independent publishing company committed to providing acurate, unbiased and timely green design information. BuildingGreen also publishes Environmental Building News, BuildingGreen Suite online tools, GreenSpec directory of products, and LEEDuser web tools.
Inhabit is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Here are my favorites chosen from these editors’ top picks at this year’s USGBC Greenbuild Conference – the source for the most innovative green building products.
- Filterpave is a paving material made from boldly colored, ground glass that is fused together with an acrylic binder. Available in several colors, installation is the same as traditional concrete. Water easily filters through the surface creating the added benefit of a storm water management effect.
- Grasscrete is a new drivable grass and concrete paving system that adds a soft edge to hardscaping and reduces heat island effects. The surface is like a big egg carton made from paper board that’s filled with concrete and then pockets can be planted with grass or filled with gravel.
Big Ass Fans: Haiku ceiling fans use 2-30 watts, significantly exceeding Energy Star requirements. The elegant, 60-inch-diameter blades are made from either an advanced composite material in black or white, or hand-finished, laminated bamboo in a caramel or cocoa finish.
LoE-i89 glazing from Cardinal Glass Industries: A new coating from Cardinal Glass is a sputtered indium tin oxide hard-coat that can be installed on an exposed surface allowing two low-e coatings on a double-glazed window to perform like a triple-glazed window. High light transference makes the coating perfect for solar gain applications.
- Amorim Expanded – Cork Boardstock Insulation: FSC certified Cork Board is a 100% natural, rigid insulation material with R-3.6 per inch efficiency. It offers excellent acoustic control, is highly durable, has moderate vapor permeability, and meets fire-safety requirements without flame retardant chemicals.
- Engaurd is a simple batt insulation that performs similar to fiberglass but it’s made from 50% recycled PET plastic and uses a lot less energy to produce.The stiffer insulation is hydrophobic and fully recyclable.
Viridian Wood processes FSC-certified reclaimed wood from shipping pallets, crates and packing materials and then creates flooring, tabletops, paneling, veneers, and other products for use in commercial and residential buildings. Viridian wood is made without chemicals or toxic adhesives and meets California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards.
- Cyber Rain smart irrigation controllers uses local weather data along with plant, sprinkler, soil, slope, and sun exposure data to calculate evapotranspiration (ET) and provide just the right amount of water to maintain the health of different plant species and avoid over watering.
- GeoSpring hybrid electric water heater from GE: Beginning in 2015, electric water heaters, over 55 gallons will have to use a heat pump earn to energy factors of nearly 2.0. GE’s newly redesigned GeoSpring 50 gallon water heater has an energy factor of 2.35 in hybrid mode, and has a first-hour rating of 63 gallons.
As building codes continue to green, the pressure is on for building product manufacturers to find new ways to be green and code compliant. Equally important to your success is how you translate those regulations in to buyer benefits like efficiency, safety and return on investment equations.
If you’re a building product manufacturer and you’re not already thinking green:
- Take a first step and identify one small area of achievable change and make it happen.
- Know how sustainable your product line is and how it compares to the competition.
- Start talking about it with your buyers.
By doing these things, you’ll be taking important steps forward in ensuring that your brand stays relevant and profitable for years to come.
This article was based on BuildingGreen.com’s list of “Top Ten Green Products” and Inhabit.com columnist Andrew Michler’s article, ”The Best Sustainable Building Products from Greenbuild”.
Photo Credit: Eleventh Earl of Mar via photopin cc