The year 2016 was an eventful one for home building.
The Best of PCBC: 2016 Parade Of Products
A panel of industry judges selected the 20 most innovative new product solutions of the past year, from wireless sensors to spray foam to a graywater treatment and management system.
TOTO's Carlyle II 1G Connect+ S350e features a heated seat, warm-air dryer, and remote control.
The Parade of Products, or POP as it’s known, is a competition that occurs during the largest homebuilding trade show on the West Coast, PCBC, and is a celebration of the most inventive new product solutions of the past year. The new ideas and products on display at the show, and especially those selected as POP winners, represent the fruits of labor of some of the most innovative minds in the home building world.
A panel of industry judges consisting of builders, engineers, designers, journalists, and architects rated the products based on innovation, practical application, and design, and, for 2016, came up with a list of 20 winners that embodied those qualities the best.
From built-in ovens and remote controlled toilets to clear vinyl retractable screens and bamboo-based wall systems, the winning products run the gamut of what a builder may hammer, caulk, or install on a daily basis.
The top three 2016 Parade of Products winners are named below. The remaining 17 are then listed in alphabetical order by company. Click images for a larger view.
1. Andersen Windows | VeriLock Security Sensors
VeriLock sensors not only indicate whether your windows and patio doors are open, they even tell you if they are locked or unlocked. The wireless sensors are available with professional and self-monitoring options and can be ordered for new or existing windows and doors. A variety of color options help sensors blend in with windows, patio doors and home décor. VeriLock sensors also received a 2016 CES Consumer Electronic Show - Honoree Award in the Smart Home category.
2. LiftMaster | 8550W Battery Backup Garage Door Opener
LiftMaster’s Battery Backup Garage Door Opener has built-in WiFi so its users can open, close, and monitor the garage door from anywhere. The system also transmits real time alerts. The opener uses an ultra-quiet, DC motor Belt Drive System, and the Battery Backup allows users to get into the garage even if the power is out. The Timer-to-Close feature automatically shuts the door after a preset length of time, and the PosiLock feature locks the door and electronically monitors against forced openings.
3. SnapPower | SnapPower Guidelight
The SnapPower Guidelight looks like most other wall outlets but has LED lights installed on the bottom. Two metal prongs use less than $.10 per year of electricity from the outlet to power them. A photo sensor in the Guidelight turns it on when the surrounding area is dark and off when light. It comes in several colors and styles. The easy-to-install and energy-efficient design safely transforms the outlet coverplate into a convenient night light and it requires no wires or batteries.
Air King | QuFresh by Air King (QFAM)
The QuFresh by Air King (QFAM) offers builders and developers a cost effective mechanical ventilation solution. The QFAM provides limits on the temperature and humidity of outside air brought in and offers end-users cost effective “supply only” or “balanced” ventilation with a dedicated fan and basic controls. It can be used to comply with ASHRAE 62.2 and IECC/IRC code requirements without overloading other HVAC systems.
BamCore LLC | BamCore Prime Wall System
The BamCore Prime Wall System allows for stronger, faster and greener building practices than alternative stud-based systems. The bamboo-based dual panel hollow wall is customized to job with all openings factory cut. A 2,400 square foot house can be “walls up” in two days with no job site waste. The code-compliant system provides thermal performance by eliminating thermal bridging from conventional studs and by allowing builders to double or triple wall thickness for very little cost. Prime Wall Systems also eliminates the need for drywall in most applications.
Float | Float
Builders and developers can market new homes to their customers using Float. By utilizing Bluetooth beacon devices, the Float app lets homebuyers view highlighted features, specifications, alternate color schemes, and 360-degree images from their mobile device. Float takes potential customers on a virtual tour of a home by determining their location and feeding them the appropriate details. It perfectly paints the finished picture of a home under construction, or a presale. Float helps real estate agents on busy tour days and allows builders to cut back on rising printing costs.
Greyter Water System | Greyter HOME
Greyter HOME, a residential graywater treatment and management system, processes shower water to NSF350 standards for reuse in household applications such as toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. Low energy consumption, maintenance requirements, and autonomous monitoring capabilities make the Greyter HOME a cost-effective means of reducing typical household freshwater consumption by up to 30 percent.
Haiku Home by Big Ass Solutions | Haiku H Series Ceiling Fan in Brushed Copper
Using built-in occupancy, temperature, and humidity sensors, Haiku H Series ceiling fans respond to changing room conditions, keeping users comfortable and saving energy year-round. The fan turns on when users enter the room and off when they leave,. The fans’ Smart Mode lowers energy costs by reducing HVAC workload. During warmer months, the fan automatically increases speed as temperatures rise, so users can raise their thermostat without sacrificing comfort. During colder months, the fan turns slowly, using airfoils to push warm air from the ceiling to floor level without creating a draft. When users exit the room, the fan speeds up to more fully mix the air.
Huber Engineered Woods | ZIP System Stretch Tape
One piece of the new ZIP System stretch tape is all it takes to lock out moisture from curves, corners, edges, and other difficult applications. The flashing tape stretches in all directions for a faster, hassle-free installation and a tight seal that locks out moisture and air. Made from high-performance composite acrylic, ZIP System stretch tape can be reapplied to create a super strength bond on any shape and structure from penetrations and window sills to uncommon architectural details.
Hunter Douglas | Hunter Douglas PowerView Motorization
The PowerView Motorization advanced wireless operating system allows homeowners to raise, lower, tilt or traverse their Hunter Douglas window treatments via a Pebble Remote. The PowerView App allows users to create customized scenes that control all the shades in a home in any combination of positions to fit the mood or activity, and schedule the scenes to automatically set the shades in motion at pre-set times. RemoteConnect can be used to operate the shades from anywhere in the world. PowerView integrates with other home automation systems, including Nest and Logitech.
MFM Building Products | FutureFlash
The FutureFlash Waterproofing System provides new technology to prevent moisture damage around windows and doors. The System utilizes a combination of a tough, mechanically-attached, flexible FutureFlash waterproofing membrane and high-performance FutureFlash Sealant. FutureFlash is a prefabricated waterproofing membrane for use around windows, doors, under stucco, and other exterior wall systems. It is composed of two high-performance films with a core of specially formulated rubberized asphalt to self-seal around fasteners. It is durable, offers great tear strength, and UV stability. FutureFlash is available in 25-mil and 40-mil thicknesses.
Panasonic | The SelectCycler System
The SelectCycler System is a cost effective, whole house mechanical ventilation solution for ASHRAE 62.2 compliance. By combining the best parts of both central fan integrated ventilation (typically forced air HVAC/AHU) and exhaust fan ventilation, the SelectCycler System provides an energy efficient ventilation solution. The system features two modes of operation – Hybrid mode, which achieves the lowest cost per HERS point for supply ventilation, and Balanced mode, which achieves the lowest cost per HERS point for balanced ventilation. The SelectCycler System is designed to work with WhisperGreen Select ultra-quiet DC motor fans, which incorporate Pick-A-Flow adjustable CFM technology for optimal use in Balanced mode.
Phantom Screens | Retractable Screens
Phantom Screens recently launched Executive motorized screens with clear vinyl. These clear vinyl retractable screens can be utilized for both residential and commercial projects and allow for patios and porches to be used year-round. Results from field applications have shown that extended units can retain thermal conditions in outdoor living spaces for at least three hours, reducing the need for extended use of mechanical cooling and heating systems. Additionally, Executive motorized screens can withstand wind speeds of up to 50 mph with no damage.
S&P USA Ventilation Systems, LLC | IAQ Sense
S&P USA Ventilation Systems’ popular Premium CHOICE (PC) Series of bathroom ventilation fans now offers IAQ Sense. A PC fan with IAQ Sense consists of an IAQ sensor (PCIAQS) that detects and extracts both Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and humidity. The sensor is also pre-installed in S&P’s PCD110IAQS, which has a DC motor. PC fans with IAQ Sense detect & extract humidity, carbon monoxide, ammonia, acetone, benzene, and other harmful VOCs.
Savant | Savant App
The Savant App enables homeowners to control lighting and entertainment through a single, easy-to-use interface. The App enables fast access to control of scenes and services, and offers personalization features so homeowners can tailor it to their preferences. Additionally, the Savant App offers secure, cloud-based remote access that allows homeowners to control their system from anywhere. The App also features Savant Instant, a guided, in-app setup tool that makes setup easy enough for anyone to get a Savant system running in minutes.
Simpson Strong-Tie | The Strong-Wall Wood Shearwall
Simpson Strong-Tie’s Strong-Wall Wood Shearwall is a prefabricated and code listed engineered-wood panel that helps structures resist lateral forces such as those created by earthquakes and high winds. The Shearwall is field adjustable and can be field-trimmed and drilled. The narrow panel widths allow for significantly higher loads and a stronger overall wall. Suitable for residential, multifamily, and light-frame commercial use, Strong-Wall Wood Shearwall has newly designed front access that allows for easier anchor bolt installation and inspection. The product is easy to install as reusable templates locate the required holdown anchor bolts accurately in the foundation.
Sub-Zero & Wolf by Riggs Distributing | M Series Professional Double Oven (DO30PM/S/PH)
The high-performance M series built-in ovens by Sub-Zero & Wolf has introduced advanced Dual VertiCross convection to create an oven with extremely consistent cooking. When an M series oven is turned on, the advanced Dual VertiCross convection system quickly saturates the cavity with even, consistent heat. Two corner column fans with parallel vertical heating elements work together to provide advanced performance. M Series built-in ovens offer 10 cooking modes that control heat and airflow so every dish comes out exactly as intended. Both single and double ovens come in contemporary, transitional, or professional styles to fit the décor of any kitchen.
SWD Urethane | Quik-Shield 108 Ultra-Low Density Spray Foam Insulation
Quik-Shield 108 is the only Ultra-Low Density spray foam insulation on the market. This product provides a 25 percent greater yield over traditional 0.5pcf open-cell spray foams and significantly reduces material cost for projects. Additional Quik-Shield 108 features 360° product expansion so it can fill an entire wall cavity in a single-motion, increasing jobsite productivity by up to 20 percent. Long-range application and heavy-duty adhesion provide the ability to insulate a roof deck from up to 15 feet away without the foam dripping or falling off the deck. This allows contractors the possibility of getting rid of ladders and scaffolding, making the jobsite safer and more efficient.
Tile Redi USA | WonderFall Trench
Tile Redi introduces the WonderFall Trench, the only one piece ready-to-tile shower pan on the market with an integrated linear trench that includes an Infinity Shower Floor offering a tileable grate. The WonderFall Trench is available in a variety of different widths and depths, drain positions, and curb styles and widths. This Tile Redi shower pan eliminates the need for conventional base mortar beds, vinyl liners, hot mopping, and piece-puzzled shower components. The WonderFall Trench combines form and function.
TOTO USA | Carlyle II 1G Connect+ S350e
The Washlet Connect+ is a cleansing system that uses a warm-water nozzle, which can be controlled in either pulsating or oscillating mode to leave the user feeling fresh. The Washlet also features a heated seat, warm-air dryer, and remote control. TOTO's 1G toilets offer water savings without sacrificing performance. Using the powerful, yet quiet, gravity-based Tornado Flush technology, 1G fully evacuates the bowl with an ultra-efficient one-gallon of water.
Judges for the 2016 Parade of Products
The jury, comprised of expert builders, engineers, designers, journalists, and architects, selected winning products based on innovation, practical application and how well each accomplishes the solution for which it is designed.
- Melanie Andrews, The New Home Company, Director of Purchasing
- Jacon Atalla, KB Home, VP Sustainability
- Denise Dersin, Professional Builder, Custom Builder, and Products, Editorial Director
- Thomas A. Gansheimer, Lennar, President (Tucson Division) and Vice President (West Region Purchasing)
- Jeffrey T. LaFetra, AIA, Bassenian Lagoni Architects, President
- Nigel F. Maynard, Custom Builder and Products, Editor-in-Chief
- Robert Raymer, California Building Industry Association, Senior Engineer/Technical Director
- Tom Wong, Danielian Associates, Senior Designer/Associate