Apologies to Paul Simon, but when I looked at the long list of design ideas I compiled while at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, I thought I’d try to mention 50 of them—a nice round num
Here's a run-down of Green Products that are energy efficient or environmentally friendly.
The Bona Traffic and Bona Mega waterborne finishes have VOC levels of 180 and 150 grams per liter respectively and is Greenguard-certified. It applies similarly to a solvent and has a fast curing rate with a clear and colorless finish. Finishes are available in satin and semi-gloss that are nonflammable and has few odors.
PureBond formaldehyde-free veneer panels are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The panels are coated with a soy-based proprietary resin. Veneers range from 1/28-inch to 1/42-inch in thickness and are available in birch, red oak, maple, ash, cherry and other species in whole piece, book-matched and spliced styles.
The Synergy line of bamboo strand flooring from Teragren is harder than both maho-gany and red oak and manufactured for high-traffic installations. Held together with environmentally safe adhesives and almost formaldehyde-free, the flooring has a tongue and groove assembly both pre-finished and unfinished. The Synergy line also features coordinating stair parts and moldings.
The moisture control units from Humidex expel moist air and replace it with fresh air. They are made of aluminum to resist corrosion and come with a 6-inch duct, sleeve and outside flapper. The fans run at 115V AC/60hz and have low energy consumption and noise levels. Relative humidity is kept at 50-60 percent in the summer and 40-50 percent in the winter.
The 62-watt solar roofing modules from Sharp are compatible with most roof tiles. One module is used about every five standard tiles and screws into existing roof battens. Each module lays flat and interlocks with surrounding tiles. They are impact- and wind-resistant and deflect water. The modules have a 25-year limited warranty on power output.
Approved by the Forest Stewardship Council and by the Rainforest Alliance, KlipTech's PaperStone countertops are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. The materials are held together by a non-petroleum, water-based phenol that has no formaldehyde. Slate black, leather brown and mocha colors are available in 30-inch and 60-inch widths and lengths of 8, 10 and 12 feet with thicknesses from 1/4-inch to 2 inches.
LED floodlights from enLux are now made with a GU-24 pin base being mandated by California Title 24 energy requirements and EPA Energy Star guidelines. No ballasts, separate wiring or transformers are required for installation. The LEDs come in three tones: warm, neutral and cool — or 2800, 3300 or 4100 degrees Kelvin — and have a light output similar to 45- to 65-watt incandescent floodlights. Accent floodlights in 18 colors are also available and have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours.
DriTac Adhesive Group's 7500 Eco-Urethane contains zero VOCs. The solvent-free urethane adhesive has a high initial tack, contains no water and provides a permanent bond on a wide range of wood floors. It is available in 2 gallon and 4 gallon containers and is freeze-thaw stable, non-slumping and has few odors.
The Dust Eliminator from C&R Flooring is certified for indoor air quality by the Greenguard Environmental Institute. The unit is self-contained and attaches to sanders, edgers and buffers to remove dust through a 300-foot capacity hose powered by a self-contained 27-horsepower, water-cooled Kawasaki engine. A 200-foot, 2-inch diameter hose is used for sanders and a 100 foot, 1½—inch diameter hose for use with edgers and buffers.
The Ice Bear from Ice Energy uses a standard air conditioner to freeze 500 gallons of water in the unit's tank when it's dark out. The ice generated during the day is then used to pump cold air through evaporator coils into homes using only 300 watts of power, compared to an average 7,000 watts used by typical AC units.
Featuring the company's Ambiance transitions, the indoor pendant and wall sconce kits from Sea Gull Lighting are Energy-Star-rated and measure 5 inches by 7 7/16 inches. Pendants are 5 inches in diameter and are powered by compact fluorescent bulbs or by G8 Halogen T4 50-watt bulbs. Kits include a glass shade, pendant assembly and mounting hardware.
The Prestige series 18 Seer air conditioners from Rheem have two-stage Copeland Scroll UltraTech compressors. The units are made with R-410A refrigerants that contain no ozone-harming compounds or gases and have comfort alert monitors to analyze system performance. The AC units have a low profile cabinet with an all-steel wrap-around for coil protection and are coated with the company's neutra green finish.