News Brief

BuildingGreen Announces Top-10 Products

We at BuildingGreen have selected our second annual Top-10 new green building products! Announced during Greenbuild, the awards represent the most exciting products added to our

GreenSpec Directory during the past year. This year’s winners cover a wide spectrum of products and applications, and highlight the ongoing innovation in the building-products industry.

• EnvironOxide pigment from Hoover Color Corporation in cooperation with Iron Oxide Recovery, Inc.

Photo: Iron Oxide Recovery, Inc.
This iron oxide pigment is recovered from abandoned coal-mine drainage, actually regenerating damaged ecosystems in its manufacturing process. Available in a range of earth-tone colors, EnvironOxide can be used in building materials including cement block, paint, wood stain, and brick. (See description in

The Pittsburgh Papers.)

• BioBase 501 soy-based foam insulation from BioBased Systems, Inc. BioBase 501 is a low-density, open-cell polyurethane, spray-foam insulation derived in part from soybean oil. It has an insulation value of R-3.7/in. (RSI-0.7)—or R-13 (RSI-2.3) at 3.5”(90 mm)—and costs significantly less than conventional open-cell polyurethane insulation. (See


Vol. 12, No. 9.)

• MemBrain “smart” vapor retarder made by CertainTeed’s parent company Saint Gobain. A unique vapor retarder, MemBrain is made from a polyamide (nylon-6) film that changes permeability according to relative humidity, making it less likely to trap moisture in mixed climates. (See


Vol. 12, No. 11.)

• American Pride latex paint from Southern Diversified Products in cooperation with the University of Southern Mississippi. Made largely of acrylated castor oil, this latex paint contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Priced competitively with high-end interior latex paints, American Pride is the second paint to earn Green Seal certification. (See


Vol. 12, No. 2.)

• Mineral silicate paints made by Keim Mineral Systems. Invented by Keim in 1878, mineral silicate paints soak into and chemically bond with the coated surface. These paints are permeable, nontoxic, noncombustible, and resistant to acid rain, fungi, and algae; they contain no VOCs; and they’re durable—according to Keim, some coatings have lasted over 100 years. (See


Vol. 12, No. 10.)

• EnviroGT wall and corner guards made by InPro Corporation.

Photo: InPro Corporation
Providing an alternative to the vinyl (PVC) in conventional wall and corner guards, InPro makes these products from 100% post-industrial recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Wood used in these products comes from well-managed forests, as certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards.

• Laboratory casework from Case Systems, Inc. One of the largest manufacturers of commercial casework used in schools, laboratories, and healthcare facilities, Case Systems switched its entire casework line from wood-fiber to Dow BioProducts’ Woodstalk™ wheat-straw particleboard this year. As a result, the casework is more resistant to moisture and no longer offgases formaldehyde. (See


Vol. 12, No. 11.)

• Mirra office chair from Herman Miller, Inc. Designed by Studio 7.5 Berlin and utilizing Herman Miller’s new “design for the environment” protocols, the Mirra chair is ergonomic, attractive, and reasonably priced. It uses a minimal number of components, each of which is labeled for future disassembly and refurbishing or recycling. The chair is made of recycled and otherwise benign materials, and 96% of it was designed to be recycled. (See


Vol. 12, No. 6.)

• Hot Water D’MAND system from Taco, Inc. This electronically activated water-pumping system quickly delivers hot water to fixtures while returning water that has been sitting in the hot-water pipes back to the hot-water tank. The system saves water that would otherwise be wasted while homeowners wait for water to reach the desired temperature, and it saves energy used to heat the water. (See


Vol. 12, No. 5.)

• EcoPower faucets from TOTO USA, Inc. This sensor-activated faucet uses a tiny hydropower generator to keep its battery charged. When the faucet is used five times each day, the battery will last 10 years; when it is used more frequently, the battery can last almost 20 years. Each 10-second cycle uses 0.17 gallons (0.64 l) of water, well below the federal standard and standard practice. (See


Vol. 12, No. 1.)

All of these products are listed in the recently released fourth print edition of the

GreenSpec Directory and are included in

GreenSpec online, available by subscription as part of BuildingGreen Suite. The press release about this year’s Top-10 awards is posted at

Published December 1, 2003

(2003, December 1). BuildingGreen Announces Top-10 Products. Retrieved from

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