Product Reviews

Smith & Fong


Looking for information on the latest and greatest green building products? Look no further. These resources provide in-depth analysis of industry-leading products that are changing how we design and build.

You will learn about products that:

  • promote material transparency

  • tighten the building envelope

  • save water and energy

  • avoid chemicals of concern

  • enhance productivity

  • improve lighting

And just as significantly, the articles provide context, describing the status quo in the industry and why these products are important.

Not all of these products end up on Top 10 lists, however. In fact, some are exposed as greenwashing poseurs.

  • An Affordable Heat-Pump Water-Heater Retrofit

    Product Review

    AirTap is an affordable heat-pump module that can be retrofit onto a conventional electric or gas water heater. The unit has a first-hour rating of 42.5 gallons, an efficiency of 240%, and a GAMA-tested energy factor of 2.11.

  • Whey-Based Floor and Furniture Finishes

    Product Review

    PolyWhey floor and furniture finish from Vermont Natural Coatings uses whey protein, a byproduct of the cheese industry, to create a durable product with low levels of volatile organic compounds.

  • Top-Performing Pellet Stoves

    Product Review

    High-efficiency pellet stoves from Quadra-Fire and Harman Stove Company offer heat from a renewable source with low particulate emissions.

  • Coolerado: Evaporative Cooling Without Added Humidity

    Product Review

    As an indirect evaporative cooler, the Coolerado provides cool air without adding moisture. Its innovative technology also delivers lower temperatures than conventional evaporative coolers, and it's much more efficient than conventional central air-conditioners.

  • Composite Panel Industry Adapts to Pending CARB Regulation

    Product Review

    California will adopt stringent new standards for emissions from composite wood products in 2009, pushing the panel industry to convert to more environmentally friendly binders.

  • Three-in-One Insulating Sheathing from Dow

    Product Review

    A new polyisocyanurate sheathing from Dow uses recycled content and provides structural shear bracing, wraparound insulation, and a water-resistant barrier in one product.

  • Decorative Ceiling Panel Uses Recycled Content

    Product Review

    Chicago Metallic has introduced Monarch GE, a decorative ceiling panel system using gypsum and 70% recycled content from glass.

  • A Low-Emissivity Coating That Really Works

    Product Review

    Despite manufacturer claims, not all insulating coatings are created equal. Coatings with ceramic particles are not effective, but coatings with metallic particles, like LO/MIT-II from SOLEC-Solar Energy Corporation, can reduce radiant heat transfer.

  • Smaller Copper Particles, Smaller Environmental Impact for Treated Wood

    Product Review

    With its MicroPro treated wood, Osmose is one of several companies making innovations in copper preservative techniques. MicroPro's use of tiny copper particles offers environmental benefits when compared with conventional copper treatment.

  • Beneficial Bacteria Reduce Urinal Water Use

    Product Review

    The Ecoblue Cube uses beneficial bacteria to convert conventional flushing urinals to virtually waterless operation without significant installation costs, and avoiding the common pitfalls of waterless urinals.