Observations & Ideas From GreenBuild

There was a wide variety of green ideas at the 2012 GreenBuild Expo. It was certainly a healthy experience, in addition to a green one, with the exhibits spread between three buildings and a few city blocks at San Francisco’s Mascone Center. We logged several miles on the pedometer in our search for interesting green ideas. Here are a few:

Idea Paint
This is a very cool Dry Erase Paint product nationally distributed by MDC of Elk Grove Village, IL. It comes in Pro and a Create versions. Both are commercial grade and LEED compliant, GreenGuard children & school certified and formaldehyde free. The latter is odorless. It’s promoted as a single-coat application. A full array of colors are available. The Dry Erase Write-on/Wipe-off works great too so this one gets a nod for highly practical green product.

Low Flow Commodes
There were no shortages of companies pitching Low Flow Toilets. Visiting half a dozen was enlightening to learn the variations on this theme of using less water per flush. I asked an exhibitor why there were so many of these particular products on display to which he replied “California and the West have had water wars for years so I guess it’s low ranging fruit here for a needed green alternative.” (In fact, the lodge we stayed in on a side trip to Yosemite used low flush toilets exclusively and featured the fact prominently in their literature.)

The Sidney Smart Point-8 from Caroma USA seemed to win the war of “certified” lowest gallons per flush (gpf.) Their Smart Point-8 uses 1 gpf for solid flush but just 0.7 gpf for liquid flush–the lowest we sawon our our tour. Seems like this is a product that should be more prominently in use across the country…but when is the last time you used a toilet with two buttons on the top–one for liquid and one for solid?

Green Guitar
One of the more unusual items on display at the 2012 GreenBuild Expo was a Martin guitar with an innovative alternative to the typical wood fretboard. See more in our post on this one.

vStat Virtual Zone Control
The Building Automation category was also well represented with many companies offering automation solutions to better control energy consumption (among other things.) vStat from American Auto-Matrix has an interesting variation on virtual computer controls. This control comes with a built in QR Code Reader for remote navigation within a large building or facility. A QR code can be generated and placed near a thermostat or access point where a user can scan the code and access the system to make adjustments in the field. Gets our best use of QR Codes.

Cellulose Insulation, the Greenest of the Green, was also well represented with CIMA’s Cellulose Pavilion and displays by CIMA Producer Members including Applegate Insulation, International Cellulose and Nu-Wool.

At the Expo? Let us know what interesting green products you saw.

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