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101 Top Products: Building Systems

75 Top Building Products

101 Top Products: Building Systems

Among the best building system products included in BD+C's inaugural Top 101 Products report are Lithonia Lighting's VT Series LED System, Excel Dryer's ThinAir Hand Dryer, and Philips Lighting's FloatPlane LED.

By BD+C Staff | December 9, 2016
Rendering of Building
Rendering of Building

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1. Cree CR and LR Series LED Lighting | Cree

Cree CR and LR Series LED Lighting

Located in Lumber Bridge, N.C., Sandy Grove Middle School is one of the nation’s first energy-positive schools. The 76,000-sf STEM school was developed by First floor and designed by SfL+a Architects. The school’s energy-efficient features include Cree LED lighting: LR Series LED down- lights, CR Series architectural LED troffers, and LEDway street lights. More than 80% of the school’s fixtures are LED. Fixtures have a 10-year limited warranty and do not need to be re-lamped.




In 2015, Hampton by Hilton took over the former Chicago Motor Club, a 17-story Art Deco building that had been unoccupied for more than a decade. The developers needed to update the heating and cooling system without disrupting the building’s architecture. State Mechanical Services, the project’s mechanical contractor, chose air conditioning from LG Electronics, including the Art Cool Mirror duct-free, wall mounted, single-zone system. The decorative units provide heating and cooling to each room, and run as quietly as 23 dB. 


3.  VT SERIES LED SYSTEM | Lithonia Lighting 


To help Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas reach LEED Healthcare Platinum certification—the first hospital to be so designated—Polkinghorn Group Architects and ccrd Partners (engineers on the project) opted for the Lithonia Lighting VT Series LED system by Acuity Controls. The option cut lighting costs by $75,000 in the 85,000-sf, 72-bed addition of the existing hospital. Motion sensors are used in 95% of the building; controls keep track of the building’s energy use.




Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., used nearly 300 wireless occupancy/vacancy sensors from Lutron Electronics’ Quantum Total Light Management system in the new Jerry Falwell Library as part of a $500 million campus rebuilding plan. Vacancy sensors from Lutron’s Quantum Vue line were installed throughout two residential commons. Lighting and shade-control systems were placed in the Science Hall, LaHaye Student Union, and DeMoss Student Center. The Lutron systems will give the university the opportunity to analyze lighting use while future-proofing the system.




The combination of this unobtrusive, solar-powered daylight sensor and the company’s MechoNet Wireless Controller offers a simple automation solution for daylight harvesting and solar radiation and glare control. The system monitors light coming through the curtain wall and, via EnOcean RF communication technology, transmits data to the controller to move roller shades as needed. Can be configured for shade management in large buildings with multiple zones. 


6. Gen2 Switch Elevator | Otis

Gen2 Switch Elevator

Atlantique Habitations’ positive-energy social-housing project, Les Bourderies, in Rezé, France, near Nantes, features an elevator that runs on electricity generated by four solar panels on the building’s roof. This Gen2 Switch elevator is expected to get 80–100% of its power from these panels, depending on the time of year. In the event of power outages, the elevator switches to batteries that are also powered by the solar panels, and can run the car for up to 100 trips in the eight-story building. The Gen2 Switch’s battery technology allows the unit to operate at 0.5 kw—less than a toaster or a light bulb when on standby.




Machine room–less traction elevator for mid-rise structures combines advanced features typically available in high-rise buildings with energy-saving features. Options include Schindler’s PORT Technology destination-dispatching system, which can combine personalized access with faster travel times by grouping passengers with similar destinations. With a lightweight, durable, and exible suspension traction media replacing conventional steel ropes, the elevator delivers a smooth ride, free of vibrations—all while saving energy, emitting minimal heat, and running quietly. 


8. IN-DAPT OR CEILING SYSTEM | Walters Healthcare Resources 


This ve-component ceiling system features a patent-pending design that allows hospital facilities sta to relocate or change operating room equipment in a matter of hours, versus days with traditional modular, single large di user (SLD) ceilings. The In-Dapt OR Ceiling System can support up to 12,000 ft lb for ceiling-mounted medical equipment. It includes a raceway module with pre-assembled MEP for easy connectivity of systems. The intermediate structural module connects the grid module with medical equipment. 


9. D-RAIN JOINT SYSTEM | Bio-Microbics (Editor's Pick)


A simple, low-cost onsite storm water management alternative to permeable, pervious surface options, this drainage channel is comprised of prefabricated devices that permit the collection and conveyance of water along its total length for impervious surfaces. It works with traditional concrete, asphalt, and other paver-type materials to create a permeable, pervious surface system to move ltered rainwater
to the underneath gravel detention area of the pavement. This increases the usable surface and eliminates costly stormwater infrastructure.


10. THINAIR HAND DRYER | Excel Dryer (Editor's Pick)

This hand dryer is small and powerful. The surface-mounted model protrudes less than four inches from the wall, which makes it ADA-compliant. Yet, it still can dry hands in 15 seconds. Sound can be adjusted from 67 to 75 decibels. Heat settings can be adjusted from 333 to 960 watts. The unit is sensor activated and touch-free. It is GreenSpec Listed and qualifies for several LEED v4 credits.


11. SHAKE ALARM SYSTEM | CoreFirst  (Editor's Pick)


The Shake Alarm System quantifies lower-energy seismic P-waves, which are precursors to the more damaging S-waves. Upon detecting a P-wave, Shake Alarm will immediately send a warning text message to the cell phone of every occupant. It will automatically shut down gas and electricity, return elevators to ground level, open any metered doors, and activate backup power systems.


12. FLOATPLANE LED | Philips Lighting  (Editor's Pick)


This sleek suspended LED pendant o ers two low-profile options (edge and curve) and a price point that is comparable to fluorescent systems. The versatile fixture offers performance up to 129 LPW and distribution options of 70% up, 75% down, and 100% down. Available tunable white technology offers the ability to vary color temperature and intensity.


13. MULTI ELEVATOR | ThyssenKrupp  (Editor's Pick)


Elevator system allows several cabins in the same shaft to move vertically and horizontally to streamline transportation in mid- and high-rise buildings. The mechanism is made possible by applying the linear motor technology of magnetic levitation trains to the elevator industry. Multiple self-propelled elevator cabins run in a loop, increasing the shaft transport capacity by up to 50%, making it possible to reduce the elevator footprint in buildings by as much as 50%. The elevator requires no cables. 




Suitable for multifamily projects, this vent- less heat-pump dryer improves efficiency by using a refrigeration loop that condenses moisture from the drum and returns excess heat energy. HybridCare saves on HVAC energy, providing 40% energy savings over a standard dryer, according to the maker. Three built-in sensors read incoming and outgoing air temperatures while monitoring moisture levels inside the dryer. 

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