Sneak preview of top ten green materials

November 01, 2002 |

The U.S. Green Building Council’s first Green Building International Conference and Expo this month in Austin, Texas, will be highlighted by the selection of the top ten new green building products.

During the past year, more than 300 new green products were evaluated by BuildingGreen Inc., Brattleboro, Vt., publisher of the GreenSpec green product directory and the Environmental Building News newsletter. Selection of the top ten was made based on environmental features, applications, and cost. At press time, the list was not final, but Alex Wilson, editor of Environmental Building News newsletter, gave BD&C a sneak peak at several winners:

n Nanogel silica aerogel from Cabot Corp., Boston — This translucent insulation material is being incorporated into glazing panels from Kalwall Corp., Manchester, N.H., to create windows and skylights that permit 80% light transmittance, while providing an insulation value of up to R-20. “It’s a very significant insulation value without too much loss in daylight transmittance,” says Wilson. More information: and

n McDry waterless urinal from Duravit USA Inc., Duluth, Ga. — This all-porcelain waterless urinal utilizes a lighter-than-urine fluid comprised of hexyldecanol and perfume that traps the deposits. This sealing liquid is replaced after about 5,000 uses. Duravit ( joins Waterless Co., Del Mar, Calif. ( and Falcon Waterfree Technologies, Los Angeles (, as vendors of waterless urinal systems.

n Pure Performance paint from PPG Architectural Finishes, Pittsburgh — zero-VOC paint line that “is being introduced as a standard product line, so there’s no surcharge,” says Wilson. He says several vendors offer zero- or low-VOC paints, including Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, “but generally those are considered specialty products that have a price premium.” More information:

n FSC-certified oriented strand board from Roy O. Martin Lumber Co., Alexandria, La. — According to Wilson, this is the first OSB product certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which provides standards for the management of forestry operations. “It’s an issue of getting the fiber from a responsible source,” he says. For more, visit

The GreenSpec Directory ( describes 1,600 green products for the Building Team.

(Dave Barista, BD&C Associate Editor)

Overlay Init