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Top building products for October 2023

Products and Materials

Top building products for October 2023

Graphite-enhanced expanded polystyrene insulation boards, biophilic-inspired flooring, and a 4-station lavatory system are some of the top building products featured this month.

By BD+C Staff | October 31, 2023
Collage of building products October 2023
Top 15 building products for October 2023

Building Design+Construction editors bring you the top building products for the month of October. Collected across a variety of building sectors, these products easily insulate, touch up panel damage, and provide design flexibility.

From structural round timber (SRT) to user-friendly air handling units, here are 15 products being used in the industry today.

October 2023 Top 15 Building Products


Sto GPS Board

by Sto Corp. 

Sto GPS Board polystyrene insulation
Photo courtesy Sto Corp.

Featuring low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential, Sto GPS Board is a graphite-enhanced, 100% closed-cell expanded polystyrene insulation board and does not contain fluorocarbon-blowing agents. Usable in a variety of applications—including with the StoTherm ci GPS wall system, StoTherm ci MVES and StoPowerwall ci systems—the insulation board provides a thinner wall section that aligns with ASHRAE 90.1 prescriptive continuous insulation requirements while achieving an R-value per inch of 4.7 at 75 F. Its silver-gray color creates less glare and a professional jobsite appearance.

Flooring Medintone Sheet with Diamond 10 Technology

by AHF Products

Armstrong Flooring Medintone SeaSalt in hospital room
Photo courtesy AHF Products, Armstrong Flooring

The refresh of the Armstrong Flooring Medintone homogeneous sheet flooring collection introduces new colors and incorporates Diamond 10 Technology that provides scratch, stain and scuff resistance without needing polishing, stripping or restorative maintenance. Inspired by biophilia and natural healing, the collection is available in a spectrum of soft, tonal neutrals and bright pops of color plus a carefully curated texture. Engineered for spaces demanding superior infection control, the commercial flooring has through-pattern construction that resists abrasion and other wear created by heavy equipment or frequent rearrangement of furniture. The collection complies with LEED credit for Indoor Air Quality, Health Product Declaration and includes a 10-year commercial limited warranty. 

Solarban 60 Starphire glass

by Vitro Architectural Glass

 Vitro Architectural Glass aquarium
Photo courtesy Vitro Architectural Glass

A famous aquarium sought to improve the overall efficiency of the building envelope and functionality of its rainforest habitat, and because of the sensitive marine life setting with specific environmental parameters, much thought went into the glass specification decision before landing on Solarban 60 Starphire glass. Meeting the aquarium’s performance objectives while also helping replicate the rainforest environment, the glazing modules combine transparent low-iron glass with a high-performance solar control low-E coating to produce a visible light transmittance of 74% and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.41 in a standard 1-inch IGU. The first surface of the glazing was Walker Textures Opaque acid-etched glass on Starphire glass to help prevent bird collisions.

Chemetal Blackened Metals collection

by Chemetal

Chemetal 606 blackened aluminum planter
Photo courtesy Chemetal

The curated Blackened Metals Collection showcases 10 designs within the dark gray to black color range. For vertical or horizontal use in commercial interiors, the collection features subtle variation, embossed textures and industrial metal looks to provide options that suit a range of budgets and design needs. Most designs are aluminum, can be cut with woodworking equipment using a metal cutting blade and are 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life. Included, as an example, in the curated collection are the Alu designs that emulate the look of weathered or blackened steel but in lighter and more easily fabricated aluminum.

Hybrid Stablebase cell spray foam

by Firestable Insulation Company

Accufoam Contractor Spraying Stablebase Open Cell
Photo courtesy Firestable Insulation Company

Building on the recent release of Firestable FS 2.0, the insulation offerings expands to include two innovative, environmentally-friendly products, Stablebase 2.0 Max R and Stablebase 0.5 Max Yield. Both spray polyurethane foam insulation products comply with International Building Code AC-377; are suitable for commercial and residential applications; provide air, vapor and water barrier functionality; and offer shortened reoccupation times. Stablebase 2.0 Max R is a two-component, hydrofluoroolefins (HFO) blown, closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam system that has a 7.5 R-value and Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than 2 with an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of zero. Containing zero ozone-depleting blowing agents, Stablebase 0.5 Max Yield is a two-component, 1-to-1, open-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam designed to provide high thermal performance and significant control of air filtration as an air-barrier assembly. 

Sustainable Structural Round Timber (SRT) products

by WholeTrees Structures

Exterior of Children's Museum of Eau Claire
Children's Museum of Eau Claire in Eau Claire, Wis., by Steinberg Hart (architect), Market&Johnson (GC), ERA and KPFF (structural engineers), and WholeTrees. The 24,000-sf building was completed in 2022. Photo courtesy WholeTrees Structures

When planning a new children’s museum, the design team created a space that will foster excitement, encourage play and inspire discovery for kids of all ages and is carbon neutral as a structural round timber (SRT) building. Through collaboration with a timber engineering firm/fabricator, the primary structural support system for the two-story building consists of responsibly sourced mass timber, with round timber columns, joist trusses and girder trusses used in place of conventional steel and concrete. A loft-like interior space incorporates round timber columns as a demonstration of how a building is supported while also serving as an armature for hands-on exhibits and interactive technology. A timber products company sourced the Douglas fir logs and 30-foot structural maple columns from Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified forests. Starting with a key goal of reducing the carbon footprint of its construction, the museum has sequestered more than 350,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent in the timber structural system.

NHW-A Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater 

by Navien, Inc.

Navien NHW-A non-condensing tankless water heaters with ComfortFlow
Photo courtesy Navien, Inc.

The NHW-A non-condensing tankless water heater comes in two configurations,—NHW-AI for interior installations and NHW-AE for exterior installations—three sizes and with either natural gas or liquid propane fuel operation. As the only non-condensing tankless water heater to feature the ComfortFlow recirculation pump and buffer tank, it resolves the issue of low flow rates, helps eliminate the “cold water sandwich” effect and reduces wait time for hot water by allowing internal or external circulation without needing external parts or controls. Recirculation times can be programmed for always on, set on a weekly schedule using the remote controller or its intelligent setting can learn a user’s hot water patterns and automatically adjust to match.

Express TLX series 4-station lavatory system

by Bradley Corp.

Photo courtesy Bradley Corp.

Providing a durable, seamless and complete handwashing package, the Express TLX series 4-station lavatory system has an elongated, open trough design that is compact enough to save on wall space yet comfortably offers personal handwashing space for up to four users. This model is cast-formed in Terreon Solid Surface material for a smooth, seamless construction that, because it is a nonporous material, will not support mold, mildew or bacteria accumulation. Available in a full palette of solid surface colors, the lavatory system can be paired with a variety of fixture options, making it suitable for a variety of new construction and retrofit projects. The installation process requires only two rough-ins, integral mounting supports and a unique mounting plate.

Alumicor aluminum-framed systems, curtainwall

by Alumicor

Alumicor Transparent Glazing System
Transparent Glazing Systems installed Alumicor curtainwall, projected window vents, sliding doors, and swinging entrance doors for Edgewood Elementary School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Photo courtesy Transparent Glazing Systems, Alumicor

A new sustainable, contemporary elementary school in British Columbia, Canada, provides flexible learning spaces for more than 650 students from kindergarten through seventh grade with an atmosphere of inclusiveness, openness and transparency that the use of multiple Alumicor products helps achieve. With the school designed to meet LEED Gold criteria, the inclusion of Alumicor aluminum-framed systems complement the design’s generous use of glass and metal while providing energy efficiency and high thermal performance suited to the area’s cold climate. A two-story Alumicor curtainwall defines the school’s main entry foyer, while swinging entrance doors are engineered and manufactured to withstand high traffic and continuous use. Additionally, fully glazed glass sliding doors and interior frame systems from Alumicor line the corridors to carry in and optimize daylight more deeply into the school.

COASTALUME coastal roofing solution

by United States Steel Corporation and DuPont

COASTALUME™ product combines U. S. Steel’s GALVALUME®* solution with DuPont™ Tedlar® PVF film
Photo courtesy U.S. Steel

A collaboration between U.S. Steel and DuPont results in COASTALUME, a roofing solution engineered and warrantied for coastal environments. The maintenance-free roofing combines the strength and self-healing characteristics of U.S. Steel’s GALVALUME steel solution with DuPont’s Tedlar PVF film barrier that helps resist saltwater corrosion, UV damage, cracking, impact and more. Suitable for residential and commercial construction along the coast, the product provides a timeless aesthetic with a wide variety of color and finish options available. The product’s coastal warranty covers roofing and siding products installed up to 300 feet from breaking surf, large bays, marshes and other coastlines, while an exclusive warranty also covers up to 50 years for finish warranty and 25 years for substrate.

ALUCOBOND FaceFastened metal cladding

by 3A Composites USA 

ALUCOBOND FaceFastened metal facade
Photo courtesy 3A Composites USA

The launch of ALUCOBOND FaceFastened expands the company’s portfolio of metal façade system options with a plank-like design aesthetic suitable for commercial, multifamily, or mixed-use projects. Because the simple screwed ACM system utilizes FaceFastened Attachment Rails and Screws, the high-performance architectural cladding system delivers a seamless, flush-mounted appearance and design flexibility. The front skin of the panel folds over the system’s perimeter edges to allow for a consistent color appearance on all sides, and the oversized, exposed fasteners can be painted to match the panel face color for a unified appearance or a different color for design contrast.  It is available in 91 standard finish options plus custom colors, emit zero VOCs and contributes to LEED.

StressPly Legacy high-performance modified bitumen membranes

by The Garland Company

Mary Raber Elementary Stress Ply Legacy product
StressPly Legacy FR Mineral shown on a roof section at Mary Raber Elementary School, Columbia City, Ind. Photo courtesy The Garland Company

StressPly Legacy upholds the same standards for durability and waterproofing as previous generations of the high-performance modified bitumen membranes but with a focus on sustainability. Each roll recycles 20 plastic bottles into the fibers of the high strength reinforcing scrim, while each batch keeps eight tires from a landfill due to the amount of recycled crumb rubber incorporated. The StressPly Legacy FR Mineral includes smog reducing granules in its mineral surface that are activated by sunlight, which means a 20,000-sf commercial roof has an estimated smog reducing benefit equivalent to 19 trees. Biodegradable packaging, carbon-neutral shipping and a tree-planting service initiative round out the 360-degree approach to sustainability

High-capacity, welded concealed beam hanger

by Simpson Strong-Tie

Simpson Strong-Tie heavy seated knife plate
Photo courtesy Simpson Strong-Tie

Engineered specifically to meet some of the heaviest mass timber beam loads, the Simpson Strong-Tie HSKP (heavy seated knife plate) high-capacity, welded concealed beam hanger can meet heavy loads while providing a hidden connector, wood-only design aesthetic. The welded concealed beam hanger for mass timber structures is code listed for high-capacity loads up to 32 kips and is ideal for a range of applications where loads range from 20 to 32 kips. Offering generous fit-up tolerance for easy beam placement, it is installed in the factory with Strong-Drive SDCF Timber-CF structural screws for an easy to install wood-to-wood or wood-to-steel connection.

Geniox line of air handling units

by Systemair

Geniox air handling unit
Photo courtesy Systemair

Aligning its North American and European platforms, the Geniox line of air handling units is becoming even more user-friendly and versatile with more sizes, hygienic design, more flexibility for retrofit applications, more functionality and greater design capability. The versatile, modular platform allows for the complete customization of heat and energy recovery, cooling, filtration, mixing and other elements to meet individual project needs now with more flexibility; energy-efficient operation; and ease of selection, installation and control. SystemairCAD features an intuitive user interface and unique calculation tools to simplify the selection process and design the right air handler unit (AHU) for a project.

PAC-CLAD Paint Pen

by PAC-CLAD Petersen, a Carlisle company

PAC-CLAD paint pen
Photo courtesy PAC-CLAD Petersen, a Carlisle company

To quickly and effectively touch up scrapes or other damage to the metal panels’ finish, the PAC-CLAD Paint Pen can return the architectural metal façade to its intended appearance and protect the metal substrate. Available for standard colors, the paint pens contain 0.28 ounces of paint, can be shipped wherever needed and have a one year shelf life if stored with the cap tightly secured and in a horizontal position. The previously offered 2-ounce bottles are still available as special orders with longer lead times. 


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