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Top Building Systems Products for 2019

75 Top Building Products

Top Building Systems Products for 2019

FabricAir’s ceiling-hung fabric duct and Ellumi Lighting’s bacteria-killing lights are among the 13 new building systems products to make Building Design+Construction's 2019 101 Top Products report.

By BD+C Staff | December 16, 2019
Top Building Systems Products for 2019 Flos Architectural 101 Top Products report
Building Systems

The products selected for Building Design+Construction’s annual 101 Top Products report are determined by you, our readers. From security doors to metal ceilings, fabric ducts to rainscreen wall systems, linear drains to bacteria-killing LED lighting, these are the products that appeared in the pages of the magazine over the past 12 months that readers wanted to learn more about. The products were selected based on the number of reader service inquiries. BD+C editors selected a few of our favorites as well (marked “Editors' Picks”). 

The products are organized across eight categories: Building Envelope  |  Building Systems  |  Flooring  |  Glass and Glazing  |  Interior  |  Plumbing  |  Structural  |  Windows and Doors.




CITY MULTI N-Generation

This compact, quiet variable refrigerant flow system features a four-sided heat exchanger and a redesigned main branch circuit controller that result in a footprint up to 30% smaller than previous VRF outdoor units. Improved compressor and fan design reduces noise output, with decibel levels as low as 56.5 dB(A). The units require up to 13% less refrigerant charge than Mitsubishi’s L-Generation systems.




This is the industry’s first variable refrigerant flow and energy recovery ventilation technology combined in a unit ventilator system. It is a drop-in HVAC retrofit solution for schools without air conditioning or without space to install outdoor air duct. The VRF and ERV enthalpy wheel—combined with variable frequency-controlled motors—offers more efficiency and less operating sound than traditional ventilators.




Project: Ocean5, Middleton, Wis. Problem: This bowling alley required lighting controls that would simplify the complex lighting display. Solution: ETC’s Paradigm, Echo, and Mosaic controls were installed. Mosaic runs shows on LEDs that light mesh paneling behind each lane and DMX-controlled fixtures within the pinsetters. The shows are triggered by inputs on the Paradigm Touchscreens.




FabricAir’s VarioDuct provides uniform heating and cooling out of the same ceiling-hung fabric duct. A motorized damper actuator automatically switches a duct run between bottom or top air dispersion for uniform heating and cooling temperature gradients. Warm air is dispersed through its bottom hemisphere’s OriFlow orifices, Nozzflow nozzles, or JetFlow jets down to the occupied level. Cool air is dispersed through its top hemisphere’s SonicFlow or MicroFlow vents to promote natural descent to the occupied zone. VarioDuct saves up to 25% in energy costs versus traditional metal systems, says FabricAir.




Project: GIPHY Headquarters, New York, N.Y. Problem: The Manhattan HQ required a lighting strategy that complemented the brand and distinguished the headquarters’ GIPHY Park zone from the space’s other zones. Solution: Twenty-one Eureka Lighting Switch luminaires were installed in GIPHY Park. The black suspended fixtures have three arms, each of which conceals an LED module that seems to float in its housing. The arms were set at different angles to create something above eye level that broke up the gridded ceiling.




Greenheck’s SP motion and humidity sensing bathroom fans are designed for residential and commercial bathrooms and multifamily dwellings. The motion-sensing fans automatically turn on once movement is detected in the space, and power off after occupants leave. Models with integrated humidity sensors activate when the room’s humidity level rises above the relative humidity set point determined by the user. The fan continues to run after humidity levels fall below the set point and times out after 15 minutes.




Retail displays and art galleries frequently change the lighting set up of their spaces to best fit the current display or exhibition. In an effort to make these changes easier without sacrificing performance, the Tracking Magnet EVO lighting system uses magnets as an attachment mechanism. Each light strip or fixture can be repositioned without tools and connected automatically by touch. The system carries a 48-volt electrical core that can run up, around, and across walls and ceilings. Allows for 0-10V dimming for all light strips and optional fixtures.




The Crest Condensing Boiler line from Lochinvar can withstand strong winds, downpours, and UV exposure while remaining highly efficient on both space and energy. The compact units offer space savings for large public and commercial facilities like school systems, universities, and libraries. All outdoor Crest models come standard with the CON•X•US remote connectivity platform that allows commercial facility managers and building owners to monitor and adjust equipment controls from a mobile app. As many as eight Crest boilers can be cascaded together.




Through a partnership with robotics company Savioke, KONE’s elevator system technology integrates with Savioke’s Relay service robots. The initiative provides a higher level of autonomy for these indoor delivery robots, allowing the machines to navigate buildings such as hotels and hospitals. The robots are being piloted by several hotel operators for delivery of toiletries and other items to guests.




With health and wellness taking center stage in many multifamily buildings, these lights could prove to be a small but important detail to many prospective residents. Ellumi LED lights are offered in under-cabinet and recessed retrofit options and have the power to kill mold, fungi, and bacteria without UV or chemicals. The lights provide continuous disinfection when the disinfection mode is turned on, and also have a normal white standard mode (3000K). The energy-efficient LEDs last up to 50,000 hours. To engage the disinfection mode, users flip the switch on, off, and on again. The recessed retrofit lights are recommended for heights up to nine feet and can be placed in kitchens, above showers, or anywhere else prone to germs, mold, or fungi.




The Detect360 Active Shooter Response system combines gunshot detection with notification technology to provide immediate warning when a gunshot is fired within a building. The ASR system uses acoustic sensors with multiple microphones to detect the sound of gunfire, confirm that the sound was produced by a gun, and display the location of the shooter on a map-based graphical user interface.



VERDEdri Hand Dryer

World Dryer’s VERDEdri Hand Dryer dries hands in as little as 12 seconds, and uses only 950 watts of power. It features a HEPA filtration system, antimicrobial technology, and is ADA-complaint. VERDEdri has universal voltage and a motor life that lasts up to three times longer than competing driers, according to the maker.




Project: Voxman Music Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City. Problem: A 2008 flood ruined the Voxman Music Building, causing the university to rebuild and relocate the facility. The new space required functional, well-lit performance and rehearsal spaces. Solution: USAI Lighting’s BeveLED 2.1 Color Select fixtures were incorporated into rehearsal spaces due to their high intensity and ability to withstand the constant and intense sound waves produced by the instruments. On the team: JLB LA (lighting designer).


See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Building Envelope winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Building Systems winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Flooring winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Glass and Glazing winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Interior Building Product winners

See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Plumbing Product winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Structural Product winners
See the 101 Top Products for 2019: Window and Door Product winners

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