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Greenbuild 2010 showcases innovative solutions

Jan. 4, 2011
CHICAGO — More than 140 plumbing and HVAC manufactures showcased a variety of sustainable products and technologies here at Greenbuild 2010, Nov. 17–19.

CHICAGO — More than 140 plumbing and HVAC manufactures showcased a variety of sustainable products and technologies here at Greenbuild 2010, Nov. 17–19, and approximately 28,000 green building professionals, from contractors and engineers to architects and designers, explored these products and technologies at the conference and expo.

Showcased at the Kohler booth was the Wellworth toilet, which is turning 75-years-old in 2011 and for the first time in 25 years has received a rejuvenated design. The Wellworth toilet family, with Class Five flushing technology, now offers a model that will flush just 1.28-gpf. The toilet is certified to carry EPA’s WaterSense label for using at least 20% less water than standard 1.6-gal. toilets while meeting flushing performance guidelines. Contributing to the toilet’s power and virtually plug-free performance is a combination of a water delivery system and durable canister flush valve, maximizing the efficient flow of water to harness the natural force of gravity. This is achieved by the canister valve’s opening, originating at 3-1/4 inches and tapering down to 2 inches to create additional pressure and a strong flush.

Also showcased was the new version of Kohler’s child-sized toilet, which provides water savings to schools and daycares. Just over a decade ago, Kohler introduced the child-size primary toilet, specially designed for kids. Now Kohler is launching its water-saving version of this child-size bowl with the WAVE flushometer to offer a high-efficiency commercial solution for kids. Previously a 1.6-gpf, the new version of the kid’s primary toilet uses only 1.28-gpf, making it 20% more efficient and designating this product as a high-efficiency toilet. Designed mainly for daycare and school installation, the 1.28-gpf toilet bowl supports the growing trend for improving water efficiency in schools.

At Sloan’s booth the new Sloan Monitored Systems (SMS), an integrated system that captures data based on facility needs, was showcased. It is capable of capturing data on water consumption on valves, faucets and more. By managing life expectancy of valve and faucet parts, as well as other components of the total bathroom, maintenance staff can be informed by Sloan when something needs to be replaced. The system allows for usage counts by fixture/faucet. Also showcased was a 1.28-gpf two-piece toilet, a commercial grade toilet with a powerful gravity flush with siphon jet flushing action. The two-piece toilet also comes in 1.6-gpf with left and right handle options. A new waterfree urinal, providing 7,000 uses per cartridge, was also on display.

American Standard presented its lines of high efficiency urinals and flush-valve options that meet or exceed the EPA’s WaterSense program requirements for high performance and water efficiency, with water savings as much as 87%. High efficiency toilets include the Cadet 3, which is among the American Standard products manufactured domestically that meet the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) projects.

American Standard has expanded its WaterSense-certified FloWise collection of water-conserving bath showerheads, including, for the first time, hand showers, along with an increased assortment of styles in up to five different finishes. FloWise showerheads save up to 40% in water usage over current standards. The company also presented the H2Option flushing system, a siphonic dual flush toilet, leveraging its PowerWash technology to scour the bowl, achieving WaterSense-certification, and being independently rated to flush as much as 1,000 grams. Its Hatteras, Glance and Illume styles of JADO bathroom faucets have been WaterSense-certified, providing 32% water savings over standard models.
Rheem showed off its Prestige Series Condensing Tankless Water Heater, the most efficient Rheem tankless water heater to-date. Boasting a minimum flow rate of 0.26-GPM and a minimum activation flow rate of 0.40-GPM, homeowners using low-flow fixtures receive hot water without having to increase the flow of water. Units can vent with PVC piping. The water heaters can also be easily linked for high demand, multi-unit applications and configured for commercial applications.

Rheem SolPak Active Solar Water Heating Systems are now available with high efficiency tankless gas water heaters and Rheem Marathon electric storage tanks. With these additions, Rheem SolPak provides builders with an enhanced selection of energy-efficient solar options and homeowners with greater energy saving opportunities.

The Rheem Marathon Multi-Port Thermal Storage Tank offers a lightweight, energy-efficient thermal storage tank with the installation flexibility to fit a variety of applications. The Marathon Multi-Port Tank is available in two-port and three-port configurations, and is a good match for solar, geothermal or hydronic water heating systems. Its backup electrical element provides 40-gal. or more of heated water, and is built with a titanium sheath, which resists lime build up. The product’s lifetime warranty cuts down on landfill waste.

Watts Water Technologies showed its recently acquired BRAE rainwater harvesting product line. The line of commercial and residential rainwater harvesting products includes BRAE Complete Home, BRAE Complete Commercial and BRAE Complete Education systems that combine filtration, storage, pumping, and water treatment functions. The systems may be used for irrigation, washing vehicles, flushing toilets, chiller makeup supply, custodial services or fire suppression systems.

Falcon Waterfree Technologies showcased the Falcon F-7000 waterfree urinal. It is constructed of vitreous china and is a wall hung, wall outlet unit. It features a patent-pending splash-free design, contemporary styling, and a mid-size wall footprint that makes it ideal for retrofits and new construction. The urinal features a biodegradable liquid sealant that never needs to be replenished; pipe-in-pipe technology that guarantees downhill slope in drain connections; one-piece hanger brackets for fast and accurate installation; patented cartridges with tamper-resistant and odor-free operation; and cartridge indicators that clearly show when a cartridge has completed its lifecycle.

Acorn showcased the AcornVac vacuum flush toilet, which provides an efficient, water-saving flush that uses less than ½-gal. of water per flush cycle, and the AcornVac Vacuum Plumbing System. The vacuum flush toilet creates a cleaner environment, reduces the health hazards associated with gravity drainage, and minimizes the spread of bacteria since there is no splashing or dripping. These vacuum toilets are quieter than traditional toilets when flushed, and the AcornVac vacuum toilets average only 73 dB.

The AcornVac Vacuum Plumbing System minimizes the use of fresh water for toilet flushes, thus, contributing to a smaller water and sewage footprint for any building. The system effectively removes waste while reducing potable water consumption by as much as 68%. Unlike gravity drainage systems, AcornVac is installed above-ground, eliminating the risks involved when trenching and digging is risky or impossible. Plus, the system can be installed vertically or horizontally to provide flexibility in layout and design. The vacuum flush toilet and AcornVac Vacuum Plumbing System can be used for a variety of projects, including prisons, correctional centers, laboratories, clinics, medical centers, supermarkets, etc.

At Aquanomix’s booth, the AX Water Management system was showcased, featuring automated programming tailored for the needs of each client and site, tracking of water quality and quantity in real-time, supporting trend analysis for measurement and verification, and local and remote access via Internet connection. The company also offers a turnkey solution, managing water from cistern to end use, and all systems can be customized to meet project parameters. Controls platform allows for easy integration into building management systems. Integrated Controls Logic displays cumulative financial and water savings, provides trend analysis for measurement and verification, communicates real-time with associated controllers, along with a remote system control via Internet or BAS connection.

Advantix showcased its DuTreat (DT) Series, a cooling system that offers desiccant dehumidification technology that cools, dehumidifies, increases indoor air quality and provides temperature and humidity control. Its design and features improve air quality and energy savings, operating costs are typically 30-40% lower than for conventional vapor-compression outdoor air systems and 55-65% lower than desiccant wheel systems. The unit offers precise control of the indoor environment by controlling humidity and temperature independently; greater comfort due to eliminating overcooling of supply air; improved indoor air quality through removal of airborne particulates, allergens, and microorganisms; and eliminates opportunities for mold formation by eliminating all points of condensation in the system. Advantix systems also use an all-natural liquid desiccant solution to dehumidify, cool and clean air. Since there is no degradation or carryover, units require little maintenance and are easy to install for new or retrofit applications.

CALMAC showcased its “C" style IceBank tank, offering lower installation and maintenance costs by reducing field piping, connections, insulation and storage footprint. Ice Bank C-Models (1500C, 1320C and 1190C) feature modular, internalized main headers under the cover of each tank. The new internal headers can be configured in the field to reduce field piping and insulation, and as a result, a series of Ice Bank tanks now takes up less square footage. Plus, the installed footprint of these new tanks is approximately 20% less than their predecessors. The tanks also feature an innovative, proprietary heat exchanger assembly, designed to increase operating limits. The new polyethylene welding process entirely eliminates mechanical joints and fittings and the pressure ratings of all C-models is a maximum of 125 psi.

EnOcean showcased a variety of wireless products. A wireless thermostat, manufactured by EnOcean Alliance partner ILLUMRA, features energy saving HVAC controls without running new wire. The thermostat wirelessly communicates with transmitters and receivers such as occupancy sensors, hotel keycard access switches, wireless room temperature sensors and more. When the thermostat receives an "occupied" signal, it adjusts temperature set points to a narrow preset range (i.e. 69°F-71°F). And when the thermostat receives an "unoccupied" signal, it adjusts temperature set points to a wider range (i.e. 59°F-81°F). When used with an EnOcean BMS Gateway, the thermostat can be connected to LON and BACNet HVAC control systems.

Also displayed was the self-powered Wireless KeyCard Reader Switch, a solution based on the interoperable EnOcean “Energy Harvesting” wireless standard. Manufactured by ILLUMRA, the Key Card Reader automates hotel room energy conservation by disabling HVAC, lighting and electrical loads in unoccupied rooms. The device installs in minutes without wires or batteries, minimizing installation, clean up and downtime costs.

Toto showed a wall-hung version of its residential Aquia dual flush toilet. The wall-mounted flush panel flushes either 1.6-gpf or 0.9-gpf. Toto also showed its Double Cyclone Flush Engine in the one-piece, skirted Carolina II and Carlyle II, the one-piece Supreme II, and the two-piece Vespin II toilets. The company displayed its traditional design Guinevere 105-gpm widespread HEF, the contemporary Soiree widespread 1.5-gpm faucet and a single handle ADA-complaint faucet called the Kiwami Renesse.

Rehau showcased its most recent developments for the renewable energy market, including the RauGeo ground loop heat exchange and Rehau EcoAir ground-air heat exchange systems. New products such as the Pro-Balance XP polymer manifold, 360-ft. 1-in. double U-bend and RauGeo Helix vertical ground loop were displayed. In addition, the company highlighted recent installations of both the RauGeo and Rehau EcoAir systems throughout North America. The RauGeo PEXa Pipe features a coextruded grey PE UV shield that protects the pipe against ultraviolet light for extended periods. The U-bend tips are then encased in a glass-reinforced resin, providing enhanced protection during handling and borehole insertion. All RauGeo PEXa pipe meets or exceeds the requirements of ASTM F876, F877, CSA B137.5 and PPI TR-3, and is produced in a REHAU manufacturing facility with an ISO 9001 certified quality management system.

In tune with the audience, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition smartly emphasized the conservation benefits of fire sprinklers, which use about 18-GPM per sprinkler versus 100-GPM or more for a fire hose. Burning houses also pollute the air and add to landfill waste. Use of automatic sprinklers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98%, the Coalition noted, reduce fire damage by up to 97%, reduce water use to fight the fire by up to 91%, and reduce runoff of contaminated water. The Coalition pointed out that a fire in an unsprinklered home could negate the environmental benefits of building a green structure.

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