PHOENIX — This year's Greenbuild Show here was packed with plumbing and heating manufacturers who likely would not have been here just three years ago. Greenbuild is turning into a top venue for plumbing-heating-cooling manufacturers and practitioners alike.
Zurn displayed its EcoVantage line of fixtures and valves, including its line of seven 1-pint/flush urinals, which the company is promoting as a high-efficiency alternative to waterless urinals. Zurn does, however, offer two models of waterless urinals. The company also presented its Hydo Generator Electronics for sensor faucets in which an internal turbine charges an electric cell that runs the faucet, and its commercial kitchen Jet Spray pre-rinse faucet that uses 1.24 GPM.
Sloan Valve offered its wash-down 1-pint/flush Alpine urinal that uses a solar cell with battery backup to operate the flush valve. The fixture needs just a ½-in. supply line and comes fully assembled with integrated valve and sensor, and four AA batteries are included. A vandal-resistant cover offers easy access for the plumber. The fixture will flush consistently on water pressure between 10-120 psi. The fixture is compliant with applicable standards and regulations from ADA, ASSE, ANSI/ASME and NEMA.
Kohler Co. introduced the company's first one-piece, single-flush, high-efficiency toilet, the Archer. The toilet's flush tower ensures consistent 1.28-gpf flushing performance with no tank run-ons. Curved detailing along toilet base and one-piece design provides users with easy cleanability and seamless lines. Kohler also introduced the Hybrid energy system for touchless commercial faucets, a power solution that has been tested to last at least 30 years. Insight Technology for wall- and deck-mount faucets analyzes and logs feedback from its environment upon initial installation, so the sensor calibrates its factory default setting to accommodate its new home. As a result, the sensor is precisely tuned to its exact position, and eliminates false actuations. The Hybrid energy system features a Hybrid layered-capacitor, collecting the small electrical discharges of the battery. When the faucet is activated for use, power is drawn from the capacitor, allowing the cell to maintain its superior power storage. The Insight Technology allows the battery to remain operable for 30 years or more.
Rheem had a plethora of products to show attendees, including its recently introduced HP-50, a 50-gal. heat pump water heater that's twice as efficient as a standard electric water heater. Measuring 21-in. in diameter and 75.5-in. tall, the heat pump water heater offers a slimmer profile that makes installation in spaces with restricted access, including attics and basement mechanical rooms, much easier. Rheem's extensive green product line includes a 95% AFUE furnace, a geothermal heat pump, a dual fuel heat pump, a solar water heating package, power vent water heaters and tankless heaters. The firm's Raypak division showed high-efficiency pool and spa heaters. Most of Rheem's products are Energy Star certified and qualify for federal tax credits, as well as many state and local incentives.
Delta introduced hands-free Proximity Sensing Technology that operates the faucet by forming a 4-in. field around the body of the faucet. When the user's hand enters the field, the faucet is turned on. When the user removes his hands from the water stream, the faucet turns off within two seconds. Free of optics and infrared, the sensing technology has been added to two of Delta's faucet styles, Arzo and Grail. Both faucet bodies are constructed of solid brass. The product is designed to self-calibrate once it has been installed. The surface mount control box makes it easy to access the controls for installation and routine facility maintenance. The auto shut-off feature is factory set to 45 seconds, and it will reset and recalibrate once obstructions are removed. Available in either battery or hard-wired models, the low battery alarm will beep when 1,500 cycles remain.
Moen showed new bath faucets that feature a 1.5 GPM flow rate. The result is water conservation of up to 32%, WaterSense labeling and contribution towards LEED points. Flow-optimized showerheads use 30% less water while likewise contributing towards LEED points. The flow-optimized single- and three-function showerheads outperform the standard 2.5 GPM flow rate without sacrificing performance. Flow-optimized faucet aerators force air into the water stream to maintain pressure. In addition to maintaining rinsing efficiency, these aerators restrict flow from the standard 2.2 GPM to 1.5 GPM. They are simple add-ons that can make any faucet compliant with many certification standards. Commercial heavy-duty faucets with ultra-low flow 0.5 GPM aerators are built to limit water consumption in public applications.
ECR Intl. displayed its freewatt micro-combined heat and power unit for residential applications. The freewatt operates using micro-CHP technology, which marries an Energy Star-rated, high-efficiency gas furnace or boiler to a Honda generator. Freewatt can produce nearly 5,000 kilowatts of electricity each year, which reduces a home's carbon footprint by up to 6,000 lbs. Operating on natural gas or propane, freewatt utilizes about 95% of the fuel energy to supply heat and electricity for the home. According to the company, installing a freewatt can increase a home's value by $5,000 to $20,000.
Additional plumbing-heating-cooling products at Greenbuild will be reviewed in our January issue.