The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is called “the world’s largest conference dedicated to green building.” This year’s theme focused on “What’s Next” for green building. LEED was everywhere.
An estimated 25,000 attendees came together for the educational sessions, renowned speakers, building tours, networking events, and a considerable expo, where they could visit with 1,000-plus exhibitors.
Greenbuild: the Expo
The expo itself was spread evenly across the North and South exhibition halls, with 100-plus educational sessions held in nearby meeting rooms. Exhibitors’ products spanned a broad green spectrum, from special composite building materials and cement, to flooring materials (raised and regular), ceiling tiles, HVAC systems, electronics, wall systems, landscaping, water conservation, and more.
The show’s visitors ranged from homeowners to community planners and builders. The NEWS’ interest was among those exhibitors who would be of the most interest to our readers. However, all of the technologies could affect our systems, if those technologies were to result in lower heating-cooling loads.
“It is encouraging to see the desire for energy efficient technology growing,” said Tony Landers, director of marketing — commercial products at ClimateMaster (www.climatemaster.com).
“Typically, energy efficiency must be regulated for it to be embraced by the construction industry, but now we are seeing an increase in its adoption because it is the right thing to do. Greenbuild highlights this growth and continues to gain momentum each year.”
A/C and Renewables
Carlo Gavazzi Automation Components (www.gavazzionline.com), which specializes in the design, manufacture, and marketing of electronic components, was one of several who promoted solar energy solutions. These included an expandable PV management solution, power quality monitor, and an energy management and data collection monitoring and management system.
Carrier Corp. (www.carrier.com) introduced its ultra-efficient Infinity® gas furnace line, which features Greenspeed™ intelligence to combine modulating and variable-speed technologies with a communicating control system, to constantly adapt to a home’s conditions. The line is said to deliver more precise comfort with reduced energy use (up to a 98 percent AFUE).
CGC Group Inc. (www.cgc-group.com) featured its CGC geothermal hybrid heat pump system, which is said to achieve even higher efficiencies due to its Freeheat™ technology. This conserves heat within the fluid loop, instead of rejecting it to the atmosphere through a fluid cooler.
Cinier Radiateurs Contemporains (www.cinier.com) displayed Greenor©, a high-efficiency fancoil designed for use with renewable energy systems, with a designer twist: an interchangeable decorator panel. The radiant surface is decorated with hand-finished Olycale® stone.
ClimateMaster introduced its 22 Digital (TZ) Series geothermal heat pump system, which features such a two-stage compressor, Energy Star™ tier-3 efficiency, a variable-speed fan, communicating digital controls, and plug-and-play functionality. The series also offers one of the industry’s smallest footprints. In addition, the company displayed its TMW high-efficiency water-to-water series, 30- and 600-ton geothermal heat pump systems.
Honeywell displayed its WindTronics™ (www.windtronics.com) blade tip power system wind turbine, a gearless system said to be suitable for applications ranging from residential to commercial. It measures 6 feet in diameter, weighs 241 pounds, and can produce up to 1,500 kWh/year, depending on height and location.
LG (www.lg-vrf.com) featured its Multi V™ air-source, VRF heat pump. Its benefits include an inverter scroll, rapid-start cooling, compact size, and longer piping distances. A new high-side shell is said to be more reliable in cold climates. Noise levels are lower with a new power noise muffler.
McQuay International (www.mcquay.com), a member of the Daikin Group, announced that it entered the first official submission by a manufacturer to a voluntary Department of Energy challenge for a new generation of high-efficiency, cost-effective air conditioners for commercial buildings. The DOE will begin testing the new Rebel unit to determine whether it meets the high-efficiency performance levels outlined by the challenge, which aims to reduce energy use by up to 60 percent over current equipment.
Tate (www.tateaccessfloors.com) featured its in-floor active chilled beams, an energy-efficient perimeter heating-cooling solution that combines the benefits of underfloor air distribution with the efficiencies of water heating and cooling.
The company’s new EcoCore product utilizes advances in micro-encapsulated phase-change material to reduce indoor air temperature fluctuations and save energy. Phase-change material is within the welded-steel panel of a raised access floor. When placed at the perimeter of a building, the panels can absorb energy at the peak of the day’s solar load (melting the phase-change material); energy is released overnight as the phase-change material cools and resolidifies.
Trane (www.trane.com) provided information on its solar and geothermal resources for a variety of commercial applications. Solar product offerings for the school market, for example, include hybrid PVT collectors, PV modules, and thermal collectors. Events the company sponsored included those on energy modeling, LEED, and schools.
Delivery and IAQ
Aermec (www.aermec.us) is an Italian company specializing in manufacturing very efficient, quiet products. Mitsair (www.mitsair.com) worked closely with Aermec to have their air-to-water heat pumps and fan coils built and certified for use in North America. The heat pumps and chillers are available from 2 to 250 tons with internal pumps, tanks, air elimination, water filters, expansion tanks, etc. They are also available without pump or tank. The units also have free cooling and 100 percent heat recovery options available.
Airia Brands showcased its Lifebreath (www.lifebreath.com) IAQ product line within the Ontario Pavilion. Lifebreath ventilation products for the residential, commercial, and industrial markets (HRVs/ERVs) move stale air from inside the building to outdoors, while they draw in fresh outdoor air.
Airius LLC (www.airius.us) displayed the Air Pear, which the company described as a thermal equalizer, “because heat rises.” Each unit is said to cover 1,000-2,500 square feet of space. Coverage starts at 40 feet diameter, or 20 feet from the center of the unit in every direction, depending on the floor plan.
Big Ass Fans (www.bigassfans.com) displayed its Isis fans for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and institutional applications. The products are said to help reduce heating and cooling loads by preventing air stratification and gently increasing air movement. The fans’ blade and motor designs add to their energy efficiency.
“Greenbuild was productive,” said Alex Reed, brand manager. “We experienced quality and steady booth traffic, and the show provides an opportunity to stay abreast of all things green.
“We are able to build and maintain relationships with designers, ensuring we’re part of their conversation about efficient building designs,” he said. “Greenbuild allows us to keep this group up to date with our newest innovations and the applications for those products.”
Among its offerings, ClimateMaster introduced the EarthPure® polarized media electronic air cleaner; particles are electrically charged (polarized), then collected in the high-efficiency media. The polarized submicron particles join with other particles and are collected on subsequent passes. It is engineered specifically for the company’s equipment. It is 97 percent efficient at 0.3 microns, and the efficiency increases as the media fibers load. A patented, activated-carbon center screen can remove cigarette smoke, pollen, dust, odors, VOCs, and other contaminants.
Panasonic Home & Environment Co. (www.panasonic.com) displayed its new energy-efficient ventilation fans for both home and light commercial applications. Its WhisperWelcome™ is designed for the lodging industry; a third generation of WhisperGreen® offers quieter operation and enhanced efficiency; and the WhisperSense™ ventilation fan incorporates a dual motion-humidity sensor.
The EnOcean Alliance (www.enocean-alliance.org) and supporting partners exhibited their wireless energy harvesting products. The alliance is a consortium of companies working to standardize and internationalize energy-harvesting wireless technology for green and intelligent buildings.
Johnson Controls (www.johnsoncontrols.com) announced at the expo that it is celebrating 100 years of business in Canada. Johnson Temperature Regulating Co. of Canada Ltd. was named first wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Service Co. in 1912. The temperature regulation system featured gold- and silver-plated thermostat covers. Patented in 1895, this complete system of controls followed Warren Johnson’s invention of the first electric room thermostat in 1883, and the founding of Johnson Controls in Milwaukee in 1885.
The company also announced that its Central Plant Optimization™ can reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent in chilled water plants, using what the company called a “holistic approach to designing, installing, and operating central plants [that] ensures reduced energy and operational costs.” Central plant equipment and independent components are said to operate together, “as a single, integrated system.”
ThinkEco (www.thinkeco.com) featured the “modlet” (short for modern outlet), a retrofit device that tracks real-time energy use of appliances and hardware, then learns the behavior and suggests a schedule to turn equipment on and off to match use patterns. It is said to automatically eliminate plug-load waste (about 250 kilowatt hours, or $40 per socket annually), the company estimates — and communicates energy use in real time to a computer interface.
Aquatherm Inc. (www.aquathermpipe.com) announced that polypropylene-random (PP-R) is used in its Greenpipe® line, which is now up to 18-inch diameter, and in the Climatherm® line up to 24-inch diameter. Designed for HVAC applications, Climatherm SDR (standard dimension ratio) 17.6 is now available in sizes ranging from 6 inch diameter to 24 inch diameter; Greenpipe for potable water is available in SDR 11 from ½ to 18 inch diameter.
President Steve Clark said that “engineers, contractors, building owners, and end users are all going to love being able to use a pipe system that is virtually leak-free, lightweight, has an inherent insulation value, and offers so many other benefits.”
Dow Corning (www.dowcorning.com) featured its new Dow Corning® 758 silicone weather barrier sealant, as well as other construction adhesives and sealants that can help architects and engineers design green buildings. In addition to sealing challenging weather barrier substrates, the new sealant is designed to provide long-term durability.
EcoScorecard (www.ecoscorecard.com) let show goers test a new environmental plug-in for Google SketchUp. It allows SketchUp users to quickly identify, quantify, and evaluate all of the building product components in an entire project.
The plug-in evaluates project models to determine which products have green attributes, what these are, and how they contribute and support LEED® and other major rating systems in North America. Starting in the first quarter of 2012, architects will also be able to upload this data directly to LEED-Online.
Noveda Technologies (www.noveda.com) showcased some of its latest solutions for businesses and consumers to better manage their energy production, consumption, and water use in buildings, the company said, and in real-time. The company demoed its first mobile-based app for tablet PCs and smart phones, enabling the company to deliver actionable intelligence on energy and water use instantly and via multiple channels to end users.
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (www.oldcastlebe.com; formerly Oldcastle Glass) displayed its BuildingEnvelope™ products, designed to help close the building envelope. These include custom-engineered curtain walls and window walls, architectural windows, storefront systems, doors, skylights, and architectural glass. “This is a sea change in how the building envelope is realized,” said the company in its literature.
Greenbuild 2012 will take place in San Francisco Nov. 14-16.
To watch a Greenbuild video on LEED Performance and Recertification, visit www.greenbuildexpo.com.
Publication date: 12/12/2011