Spring is almost upon us and with it comes an uptick in announcements that laud the latest developments in sustainable products and technology. Included in this week’s roundup: a versatile moisture-managing glass-fiber insulation, a crowdfunded tankless electric water heater, and a line of bio-based interior paint.


Heatworks Model 1, ISI Technology
ISI Technology used crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to help its forthcoming tankless electric water heater gain traction in the market—and more than tripled its initial funding goal of $125,000. Heatworks Model 1 aims to solve some of the challenges presented by existing tankless electric units, such as lag time in getting hot water to the tap, according to ISI Technology. The unit uses resistance created by graphite electrodes, rather than by electricity run through a coil, to heat the water. At 1’ long and 6” wide, it delivers a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute, accepting pre-heated water and is compatible with existing water heaters and low-flow fixtures. The company says it will begin full production as early as the second quarter of 2014 and will add a Wi-Fi–enabled unit that lets users set their preferred water temperature for flow fixtures.

Credit: ISI Technology



Plyboo Dimensional Lumber, Smith & Fong
A new series of dimensional lumber made from FSC-certified bamboo adds an element of design to architectural-grade wood while meeting California’s Section 01350 for limited off-gassing. From Smith & Fong in San Francisco, Plyboo Dimensional Lumber is offered in five designs, including Neapolitan (shown), which gets its stripes from hand-sorted bamboo strips coated in resin and pressed into dimensional forms. The darkest strands are made of wood that was heated at 284 F for up to six hours, cooled, and heated for two more hours at the same temperature.

Credit: Charlie Nucci



SmartBatt, CertainTeed
CertainTeed’s SmartBatt with the company’s MoistureSense vapor-control technology helps to limit mold and mildew growth in the wall cavity by blocking moisture during periods of low humidity and releasing it when humidity levels are high. The high-performance glass-fiber batt insulation integrates a proprietary kraft facing, making it an alternative to traditional kraft-faced batt insulation in applications such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and exterior walls. The product’s R-value ranges from R-13 to R-38. A vapor barrier can be installed over un-faced batts.

Credit: CertainTeed



Color Select, USAI Lighting
USAI Lighting’s Color Select technology lets users control the color temperature of the company’s BeveLED 2.0 recessed downlights and wallwash luminaires to provide warm- or cold-temperature light based on the time of day, available daylight, and desired effect in the space. The control technology varies the color temperature of electric lighting from 2700K to 6000K.

Credit: USA Illumination



Natura Renew, Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore is growing its Natura line of interior paint (shown) with the Natura Renew, which contains up to 40% plant-based, biorenewable materials and has zero VOC emissions. Surfaces finished with the odorless paint can be washed. The paint is offered in eggshell and semi-gloss finishes and is currently available in the Pacific Northwest with a nationwide rollout anticipated for later this year.

Credit: Benjamin Moore