As a snowstorm slams Washington, D.C., where we’re headquartered, we can’t help but think of ways to make the buildings we’re stuck inside perform better. From a smart HVAC system to a compact tankless electric water heater, these products and systems enhance a structure’s thermal performance and improve indoor environmental quality—no matter how much snow or sun showers down upon it.
Trutankless, Bollente Companies
Trutankless from Bollente Cos. is a tankless electric water heater that integrates with home automation systems to let users monitor usage and control temperature via a mobile app. As the winner in the Best Home Technology Product category at this year’s International Builders’ Show, the system consumes up to 50% less energy than conventional water heaters and has a 20-year life, according to Bollente. Within its compact frame, self-flushing horizontal pipes mitigate the mineral buildup that can occur in tankless units. The 24-lb. unit measures 17.2” tall, 23.8” wide, and 5.5” deep.
Designed to regulate airflow at preset temperatures throughout the home, EcoVent is a smart HVAC monitoring and control system developed by the eponymous MIT startup. Currently in beta launch, the system comprises a smart thermostat, wireless temperature sensors, and wireless vents. The system works in tandem to maintain the preferred temperature in each room by opening and closing the vents. The system costs approximately two-thirds of a conventional conditioning system to operate and will reduce utility bills by 35%. EcoVent can be controlled from a desktop, smartphone, or tablet.
SNX 51/23, Guardian Industries
Guardian Industries is debuting a triple-silver low-E coating with low reflectively and a blue appearance to help designers meet increasingly stringent energy codes while maintaining clear views to the outside. SunGuard SNX 51/23 offers visible light transmission above 50% and a solar heat gain coefficient below 0.25 for commercial applications. The coating, which joins the company’s SunGuard solar-control glass line, is available on a number of the company’s substrates.
Halo Surface LED Downlights, Cooper Lighting by Eaton
The surface-mounted Halo Surface LED Downlights from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting division incorporates the company’s LEDs behind a 0.7”-thick luminous panel that allows it to emulate a traditional recessed downlight or wall-mounted luminaire. The Energy-Star certified, dimmable fixture can integrate with lighting controls systems in residential or commercial applications, and offers a color temperature of 3000K and a color rendering index of 80 or 90.
Winning the title of Most Innovative Building Product at this year’s International Builders’ Show, JetBoard by JetProducts is an alternative to drywall, OSB, and plywood in sheathing applications. Made of magnesium oxide and cement cast into thin panels, the moisture-, mold-, and fire-resistant board is suitable for glued or laminated applications such as SIPs. This article has been updated from its original publication to clarify that Guardian Industries does not offer insulated glass units but instead works with fabricators to assemble the units.