• With a facade covered in PV tiles supplementing an 11.1-kW rooftop solar array, Team Germany was the only team to earn a perfect score in the net-metering portion of the competition, which also propelled them to a first-place finish overall. The 250 thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide panels are less efficient than the rooftop silicon modules, but will perform better on cloudy days, according to the team.

    Team Solar

    The 2009 competition was a proving ground for a number of new solar-energy-generating products and materials.

  • Product Review: Clothes Washers Blurbs ALL

  • Fagor. The FA-5812 full-size washer offers an MEF of 2.07 and a WF of 6.7, or about 15% and 12% better than current Energy Star standards, respectively. Sensors in the washer analyze the fabric type and the garment quantity and automatically set the temperature, spin speed (up to 1,200 rpm), and washing time to optimize energy and water use. The 1.97-cubic-foot-capacity unit includes a stainless steel drum and automatic door. 800.207.0806. www.fagoramerica.com.

    Positive Spin

    Special cycles, smart sensors, and new designs help the latest crop of washers save more energy and water than ever before.

  • The home's back deck encircles an existing tree on the property, preserving the landscape while providing additional shade.

    More Than Zero

    GreenCraft Builders' latest Texas project blends well with its 60s-era neighborhood, while its high-performance features push the boundaries of modern sustainability.

  • Project: 601 Third Avenue Remodel, Decatur, Ga.Size: 2,100 square feetPrice: $400,000Completed: July 2008Certifications: EarthCraft HouseHERS Rating: 58Architect: Eric Rawlings, Oakhurst, Ga.Remodeler: Renewal Design-Build, DecaturSite Engineer: Stability Engineering, Decatur

    Southern Charmer

    A savvy homeowner and a green-tuned remodeling team transform a tiny Georgia bungalow into an efficient, family-friendly home.

  • Team Solar

    The 2009 competition was a proving ground for a number of new solar-energy-generating products and materials.

  • RoyOMartin. Eclipse radiant barrier OSB or plywood sheathing has an aluminum foil backing that the company says will block up to 97% of the suns radiant heat when used in a roof deck, significantly reducing attic temperatures. When used as a wall sheathing (OSB only) with approved foil tape to seal seams and corners, the product is redefined as Eclipse Energy Guard and serves as an energy-efficient housewrap. FSC-certified sheathing also is available by special order. 800.299.5174. www.royomartin.com.

    Greening the Shell

    Plywood vs. OSB: Which is the greener sheathing choice?

  • Delta. The Linden pull-out kitchen faucet offers users a choice of a water-saving flow or a traditional flow. When turned on, the unit operates at 1.5 gallons per minute for needs such as hand washing; a push button on the spout can be depressed for a faster flow for tasks such as pot filling. Linden features a transitional style, with clean lines and a flared wand. The companys Diamond Seal technology reduces leak points and simplifies installation. 800.345.3358. www.deltafaucet.com.

    Builders’ Show Green Finds

    6 products for sustainable homes, including solar shingles, a water-conserving kitchen faucet, and a CFL dimmer.

  • Legal Advice for Green Builders

    Use caution when touting the environmental attributes of your homes.

  • USGBC Connects Pros, Consumers

    Green Home Guides online tool offers consumers direct access to information and contractors.

  • Phase-Changing Drywall

    ThermalCore panels moderate interior temperature fluctuations and act as a thermal mass.

  • Smart-Grid Appliances

    Kitchen and laundry equipment will communicate between the utility and the homeowner to ensure appliances are operating at the optimum time of day.

  • California Adopts Green Building Code

    Residential requirements, which go into effect in 2011, include water-conserving fixtures, smart irrigation controllers, and jobsite waste reduction.

  • Behind the Brands

    Manufacturers are moving beyond labels to truly expand their green-building expertise.

  • A Control moisture to prevent mold.B Isolate garage from living areas.C Install fresh air ventilation and filtration.D Keep water away from foundation.E Use low-VOC building materials.F Use low-VOC paints and finishes.

    De-Mystifying Indoor Air Quality

    Combat indoor air pollution through these simple strategies.

  • Kirei. Coco tiles are made with reclaimed coconut shells, low-VOC resins, and a sustainably harvested wood backer. Tiles in the Sumatra collection feature a variety of styles and textures that can lend a tropical look or a modern feel. They can be used for a range of applications, including walls, millwork, flooring, and cabinetry. 619.236.9924. www.kireiusa.com.

    New + Notable

    New products for sustainable homes, including a heat pump water heater, coconut tiles, low-flow toilets, and reflective roofing.