20 Green Building Innovations of 2011

Our team had the great opportunity to report on hundreds of green building innovations in the form of new technologies and advanced materials.  We see these innovations as contributors to a world where it’s important to reduce waste and resource consumption.  I hope you enjoy this unordered review gathered from our archives of the last year.

Arctic Plank Makes a Unique Upcycled Floor

upcycled pallet wood floor

Arctic Plank upcycles junk wood from used shipping pallets into herringbone and parquet pattern flooring lines.  Read more.

Cree Demos 152 LPW LED Bulb Concept

Cree’s astonishing new concept bulb delivers 1,331 lumens at 8.7 watts with a CRI of 91 and a warm color of 2800 K.  Read more.

Urbio Indoor Garden Perfect for Urban Dwellers

Urbio is a fascinating vertical garden system that’s minimalist, expandable, and affordable — the perfect kind of system to liven up a wall while growing herbs, succulents, and other small plants.  Read more.

Beetle-Killed Trees Used for New Home Framing

New Town Builders found that wood from lodgepole pine trees (killed by mountain pine beetle) was discolored but structurally sound and uses it for their home framing.  Read more.

New LED Light Has a Filament Bulb Appearance

Panasonic introduced a new LED bulb that looks like an incandescent with the same light color but the long-life and energy efficiency of an LED.  Read more.

Warmboard Unveils Retrofit Radiant Floor Panel

Warmboard-R is 13/16″ thick (as compared to 1-1/8″ for the standard version) and provides the same radiant heat performance.  Read more.

Conserve Energy with the Flip of a Wall Switch

Belkin now offers a wall switch for $6.99 that can be used to control standby power at the plug and outlet level.  Read more.

Designer Velux Lamp is Powered by the Sun

Ross Lovegrove’s orb reflects natural sun light from a Velux sun tunnels to the ceiling for room distribution and can be adjusted for intensity and angle. Read more.

Google Intros Android-Powered Smart LEDs

Pictured is a prototype smart LED bulb which will be enabled and controlled through Google’s Android system.  Read more.

Numi is Kohler’s Smart, Luxe, WaterSense Toilet

Numi meets CALGreen requirements, is WaterSense certified, and has two flush alternatives with .6 and 1.28 gallons per flush.  It’s a hyber-luxe toilet with other features and a +$6,000 price tag. Read more.

Cross-Laminated Timber Hits North America

A new method of fabricating wood panels, called cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is making “massive wood” construction a possibility for mid-rise construction, as well as for other construction uses.  Read more.

Water Legacy System Helps with Water Reuse

Water Legacy’s greywater system serves as a greywater filter and storage tank prior to using the greywater to flush toilets within the home. The package unit sells from about $3,200.  Read more.

Unearthed Paints Has a New Natural Paint Line

Unearthed Paints are beautiful and every pigment (as well as every ingredient in the entire line) is naturally VOC-free and non-toxic.  Read more.

Creatherm is a Simple, Flexible Radiant Slab

Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.  Read more.

Velux Intros Sleek, Low-Profile Tubular Skylight

Velux introduced a new, low-profile, flat-glass Sun Tunnel skylight that trades the bulbous, dome-style roof model for a sleek, more modern, less noticeable look.  Read more.

Boral USA Intros Cradle to Cradle Exterior Trim

Boral USA today announced TruExterior Trim, an exterior trim material made with a blend of bio-based polymers and coal combustion product materials with a minimum of 70% recycled content.  Read more.

Cyber-Rain is a Sprinkler Control with a Brain

Cyber-Rain makes a sprinkler controller with a brain, giving owners the ability to monitor and control landscape watering from the cloud. Read more.

New Designer CFL is Perfect for Naked Lighting

Plumen 001, a designer CFL by Hulger, is now offered in the US. The 110 volt bulb uses 11 watts, outputs 680 lumens, lasts about 8 years, has a color rendering index of more than 80, and has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin.  Read more.

Corelam Has a New Corrugated FSC Plywood

Corelam makes distinctive corrugated wood panels with FSC wood and adhesives that do not off-gas formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds.  Read more.

Nest is a Next-Gen Smart Home Thermostat

Nest is the world’s first learning thermostat — a thermostat for the iPhone generation — and it sells for $250. Read more.

Credits: click the text links above for photo credits in each article.


  • Dbull

    I’m glad I saw this because I missed some of these. You have the best collection of th best stuff! I’d love to see a serious discussion of LED lighting somewhere. I’m trying to convert my whole house and have run into some mostly minor issues. Mainly I’ve found LED has about the same performance as CFL and I was hoping for a bigger advantage.

  • Dbull

    I’m glad I saw this because I missed some of these. You have the best collection of th best stuff! I’d love to see a serious discussion of LED lighting somewhere. I’m trying to convert my whole house and have run into some mostly minor issues. Mainly I’ve found LED has about the same performance as CFL and I was hoping for a bigger advantage.

  • http://lappoollappool.com/ Hareluyacos

    Great post!I have never known some of these!

    • http://erc-removal.com/water-damage/yorba-linda-ca/ Water Damage Yorba Linda CA

      I want that home thermostat for my home, probably before my new constructions! Is that selfish? LOL

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