Adura Lighting Controls for Energy-Saving Retrofits

Lighting costs can contribute up to 38 percent of a building’s electrical consumption. With energy costs skyrocketing, there is renewed emphasis on energy consumption and lowering costs. However, wiring and installation costs are often cited as major barriers to deploying advanced lighting controls in existing buildings.

The Adura Wireless Lighting Control System reduces lighting energy costs by 50 percent or more and consists of a full-featured energy dashboard, wireless Light Controllers installed within light fixtures, occupancy sensors, daylight sensors and switches.

At the heart of the Adura lighting control system is a reliable, no single point of failure wireless mesh networking technology, coupled with intuitive software management tools. Adura’s core wireless technology was developed at the University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Built Environment.

Adura lighting control systems use industry standard IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radios that communicate several hundred feet, using very little power. By forming a self-healing, adaptive mesh network, Adura wireless controls communicate over much longer distances and maintain reliable connectivity, even in difficult environments. Wireless communication between sensors and the fixtures they control eliminates the need for long cable runs or routing cable through ceilings and around ductwork.

The Adura web interface provides dynamic data monitoring, maintenance alerts, and system control capability. Adura also provides a new level of flexibility that allows a building’s lighting control system to adapt to changes in building use. Light fixtures can be rezoned and reconfigured via software tools as the needs of the space change.


  • Energy Savings of 40 percent  to 70 percent: Adura enables deep energy savings through integration of multiple lighting control strategies, including scheduling, daylighting, occupancy sensing and demand response.
  • Easy to Install: Because Adura requires no new communications wiring, the system is very easy to install in both new construction and retrofit scenarios.
  • Scalable: Once the Adura wireless network is established, additional sensors and controllers can be easily added, with minimal labor.
  • Flexible: The Adura lighting network can easily be reconfigured as building occupancy and use changes, without the need for costly rewiring.
  • Compatible: Adura’s flexible system accommodates the majority of lighting fixtures, such as fluorescent, HID, incandescent, induction and various emerging technologies like LEDs.
  • adu_tech_icon_black1 Energy-Dashboard-700x350 LC-1R-in-fixture-700x350 Light-Controller-700x350 Sensor-Interface-700x350 wireless-mesh-diagram-larger-700x350

The Green Beneath Your Feet

Step into today’s office and, if it’s carpeted with one of InterfaceFLOR’s newest modular tile products, you could be stepping on garbage transformed into exceptionally attractive flooring.

Salvaged fishnets plus post-industrial waste are among the key materials in an innovative new yarn system that InterfaceFLOR is using to produce Raw and Striation, two designs we introduced at NeoCon 2011. This 100 percent non-virgin yarn will be incorporated into future products as well. Here’s the back story on this latest sustainability breakthrough that’s been achieved in collaboration with one of our global yarn suppliers, Aquafil.

Securing our own sustainable supply chain is part of our InterfaceFLOR mission to be “Off Oil” by 2020. To that end, since 1994 we’ve been harvesting old carpets – both our own end-of-life modular carpet tiles plus competitors’ carpet tile and broadloom discards from residential and commercial properties – and recycling them into the ongoing production of the brand’s modular carpet tile products. This extraordinary feat takes place through our ReEntry 2.0 process in LaGrange, Ga., where more than 220 million pounds of used carpet that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill has been processed to date. Aquafil is combining the fiber it’s salvaging from the fishnets and other waste with ours from ReEntry 2.0, to create a 100 percent non-virgin yarn containing a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer yarn content. When we marry that with our GlasBac RE backing, which uses only non-virgin PVC, it yields carpet tiles with a total recycled content of 79 percent.

Ask your InterfaceFLOR representative about Raw and Striation constructed with this new yarn, or visit for more information. Also, look for us to expand InterfaceFLOR ReEntry to regional locations as we share our recycling knowledge and experience with existing local recyclers. The first of these is in Toronto, Canada, where we’re teaming with Aspera Recycling. Other ReEntry sites across North America are due to be established in 2011 and beyond. Again, we’re driven to create our own sustainable supply chain. And that’s no garbage.

AlliterationPalindrome_Onyx TR-THLO-0189 Striation_Anthracite


Earn LEED Credits with greenscreen

As a company with a history dedicated to establishing sustainable environmental practices, greenscreen is pleased to sponsor the 2011 Top 10 Green Building Products awards. As a product manufacturer, greenscreen supports the commitment and vision of design professionals to evaluate low-impact, environmentally sensitive building practices and implement sustainable design principles.

greenscreen has a long-term corporate commitment to national organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council, American Institute of Architects and American Society of Landscape Architects that are pushing forward sustainable agendas. In addition, greenscreen recognizes local chapters of these organizations as the foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings and landscapes that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to work and live.

The greenscreen system, comprised of modular, rigid, lightweight panels that facilitate the incorporation of vegetation into diverse and challenging design applications, helps clients achieve significant environmental benefits. Studies have concluded that vegetated facades can contribute to increased building energy efficiency, water efficient landscapes, reduction of the urban heat island effect and carbon sequestration. The greenscreen system can contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction 2009 credits [pdf].

Additionally, greenscreen recognizes the significant role that the Sustainable Sites Initiative will play in the future of sustainabllandscape design. In order to help build support for SITES, greenscreen has explored, evaluated and identified potential credit opportunities [pdf] that a green wall/facade system might help achieve. After a peer review of the research, the greenscreen system can possibly contribute to 20 credit categories.

greenscreen is committed to continuing to pursue and implement methods that will lower our carbon footprint as a product manufacturer while maintaining a superior product, market leadership and research underwriting. greenscreen has looked towards the future by completing the product life cycle assessment (LCA) process and a corporate sustainability audit. Investment in third-party verification and the development of short- and long-term strategies that will help to achieve sustainable environmental impact reductions are examples of our ongoing commitment.

To find out exactly how the greenscreen green wall/facade system can complement your project and maximize credits, please contact us today.

Phone: 800-450-3494
[email protected]

Close-up-700x466 Freestanding-700x466 Holy-Cross-Hosp-700x466 Horizon-Playa-Vista-700x466 Renaissance-700x466 Springfield-Collage-700x466


Connect Your Product With Designers When It Really Counts

Sustainable design must account for the form, function and performance of a project. While there are many software tools available to help designers evaluate each of these three dimensions separately, these tools often have trouble communicating efficiently with one another. Those that do work particularly well are often expensive and complex, meaning that they can only be profitably deployed on large projects and only after the design details have been finalized.

With Product Connect for Google SketchUp, its now possible to take form, function and product performance into consideration in the earliest phases of design, allowing designers to hone-in early on design ideas and products that will actually work. Now, designers can show clients beautiful design ideas, interactively demonstrate how the space will function and choose sustainable building products in the earliest phases of design all using Google SketchUp and Product Connect.

Millions of professionals and pro-sumers use SketchUp to visualize design ideas. When designing, these SketchUp users look for real products to add to their SketchUp models. Once the final design is approved, the products in the SketchUp model are likely to be specified or purchased.

Product Connect for Google SketchUp is technology that helps building product manufacturers share 3D SketchUp models of their products with designers, and in-turn helps those designers specify the products for use in the final building or remodeling project. To date, over 1.7 million Product Connect enabled models have been downloaded from the Google 3D Warehouse into real-world design projects.

Product Manufacturers who are interested in having their building products converted to SketchUp format can learn more at:

Designers who are interested in using Product Connect to find, present and specify building products using Google SketchUp can learn more at:

Cabinet-KraftMaid_Ardmore_Maple_Praline-copy-700x380 Faucet-Brizo-copy-700x380 M1_PORTRAIT_KITCHEN-700x393 Q3_QUNICY_KITCHEN-700x393



Sustainable Design Begins with the Right Building Blocks

As a leader in sustainable forest management, British Columbia wood is unsurpassed as a renewable building material harvested from abundant forests. Its exemplary record is matched by a world-renowned range of quality and diverse building and design materials.

Of all the building materials you can use, nothing offers the beauty and innovation of wood. From simple structures to the strikingly complex, the design possibilities of wood are endless.

Visit the resources below and you’ll see why wood is truly the renewable resource that can take your imagination — and your next project — to new heights. Highlights:

  • Over 600 manufacturers of a wide range of structural, finishing and engineered products
  • Technical expertise to answer questions on specific product information, installation inquiries and more
  • Douglas-fir, western red cedar, pine beetle wood and many other species
  • Case studies on sports and entertainment venues, schools and the latest innovations in wood technology
  • Green building tools
  • Sawdust’ explores the endless potential and creativity of wood as a building material. Internationally acclaimed sand artist Alexandra Konofalskay from Belarus uses her remarkable technique to trace the journey of wood from forest to mill, to architect’s office, to three examples of innovative use of wood in building design: the Richmond Olympic Oval and 6-storey building in British Columbia, and the Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
  • ‘Green Roof, Gold Medals: Richmond Olympic Oval’ — During the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Richmond Oval hosted long track speed skating competitions and a variety of other events. Meet the architects and engineers behind the development of the Oval and their inspiration for choosing wood as the building material for this project.
  • ‘The Veteran Tree Planter’ — In British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, 200 million seedlings are planted per year. To date, B.C. has planted over 6 billion seedlings.  Guy Lacelle shares his personal story of why tree planting has been an important part of his life.naturally:wood Continuing Education Units (CEU)
    • ‘Wood Rates – How Wood Products Stack Up in Green Building Systems’: Green building rating systems credit wood, but do not recognize its full potential as a sustainable building material. This course discusses the sustainable aspects of wood, describe how wood receives credits in green building systems, articulate the importance of life cycle analysis and communicate emerging trends in recognizing wood’s sustainability.
    • “Materials Matter” CEU Series
      • ‘Materials Matter’ (Part 1 of 3): This CEU is the first of a three-part series documenting the environmental footprint of wood, concrete, and steel.
      • ‘Materials in Action’ (Part 2 of 3): This CEU is the second of a three-part series documenting the differences between wood, steel, and concrete in terms of basic material properties, as well as their performance during the building operations phase. Also discussed are end of life treatment, including the impacts of recycling versus reuse.
      • Part 3 of 3 (coming October 2011) will cover how these materials factor into green design and high-performance buildings as well as how green design projects are currently defined.
      • Forest-Image-700x471 Oval-Image-700x466 Re-forestation-Image-700x466 Sawdust-Video-700x560 Vancouver-Convention-Centre-700x466

HydroRight Dual Flush Converter

Who makes it: MJSI Inc.

Plenty of homeowners are happy to cut down on water use, but few are willing to replace their toilets to do it, according to Michael Schuster, president of MJSI, Inc. That’s why his company began offering the HydroRight Dual flush converter, a drop-in device that turns a typical toilet into a “European-style” two-button operation.

It takes about seven minutes for a homeowner to install the converter — no tools required.

“It’s been a runaway hit,” Schuster said. “Partially because it’s a water conservation product, but probably even more so because it’s easy for the average consumer. It’s something you can drop right in without tools.”

Schuster, a fourth-generation plumber, says that about 20 percent of American toilets leak, and that the HydroRight converter fixes the two most common sources — the flapper and the lift chain. An independent study found that HydroRight converters enable household indoor water savings averaging 30 percent.

“Even with water being cheaper than dirt, it still has a quick return on investment,” Schuster said. “It can pay for itself in four months.”

The converter retails for about $20 at Home Depot, Wal-Mart and outside typical plumbing sections at places like Bed Bath & Beyond and

In fact, it’s less a “revolutionary” product than a commonplace device that has the potential for immediate water savings. MJSI said it’s already sold 750,000 HydroRight converters. One judge said of the product: “This one is clearly already on the market and should go into mainstream use really quick.”

The converter, manufactured in China, is made of petroleum-sourced plastic. Schuster said the savings it enables outweigh the environmental cost of production.

“It’s the durability that allows it to be sustainable in the long term,” he said.

Retrofitting an existing porcelain toilet, after all, keeps it out of the landfill and avoids the cost of shipping a new one.

indow windows

Indow Windows

Who makes it: Indow Windows

When Sam Pardue learned it would cost $35,000 to replace the distinctive-but-leaky windows on his 100-year-old Portland home, he knew there was an opportunity for a new solution.

“There were cheaper windows available but it seemed like a horrible thing to do to rip out those original windows and replace them with cheap vinyl ones,” he said.

Instead, he designed Indow Windows, thermal inserts that adhere to the inside of window frames through a pressurized spring. He was inspired by the thermal lining of refrigerator doors.

Adding Indow Windows to single-pane windows can achieve 94 percent of the energy savings of double-pane replacements at a fraction of the cost, according to the company. The inserts plus installation run about $13 per square foot, so refitting a house with 14 average-sized windows costs about $2,400.

Installers first come to a site to take measurements – they can fit the inserts even to out-of-square windows – then return with custom-cut inserts that can be installed within a few hours.

The spring mold lining, made of PVC-free silicon tubing, forms an airtight compression around the frame.

“That’s what gives the Indow Window the force to stay in place without any nails, screws or adhesives,” said Pardue, the company’s founder and chief executive. “The low-profile design almost disappears when you install it.”

“For preserving the architectural character of the structure, that’s a huge deal,” he added. “We have a lot of enthusiasm from architectural preservationists because it’s such a light touch.”

What’s more, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 43 percent of U.S. homes still have single-pane windows, so the energy savings potential is significant.

“The problem is that double-pane replacement is so expensive,” Pardue said. “Hundreds of people have gotten quotes for double-pane windows and had a heart attack just like me.”

Indow Windows launched in Portland in 2010 and plans to expand throughout Northwest.

juice bar

Juice Bar

Who makes it: Green Garage Associates

An electric vehicle charging station winning a green building product award?

No, you’re not reading this wrong. The Juice Bar isn’t a building product in the conventional sense, but Sustainable Industries’ panel of judges said that accommodating electric vehicles is something that designers and builders increasingly need to consider.

By 2015, automakers are expected to sell more than 3 million electric vehicles worldwide, according to a report by Pike Research, with almost 5 million charging stations being installed.

“It’s something that we think about now because LEED has essentially introduced the idea of electric vehicle charging as part of the rating system,” one judge said. “If you have a parking garage then this is something you would consider.”

The Juice Bar, made by Connecticut-based Green Garage Associates, includes Level One and Level Two charging ports to accommodate four electric vehicles at once. The idea is that property owners would buy or lease the charging stations and offer free charging to encourage EV owners to use their lots.

There are a host of electric vehicle chargers on the market, but Sustainable Industries’ judges liked the Juice Bar’s design.

“They’re extremely well branded,” one judge said “They’re bright and colorful and have engaging educational material on the side bar to tell people about fossil fuel use or electric vehicles.”

The parking industry — and by extension the builders and designers who create parking areas — are in a position to drive electric vehicle adoption by making charging more accessible, according to Green Garage Associates.

“What was to me interesting about this particular one is it makes it really easy to have an electric vehicle,” one judge said. “If you can imagine these being installed in parking garages everywhere then you could suddenly have a game changer form the electric vehicle industry.”


Mobile Solar Power System

Who makes it: Pure Power Distribution

Sometimes innovation isn’t dreaming up something brand new, it’s putting things together in a new way to solve a problem.

That’s why Sustainable Industries‘ judges picked the Mobile Solar Power System, which, as its name suggests, is essentially a solar array on wheels that can provide clean, quiet power to construction sites.

“The innovation is that they thought to put everything together and put it on a trailer,” one judge said. “I was impressed by the idea that somebody thought to package this together.”

The systems, made by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Pure Power Distribution, are designed to replace dirty diesel generators that contribute noise and air pollution in the form of carbon dioxide, particulate matter and carcinogenic compounds.

“These things are hugely impactful,” in eliminating the constant noise and emissions from diesel generators, said Christopher Smith, Pure Power Distribution’s head of marketing,

The mobile systems, which are available for purchase or rent, come in a range of sizes. Its standard model for construction can deliver up to 18 kilowatts of power at a price comparable to using a diesel generator and fuel, Smith said.

The company also makes a hybrid system that combines solar power with a biodiesel generator that kicks in when needed.

The systems’ panels raise into a locked vertical position for aerodynamic transport. Once on site, the panels are adjusted horizontally to catch the sun’s rays. The systems are designed to be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of a construction site, yet are easy to transport and deploy, Smith said. They include GE solar panels, inverters and charge controllers made by Xantrex and Outback and Interstate batteries.

As new construction has ground to a near-halt in recent years, Pure Power has discovered that there are other markets for clean mobile power. The systems are being used to fuel outdoor events like the Los Angeles Marathon, movie and television sets, and U.S. military operations.



Some green building products are developed to tackle big problems.

Not the modlet. The device, which is short for “the modern outlet,” was created in response to millions of tiny problems. Specifically, it aims to curtail power wasted by plug-in appliances when they’re not in use.

The modlet may not be a building product in the conventional sense, but it’s a great example of a tool that’s facilitating changes to consumer behavior, according to Sustainable Industries’ judges – plus it has great design and branding, they said.

“From the perspective of trying to integrate good design sensibility with sustainable behavior, it was really leading in that direction,” said one judge.

While the modlet isn’t the only energy efficiency tool on the market, the judges liked that it was something that could be easily and quickly implemented and understood.

That was ThinkEco’s goal in developing the modlet — to create something that would be easy, meaningful and rewarding to use, said Mei Shibata, one of the company’s founders.

“It’s a great way to get started with energy management,” Shibata said. “It’s the perfect first product to get people used to energy efficiency.”

The modlet plugs into an existing outlet. Devices and appliances can then be plugged into the modlet, which communicates wirelessly with a USB drive plugged into a user’s computer. Users can monitor and manage their power use online and schedule the modlet to shut off power to appliances when they’re not in use.

For an office or building that plugs in modlets throughout its facility, that could mean a reduction in overall energy costs of about 10 percent – or a cut of up to 80 percent in the amount of power used by each plugged-in device, according to ThinkEco.

For now, the modlet is available to commercial users. The outlets cost $65 each, which includes a two-year software license. The company expects the modlet to be available to individual consumers later this year for $50 each, which includes the outlet and a USB drive.