23 June 2009

Eco-news is good news at PCBC

Okay, sure, the housing market is still in the slumping doldrums (despite a little recent good news), and so the mood at PCBC, the West Coast builders show, may have been "gloomy" and "somber," but there were still some silver linings -- or should I say, green linings!

There was an interesting insulation product made partly of castor oil. (Hat tip to the Green Building Elements blog for that link, but note that the writer of the post could not resist snarking at the SFI booth.)

There were "Cool Products" that included recycled slate tiles, an energy efficient ventilation fan system, and a more-affordable rooftop solar power system.

There were "Smart Solutions" such as a wastewater system that filters water from the laundry, kitchen and shower and then reuses it for drip irrigation.

And in a report from HCN's Brae Canlen, with whom I work, Brae mentioned green-themed educational sessions as well as new products from Toto and GE. Toto's offerings included water-saving faucets and showerheads, including a motion-detecting faucet that used a turbine for energy, and needs no battery or connection to a power grid. GE's new Hybrid Electric Water Heater (pictured at the show above in a photo by Brae) uses half the energy of a standard heater by absorbing heat from the air and transferring it to water.

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