Date: December 01,2003


The publishers of Environmental Building News have announced their list of the Top 10 Green Building Products for 2003:EnvironOxide pigment. An iron oxide pigment recovered from abandoned coal-mine drainage. The pigments can be used as a colorant in a wide range of building products, including concrete, cement block, paint, wood stain, and brick. For general information, call (412) 571-2204 or visit

BioBase 501 soy-based foam insulation. A low-density, open-cell polyurethane, spray-foam insulation derived in part from soybean oil. BioBase 501 costs significantly less than conventional open-cell polyurethane insulation, because the petroleum-based polyol that the soy oil replaces is expensive. For more information, call (800) 803-5189 or visit

MemBrain “smart” vapor retarder. A unique vapor retarder made from a polyamide (nylon-6) film. Use of the vapor retarder can protect against condensation in the winter, while allowing for the drying of the building envelope in the summer, when humidity levels are typically much higher. For more information, call (610) 341-7739, or visit

American Pride latex paint. Does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and thus has virtually no smell, allowing interior painting while a building is occupied. For more information, call (601) 264-0442.

Keim Mineral silicate paints. Potassium silicate combine with inorganic fillers and natural earth oxides to produce an inorganic “liquid stone” finish through a process of petrification. Durability in excess of 100 years has been reported. The paint is appropriate for stucco, plaster, concrete, brick, other mineral surfaces, and some metals. For more information, call (302) 644-1007, or visit

EnviroGT wall and corner guards. Made from 100 percent post-industrial recycled high-density polyethylene and, where wood is used, FSC-certified ash. The company also offers recycled-HDPE handrails, and they plan to introduce a similar wall-base product in 2004. For more information, call (262) 679-9010, or visit

Case Systems laboratory casework. In 2003, the company switched its entire manufacturing process from wood-fiber particleboard to straw-based particleboard (the Dow BioProducts Woodstalk product). As a result, the casework has improved moisture resistance and does not offgas formaldehyde. For more information, call (989) 496-9510 or visit

Mirra office chair. An ergonomic, attractive, and reasonably priced office chair. Ninety-six percent of the chair's content is specifically designed for recycling. For more information, call (616) 654-3000, or visit

Hot Water D'MAND system. This is an electronically activated water-pumping system that quickly delivers hot water to a fixture, while returning water that has been sitting in the hot-water pipes back to the hot-water tank. This is done either through a separate plumbing line (in new construction) or via the cold-water supply pipe (in retrofit applications). Aside from speeding hot water delivery and saving water, the D'MAND system can also save energy, especially if it is used in place of a continuous re-circ system. For more information, call (401) 942-8000, or visit

TOTO EcoPower faucets. While the primary driver is usually sanitation, sensor controls on faucets can also save a significant amount of water. For more information, call (770) 282-8686, or visit