<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=209258409501153&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

50 Eco-Friendly Products Selected by Green Builder's Editors



This condensing type water heater captures heat from the exhaust gas, and uses it to preheat incoming cold water as it passes through the secondary heat exchanger. It operates with an Energy Factor of 0.91 for natural gas, and 0.93 for LP—ratings nearly ten points higher than a comparably sized, conventional tankless unit, and approximately 30 points higher than a standard, tank-type gas-fired water heater. The NRC661 uses recyclable components and replaceable parts, and the heat exchanger comes with a 12-year warranty.

Noritz NRC661 tankless water heater

View Project


Water heaters in this series have an energy factor of 0.98, and use approximately 40 percent less energy than a 0.60 EF storage type water heater. A secondary, stainless-steel heat exchanger traps and uses condensation created from incoming cold water, which cools the hot gases inside the unit. This condensation would normally escape through the vents in a conventional tankless water heater. NPE-S Series water heaters have a maximum input of 150,000 to 199,900 BTUs per hour, and meet Ultra-Low NOx requirements.

Navien NPE-S Series tankless water heaters

View Project


The average family of four can save 17,000 gallons of water a year—up to 46 gallons a day—by installing one ACT-E1 under their sink. Designed with a highly efficient, electronically commutated, permanent magnet motor, this lead-free pump uses one third the power of a standard circulating pump, and is available in fixed and adjustable thermostat versions. An adjustable timer can also be programmed, so the pump runs only when hot water is most frequently required.

Laing Thermotech Act E1 autocirc pump by Xylem, Inc.

View Project


An ultra-efficient DC motor and LED light engine ensure a high-performing, quiet fan/light solution. Utilizing only 7.5 watts, these 80-cfm DC motor fans exceed Energy Star standards. The fan runs continuously at a lower level, then revs up when the switch is flipped or the motion sensor is activated. Long-lasting, ultra-efficient LED lamps make this fan/light combo even greener. WhisperGreen is UL listed for tub and shower enclosures, and comes with a six-year warranty.

Panasonic WhisperGreen combo LED fan/light

View Project

These lamps provide incandescent-like dimming, by shifting color temperature from 3000 K to 2000 K as they dim. With a rated life of 25,000 to 50,000 hours, lamps in this family use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent lamps. They also contain no mercury or lead.

“We got a chance to try out some of the new dimmable LED lamps included in this ‘family.’ What you get is a really nice, mood-setting amber glow at lower dimmer settings, and a nice, bright-white light at full-on. This is exactly the kind of breakthrough we’ve been waiting for from LED manufacturers. Farewell CFLs—long live LEDs!”
-Matt Power, Editor-in-Chief

Osram Sylvania Ultra SE LED lamp family

View Project


Incorporating sensor and dimmer benefits in one product saves up to 60 percent in lighting energy. The Lutron Masetro turns lights on when a person enters a room, then turns them off when they leave. Proprietary Advanced XCT sensing technology detects fine motion, so lights stay on in occupied rooms; a patented Ambient Light Detect can also sense daylight, so that lights only turn on when there’s not enough light present. Maestro works with incandescents, CFLs and LEDs.

Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor C•L Dimmer

View Project


These fixtures consume approximately 80 percent less electricity than incandescent fixtures of similar light intensity. In addition, the Design Pro LED should last 40,000 hours, or roughly 15 to 20 years, saving 20 replacement lamps. Featuring exclusive Radiax optics, the DesignPro LED delivers the greatest lumens per watt in the industry by driving increased output from LED chips; this results in a more focused light at a cooler operating temperature. These fixtures are backed by a 10-year commercial and 15-year residential warranty.

Kichler Design Pro LED 120V flood light

View Project


Solar leasing is putting renewable energy in the hands of more people, by eliminating the prohibitive up-front cost of purchasing solar panels. Once OneRoof Energy installs the PV system, the electricity generated replaces energy purchased from the utility company; the balance drawn from the grid is set at a lower-priced rate tier. Typical savings over the life of this 25-year agreement ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. The lease can be transferred if the customer sells the home, and includes service and maintenance at no extra cost.

OneRoof Energy Solar Select solar lease

View Project


The Power Max charging station comes in 16 and 30 amp models, with cords up to 25 feet long. The NEMA 3R enclosure allows for indoor or outdoor installation via pedestal or wall mount. No-touch operation makes charging as simple as plugging the vehicle in and walking away. An on/off switch completely shuts off power to the unit when not in use. Standard safety features for these UL-certified charging stations include a cord breakaway system and non-live current wire.

Bosch Power Max electric vehicle charging stations

View Project


Lighter and smaller than the previous generation, these modules include anti-PID technology and enhanced energy efficiency. An anti-reflective coating ensures high sunlight absorption, and efficiency ratings fall between 13.3 and 14.4 percent, at normal operating temperatures. These sturdy modules are certified to withstand up to 4000 Pa wind load and 7000 Pa snow load; the aluminum frame and non-coating glass also reduce the risk of salt corrosion. Offered in 60- and 72-cell configurations, HSL polycrystalline modules come with a 12-year product warranty, and a 25-year linear performance warranty.

Hanwha SolarOne HSL polycrystalline solar modules

View Project


Leaks frequently occur in and around homes in places where temperature fluctuations, moisture, humidity and damaging UV rays take their toll. Using Supreme Paintable to prevent gaps and cracks from reforming saves energy over the long term. Unlike acrylic caulk, 100 percent silicone caulk stays permanently flexible, shrink-proof, crack-proof and waterproof. This low-VOC product is made in the U.S., and comes in shipping boxes with up to 46 percent recycled content.

GE Window & Door Supreme Paintable silicone caulk

View Project


This two-part, latex-based foam seals cracks and penetrations through a building envelope, and from floor to floor. Approved for use as a fireblock, and around plumbing penetrations and electrical wireways, it’s the only self-forming gasket system offering energy code compliance. By keeping airborne moisture from entering wall cavities, EnergyComplete also reduces the chance of mold growth, and creates a first line of defense against insects and other pests. This sealant is non-allergenic, and safe to use without a chemical mask or ventilation suit.

Owens Corning EnergyComplete sealant

View Project


This open-cell, semi-rigid, polyurethane foam does away with ozone-depleting propellants by being completely water blown. With a density of 0.5 per cubic foot and a minimum of 3 percent bio-based material, this product expands 100:1 when sprayed, filling voids and crevices and reducing infiltration—and consequently, energy demand. With an R-value of 3.8 per inch—R-20 at 5.5”—Bio-Based 501W contributes to a tight building envelope, while reducing the risk of moisture accumulation and sound transfer.

Rhino Linings Bio-Based 501W

View Project


Designed for application over unfaced fiberglass insulation, MemBrain looks like polyethylene, but is actually a polyamide-based material. What makes this product unique is its ability to adapt its permeability to varying climatic conditions. In winter or low humidity, MemBrain resists water vapor, behaving like a traditional vapor retarder. As the relative humidity increases, so does MemBrain’s permeability, allowing water vapor to escape the wall cavity and helping buildings dry out.

CertainTeed MemBrain smart vapor retarder film

View Project


This closed-cell, medium-density spray foam insulation maintains its installed R-value throughout its service life, unlike air-permeable insulation types, which lose their field thermal performance because of sagging, shrinking and ongoing convective current loops within the insulation. This product is also 100 percent water-blown, eliminating ozone-depleting blowing agents. With an R-Value of 4.9 per inch and superior adhesion performance, ProSeal Eco is suitable for projects in any climate zone across North America.

Icynene ProSeal Eco

View Project