Smart Design With Suzette: Seven Sustainable Products From Greenbuild 2016

Dekton by Cosentino line Trillium. countertop. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Sustainability-minded designers and builders flocked to L.A. (the other L.A.) for the annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo last month.

Along with a slate of education opportunities, the event featured hundreds of manufacturers showcasing products that save energy, conserve water, maximize resources, provide daylighting (the illumination of buildings by natural light) and otherwise contribute to a home’s sustainability.

Though Greenbuild is still largely a commercial show, many new products on display are designed for, or are suitable for, residential use. Here are a few finds for your next project.

Kohler launched the single-flush Highline, a toilet offering full-time 1 gallon per flush. The unit uses precise and directional water flow targeting for a stronger and more powerful flush, combining the force of gravity with a precision-engineered tank, bowl, and trapway to create a strong siphon. The toilet is WaterSense certified.

WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products. WaterSense’s goal is protecting the future of the U.S. water supply. WaterSense makes it easy for consumers to differentiate among products that use less water and reinforces that saving water is easy and often does not require a major lifestyle change.

Toto’s Promenade II 1-gpf toilet features the Tornado flushing system, which boasts two powerful water jets that generate significant centrifugal action to create a whirlpool effect inside the rimless bowl. It also includes a nanotechnology glaze that repels visible and invisible waste. The toilet is WaterSense certified.

Coeur d’Alene Wood offers the look of reclaimed wood but is made with new, naturally rot-resistant Alaskan yellow cedar. The wood is put through a patented, 250-foot environmental chamber that ages the wood, delivering the look of years of weathering and coloration without the use of paints, stains, or VOCs (organic chemicals). Collections include Barn Wood Select, Heritage, and Coastal.

Recycled Color
The revolutionary product, Dekton, imagines a new concept in the world of design and architecture. Dekton is a sophisticated blend of the raw materials used to produce the very latest in glass and porcelain as well as the highest quality quartz work surfaces that are ultra-compact, high performance surfaces.

Trilium is the first recycled color within the Dekton by Cosentino line, made with 60 percent recycled content from production of the company’s other colors. The combination of grays, browns, and blacks creates a visual effect of oxidized steel for an industrial look. The surfacing can be used indoors or outdoors.

Building on Cosentino’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, Trilium is the first recycled color within the Dekton line that represents important eco-friendly values.

Whirlpool’s new 4.3-cubic-foot True Ventless Heat Pump Compact Dryer is ideal for multifamily projects. Its compact size and ventless design provide design flexibility. Features include Wrinkle Shield, a Refresh Cycle, Wool Cycle, and Bulky Bedding Cycle. The Energy Star-certified unit will be available later this year or in early 2017.

Energy Star (trademarked ENERGY STAR) is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States. It was created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Since then, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union have adopted the program.

Devices carrying the Energy Star service mark generally use 20–30% less energy than required by federal standards. The ENERGY STAR label was established to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.

Paving Material
Porous Pave is a pour-in-place permeable paving material made from recycled tires, aggregate and urethane binder. Porous Pave has updated the size of its recycled rubber chips from 1/4 to 3/8 inch to 1/8 to 1/4 inch, providing for a more refined, smoother paved surface.

The proven benefits of Porous Pave is that it is highly porous, allowing large amounts of water to drain through its surface, minimizing the volume of stormwater run-off. It is environmentally friendly saving thousands of tires from going to landfills. For example, 300 scrap tires are used to create 1,000 square feet of 2″ porous pavement.

It is flexible and resists cracking and heaving commonly found on concrete sidewalks.
It is frost and freeze resistant that withstands cracking or heaving due to ground movement or frost. It is slip resistant with its high rubber content that ensures good traction.

Strong and durable at only 2″ thick, Porous Pave can handle low speed car and truck traffic. Use at 1 1/2″ thick for bike paths, patios, trails, golf cart paths or any other foot and pedestrian traffic. Use at 1″ to overlay existing concrete, asphalt, metal surfaces and wood. Porous Pave is resistant to oil, chlorine, ozone, UV rays, muratic acid, transmission fluid, gasoline, diesel, hydraulic fluid, salt water and many other hostile materials. And, Porous Pave is resistant to snow plow damage.

Roof Windows
Velux has added center-pivot and side-hinged models to its line of roof windows. What are the benefits of roof windows? Fresh air and a better indoor comfort. Poor indoor air quality seriously affects our general well being.

The GXU roof access window offers access to the roof for repairs as well as emergency egress. It includes a locking device to keep the sash open. The GGU center-pivot roof window (pictured) is easy to operate and is ideal for rooms with low ceilings.

VELUX roof windows are designed for in-reach applications that require egress emergency escape capabilities. Examples include above-garage bonus rooms, lofts, and finished attic spaces.

I must admit new green technology and products are hard to keep up with. It is an exciting time for us knowing that every day new products are becoming available that can help change the world around us, reduce its impact and make a difference! I’m doing my best to communicate these products to you so you can make informed decisions on projects at your home or office.

For more information on these products, where to purchase them or help with your home, contact Suzette through her website and on Facebook at

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to help with your home. For more information, ‘like’ her on Facebook at and go to her website