Products emphasize water savings in new and retrofit applications.

For some plumbing manufacturers, Greenbuild has grown in importance second only to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, which will be held in Chicago this year (April 24-26). Photo credit: U.S. Green Building Council


Official numbers from the U.S. Green Building Council state that 23,000 people attended the Greenbuild 2011 International Conference & Expo in Toronto. That number represents a decline of 5,000 people from 2010’s Greenbuild in Chicago.

Still, the 2011 lower announced number may sound high to several exhibitors who expressed disappointment with light traffic during Expo hours. Greenbuild 2011, held Oct. 4-7, marked the event’s 10th anniversary and the first to be produced outside the United States.

For some plumbing manufacturers, Greenbuild has grown in importance second only to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. Unlike KBIS, however, manufacturers emphasize their products’ water or energy efficiency more so than style, color and finish. They also display a much larger array of commercial products at Greenbuild.

Plumbing products in Toronto generally could be divided into two categories: those designed to conserve water on their own and those that can be retrofitted into existing products to make them more water efficient. Both types are expected to perform as well as models that use more water.

Niagara Conservation’s Sava showerhead. Photo credit: Niagara Conservation Corp.

Water-saving showers

Australia-based Caroma, better known for its dual-flush toilets, introduced its first showerhead to be sold in the United States. The Flow high-efficiency showerhead, with a flow rate of 1.5 gpm at 80 psi, includes a precision-engineered nozzle that pressurizes water to produce a soft yet powerful spray, according to the manufacturer. It can save up to 10 gallons more water than the standard 2.5 gpm showerhead for a 10-minute shower.

 Niagara Conservation Corp., another company better known for its high-efficiency toilets, displayed two new showerheads, Sava and Tri-Max. Sava showerheads feature a 4.4-in.-diameter spray head and 360˚ swivel for wide coverage; they are available in 1.5 or 1.75 gpm flow rates. Tri-Max showerheads feature an easy-grip dial that delivers three flow-rate options: 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 gpm. Both Sava and Tri-Max are available in a chrome or white finish; feature a nonremovable pressure-compensating device to maintain constant water flow; and come with a 10-year warranty.

TOTO Legato Overhead Rain Shower. Photo credit: TOTO

Delta Faucet introduced new round rain-can showerheads, which feature its H2Okinetic technology. The showerheads flow at 2.0 gpm, improving water efficiency by 20% from 2.5 gpm models. Other shower products with H2Okinetic are a body jet with a flow rate of 1.8 gpm at 80 psi and two body sprays with flow rates of 1.6 gpm or 1.8 gpm, both at 80 psi.

TOTO displayed its Legato Overhead Rain Shower, which uses TOTO’s EcoPower technology to power its LED lighting. Along with using the kinetic energy of flowing water to power the electronics, the Legato system incorporates TOTO’s Shape Memory Valves, which prevent leaks and drips.

Moen offered its new WaterSense-labeled Eco-Performance showering systems with a wall-mount or handheld showerhead, or a combination of both. The company exhibited its new Commercial Slide Bar Grab Bar system, which includes an Eco-Performance handheld showerhead with an ADA-compliant grab bar.

American Standard’s Decorum HE urinal. Photo credit: American Standard

Flush valves, urinals, HETs

Moen’s Commercial Division also introduced its M•Power line of sensor-operated flush valves featuring standard-flow (1.6 gpf for toilets/1.0 gpf for urinals), high-efficiency (1.28 gpf for toilets/0.5 gpf for urinals), dual-flush (1.6/1.0 gpf for toilets) and pint-flush (for urinals) models. These flush valves can save energy too via an infrared sensor beam that activates a flush cycle only when a user is in range. Their available power options include standard AA batteries and low-powered AC adapters.

American Standard promoted its 34 pairings of commercial urinals, toilets and flush valves designed to make specifying more efficient, while yielding a combined savings over the individual component prices for wholesalers and contractors. The toilet fixture/flush valve combinations include standard 1.6 or 1.28 gpf HETs.

Moen Commercial M•Power flush valve. Photo credit: Moen

The company’s standard urinals are available as 1.0 gpf models as well as high-efficiency urinals that flush 0.5 or 0.125 gallon, yielding 50% and 87% water savings respectively, over standard units. At Greenbuild, American Standard introduced its Decorum, an HEU with FloWise technology that uses 0.5 gpf, which is 50% less water than a standard urinal. It also features the EverClean permanent finish, which inhibits the surface growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew.

Sloan displayed its full line of high-efficiency vitreous china toilets and urinals, including its Waterfree Urinal. A sealed cartridge eliminates the need for water, typically conserving 40,000 gallons per unit a year.

Sloan also exhibited its solar-powered SOLIS flushometers, which are equipped with Smart Sense technology. For urinals, the Solis flushometer can reduce water usage up to 80% over standard sensor models.

Delta Faucet says it has been producing flush valves for many years and displayed its latest manual and electronic models at Greenbuild. These included dual-flush models and electronic flush valves featuring H2O Optics.

Caroma showed its Invisi Series II wall-hung toilet with the plumbing hidden inside the wall to create a more spacious look for bathrooms. The dual-flush HET has a button for a half-flush, which uses 0.8 gpf for liquid, and one for a full flush, which uses 1.28 gpf for solids, for an average flush of 0.9 gpf.

Zurn Industries  passed out pint-sized beer glasses at its Greenbuild booth to promote its Nano Pint 0.125 gpf ultra-low consumption urinal system. Part of the company’s EcoVantage line of water-saving products, Nano is equipped with a sensor-operated flush valve.

Visitors to the Kohler booth saw many green and sustainable products, including new commercial faucets that comply with low-lead regulations. Photo credit: Kohler Co.

Faucets and sinks

Kohler unveiled two advanced commercial faucets that comply with new low-lead regulations: the Gooseneck and Streamlined. The faucets feature a no-touch design that uses the company’s proprietary Insight adaptive infrared sensor technology, which runs off Kohler’s 30-year Hybrid Energy System.

Sloan introduced its BASYS platform of sensor-activated faucets with four power options, including alternative sources using turbine or solar technology. BASYS features three spray modules, five body types and four crowns with external diagnostic LED indicators.

Sloan BASYS sensor faucet. Photo credit: Sloan Valve

Hansgrohe showed its line of 1.5 gpm faucets. These include both residential and electronic models.

Component Hardware Group displayed its Sidekick electronic faucet with an infrared wave-on, wave-off sensor. With the sensor’s placement on the side of the unit, the faucet can be used by doctors scrubbing for surgery or in food-service applications.

American Standard’s Nightingale ICU sink can be used in hospital settings as well. Its exceptionally deep bowl helps to manage the splash of water from the faucet.

Bradley Corp. exhibited an individual-sized version of its Verge Lavatory System for commercial applications. Made of recycled material, the lavatories don’t have a sealer and don’t have to be sealed every year. Bradley also showed its Omni Deck lavatory made of the same material but with an undermount sink.

Kohler Co. President David Kohler, speaking at Greenbuild’s opening ceremony, said the future strategy of sustainability must integrate business and environmental principles. Photo credit: Kohler Co.

Retrofit products

Neoperl showed its 1.0 gpm pressure-compensating aerators for bathroom faucets. The aerators can reduce the flow from 2.2 gpm and still provide a full flow of water. 

Encore, a division of Component Hardware Group, introduced its ONE-TAP Metering Aerator for converting a standard faucet into a low-flow metering faucet. It fits most faucets with an existing aerator and provides up to 87% water savings over conventional faucets.

Niagara exhibited four new aerators: Versa Kitchen, Tri-Max, Lead-Free and Bathroom Sink. All models can be used on existing faucets to achieve water and energy savings without sacrificing performance and convenience.

Moen displayed its Eco-Performance aerators for kitchen faucets and service kits for pulldown/pullout faucets. The aerators can be used on a number of Moen’s collections and fixed-spout faucets. Each aerator or service kit provides consistent flow while maintaining water pressure. Each features a flow rate of 1.5 gpm vs. the standard 2.2 gpm, which provides up to a 32% water savings.

Zurn Industries showed sensor products that can be used to replace manual handles on flush valves. The company also showed its siphonic roof drains that drain water from roofs much more quickly than conventional drains.

Dahl exhibited its dahl-ECO line of valves, which incorporate a durable patented alloy called EcoBrass. The corrosion-resistant valves exceed lead-free requirements based on California AB1953 and Vermont S-152 legislation, and surpass any low-lead standards worldwide.

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