2013’s trendy colors, life-saving air conditioning, inspiring islands, arguing against spray foam, and other product news from the past week.
• Perhaps primary colors are more your style? Try these strategies for working with basic blue, red, and yellow.
• Though it takes its fair share of knocks for inefficiency, air conditioning is now being called a lifesaver, as a study reveals it has helped cut heat-related deaths by 80%.
• From country chic to modern sleek, these 20 kitchen islands will inspire.
• 13 reasons Treehugger thinks foam insulation doesn’t belong in green buildings.
• Perhaps NanoSonic’s Hybridsil is an exception to these concerns? The new 100% silicone-based foam insulation claims to be less toxic than spray polyurethane foam.
• Researchers in Spain have devised bricks made from paper-production waste.
• Can’t get enough products? Peruse Residential Architect magazine’s most popular products and product collections of 2012.
Panasonic’s Power Tool division is increasing the flexibility of its cordless tools with Dual Voltage Technology, an industry-first offering that allows users to switch between 18- and 14.4.-volt lithium-ion batteries on the same tool.
“Panasonic developed a circuit that allows you to get similar performance no matter which battery you use,” says industrial sales manager John Olson. “It makes them more versatile and makes them last longer … and it’s more convenient for the end user.”
Tool users can change batteries to achieve the desired voltage for a variety of tasks—18 volt for jobs requiring a longer runtime between charges and more power or 14.4 volt for jobs requiring less runtime or lighter weight. For example, when working overhead for long periods of time, contractors can switch to a 14.4-volt battery—rather than a whole new tool—to help reduce fatigue.
Designed from the ground up, the Dual Voltage tools can be purchased in kits or as tools only. Available models include a ½-inch drill/driver kit, a ¼-inch hex Quick Connect cordless impact driver kit, a cordless ½-inch square drive impact wrench, and a recip saw.
Part of Panasonic’s Tough IP line, the tools carry an IP56 rating, which means they have withstood demanding tests in extremely dusty environments and the effects of water spray by powerful jets. The result is super-durable tools that can stand up to the rigors of the jobsite.
Several features also help the company’s lithium-ion batteries last longer: a battery overheat sensor to protect against excess internal heat buildup and Solid Solution Technology, which consists of dissolved and hardened components and a heat-resistant coating that separate cells to prevent heat buildup.
Notes Olson: “Our goal is to build the most durable, longest running, longest lasting tools on the market.”
Tricks for concealing gadgets, accessible appliances, inspiring fireplaces, and other product news from around the web this week.
• Electrical outlets ruining the décor? Here are some tips for camouflaging these wall blemishes.
• Quartz countertops, clean cabinetry, charcoal hues, and seven other remodeling trends expected in 2013.
• How to choose appliances for universal design.
• Everything you need to know about pellet stoves.
• Sick of boring hearths? Check out these 4 inspiring fireplaces.
• 6 portable islands that add style and function to the kitchen.
• The U.S. is finally emerging as a global force in solar as the fourth quarter sees record PV installations.
Retro appliances, jobsite-ready fleece, a magnetic chalkboard door, and two other products that caught our eye this week.
Elmira Stove Works has added a French door refrigerator to its lineup of retro-style appliances. The refrigerator features frost-free operation, an interior filtered water dispenser and icemaker, glide-out freezer baskets and pantry drawer, and electronic controls. The Energy Star-rated units come in a 24.8-cubic-foot full-depth model or a 19.8-cubic-foot cabinet-depth model. Nine standard or custom colors are available.
Blaklader makes fleece tough enough for the jobsite. The company’s new Two Fisted Fleece jacket combines a 100% polyester shell with a wind- and water-resistant membrane and a breathable mesh lining, along with durable Cordura reinforcements at the shoulders, arms, and sides. Features include a zipped breast pocket and side front pockets, a telephone pocket, a key loop, a full-length zip-up collar, a rear document pocket, and a drawstring waist.
Ideal for the kitchen, office, or kid’s room, the Impression Magnetic Chalkboard door from Jeld-Wen features a large utility surface made with steel and pre-finished with chalk-ready paint. The opposite side of the door can be specified in any of the company’s 16 interior molded facings to match the other doors in the home.
Sigma’s Series 1900 bath faucet features a transitional design combining curves along the spout and handles with sculpted angles and smoothly polished flat surfaces. The solid brass unit includes a ceramic disc cartridge. More than 30 finishes are available, including polished nickel, shown here.
The Combi Steam/Convect oven from Viking Range offers four ovens in one: steam, to gently cook vegetables, fish, and seafood; steam convection to roast or broil foods while removing excess fats; convection that browns, bakes, broils, and crisps; and microwave, for fast and convenient cooking. The oven includes an interactive LCD with 43 automatic cooking settings, descaling functionality, and built-in cookbook with healthy recipes and cooking tips.
When it comes to turning old, discarded items into gorgeous showpieces, Josh Wynne, owner of Josh Wynne Construction in Sarasota, Fla., has a gift. The builder uses reclaimed materials often in his green-built homes, both for their environmental attributes and for the character and story they bring. Read the rest of this entry »
Winter work gear, reclaimed spruce, deck screws, and two other products that caught our eye.
Eye-catching window shutters, engineered wood trends, soaring solar, and other product news from around the web this week.
The first thing you notice about the Sneeoosh Cabin is its stunning setting, surrounded by lush Pacific Northwest forest, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains beyond. The second thing you notice is its dramatic gable shed roof and dueling walls of windows.
Turns out, those two characteristics are connected.
Industry-leading wall ovens, a powerful right-angle drill, peppy orange pendant lights, and two other products that caught our eye this week.
Predicting the next big appliance finish, architects’ favorite products, 10 inspired closet doors, brick-painting tips, and other product news from around the web this week.
• Is stainless steel wearing out its welcome? If so, what’s the next big finish trend for kitchen appliances? Read the rest of this entry »
Mellow wall tile, a powerful-yet-lightweight hammerdrill, an elegant lav faucet, and two other new products for the week.
The popularity of tubular skylights, which collect sunlight from the roof and channel it via a highly reflective tube, has soared in recent years, thanks in part to the green building movement and the ongoing push to get more natural light deeper into homes and buildings.
Most often, tubular skylights end at the ceiling, in a fixture similar to a recessed light (and perhaps even incorporating a supplemental electric light). Decorative options, such as diffusers and mounted shades, are growing. But you also can go a step further by transforming the solar tube into a traditional pendant- or chandelier-like fixture, as tubular skylight maker Solatube does in its own lobby.