Buzz: Product News Roundup, Curb Your Enthusiasm Edition

Curb appeal boosters, plumbing-powered lighting, interior-ductwork strategies, high-tech gates, and more product news from around the web this week.

Entry traditional exterior
•  Flowers, shutters, pavers, and 7 other strategies for boosting a home’s curb appeal. Read the rest of this entry »

Buzz: Product News Roundup, High Fiber Edition

Inspiring fiber-cement siding, 13 luxury products, a promising solar spike, and other product news from the past week.

zipper house modern exterior Read the rest of this entry »

Buzz: Product News Roundup – Raise the Roof Edition

Introductions, insights, and inspirations from the world of building products this past week, including brick-laying robots, growing demand for roofing, more Chinese drywall cleanup, and ultra-hip toilets.

• Good news for the roofing market: Demand is predicted to rise an average of 5.7% per year between 2010 and 2015, a turnaround from the previous five-year period, in which demand shrank 6.1% per year.

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Buzz: Product News Roundup — Farewell Foyers Edition

Introductions, insights, and inspirations from the world of building products this past week:

• Good-bye soaring foyers, hello entryway “drop zones.” The Wall Street Journal offers a look at what homebuyers in today’s economy want.

• In promising energy-efficiency news, Lowe’s will soon start selling VuCorp’s Electron Simulated Luminescence 19.5-watt light bulbs, which can replace a 65-watt incandescent but, unlike traditional CFLs, are mercury-free, turn on instantly, and are fully dimmable.

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Innovation: Nest Labs Unveils Thermostat That Learns

Nest Labs, founded by former Apple execs who helped develop the iPod and iPhone, announced today the launch of a thermostat that “learns,” making it simpler than ever to program schedules and, even better, save energy.

According to the company, the Nest Learning Thermostat uses sensors, algorithms, machine learning, and cloud computing and adjusts temperatures up and down for comfort when the home is occupied and energy savings when it’s not. As homeowners adjust the temperature, the thermostat programs itself, learning schedules within a week and automatically turning down heating or cooling when they are away. Read the rest of this entry »