Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

GREENBUILD 2012 – Day Two


By D. Brent Sauser, Architect

Day Two at the Moscone Center was greeted with a beautiful, cool, San Francisco day.  I wasn’t able to get through all the exhibits the day before, so I planned to start where I left off in the south hall prior to moving across the street to the north hall.  After a while all the exhibits start to blur together so I took a break at the AIA booth.  I didn’t have to walk too far without bumping into one of the many Net Zero manufacturers featured on the Resources page of  It was a pleasure to stop to talk to the people at each booth, to introduce myself and show them the web page.  Many were pleasantly surprised to hear that a third party like would feature them on a website.

[youtube][/youtube]  I met up with Solatube, who had a very impressive exhibit featuring all of their daylighting products.  Positioned in a place of distinction was Solatube’s newest product . . . daylighting with integrated, controllable LED lighting.  This provides the perfect balance of God-given daylight with controlled LED lighting at night, maximizing the light and minimizing the power demand.  That’s money back in your pocket!

Ciralight was at GreenBuild 2012.  They featured their 4×4 trackable skylight that follows the movement of the sun to provide a balanced light throughout the day.  They told me that very soon a 2×2 skylight will be offered for residential use.  What a great idea!

I was able to meet with the Englert representatives at GreenBuild, who mentioned that interest in their system was very high.  I am not surprised considering the common sense approach Englert has taken to provide a system using PV thin film laminate along with radiant water heating creating what Englert calls a “solar sandwich”.

I was pleased to see Kingspan at GreenBuild 2012.  Kingspan offers a “one and done” insulated metal panel for exterior cladding. They were featuring many different examples of finishes and thicknesses, depending on the use.  I was drawn to their new product, which has an Alucobond appearance at almost half the price . . . in a “one and done” configuration.

Derbigum was also at GreenBuild 2012.  Derbigum has the unique honor of being listed three times on the NetZeroMax Resources page because of the wide variety of Net Zero products they offer.  The photo is of Derbigum’s Daylyte product.  Derbigum also offers highly reflective roofing products, an organic roofing system called Derbipure, and a solar PV system “Derbisolar”.  Check them out.

Located on the fringe of the vast exhibition floor was SolarDock.  SolarDock is listed on the Resources page of  It’s one thing to choose what solar panel  to use, but quite another to determine what system to use to anchor the PV panel to the roof.  SolarDock has taken all the guess work out of how to secure the PV panels  . . . even in stiff winds.  I was very interested in hearing their success story regarding how SolarDock worked during hurricane Sandy.

All in all it was a very successful GreenBuild 2012 for me.  Not only was I able to establish face-to-face contact with many of the manufacturers featured in, but I was also able to introduce NetZeroMax to many other Net Zero product providers who will be added to the Resources page. Even in a prolonged depressed economy the trend toward green building and sustainable design continues to move forward with new and exciting innovations.  This is no longer a “green movement”, but a natural progression based on common sense and the Triple Bottom Line.  GreenBuild 2012 has further convinced me that the technology is here, now, to design and build off the power grid . . . and that is what Net Zero is all about!

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