Products were judged by a panel of 27 media and building professionals on qualities such as design, functionality, innovation, and usefulness to consumers or builders. The more than 300 entries were narrowed down, and the top awards were given in ten categories, including an overall Best in Show award.
"Once again, we're excited about the wide variety of new products this year at IBS, but these award winners really do stand out," says Fred Hoppe, 2017 NAHB Conventions and Meetings chair and a builder from Lincoln, Neb. "I'm proud that Design & Construction Week is the event where our exhibitors bring their A game so our builders and remodelers can bring the latest and best products and services to their clients."
See the winning products below.
Best in Show and Most Innovative Building Material Product: AeroBarrier by AeroBarrier, a division of Aeroseal LLC
When blown into a pressurized space, the AeroBarrier sealant particles are drawn to leaks in the building envelope. The insulation adheres to the edges of leaks and to other sealant particles until any hole is tightly sealed. It can save time and money while meeting specifications for passive home envelope tightness, the company says.
Best Kitchen Product: Artis Wall by ARTISWALL
Artis Wall is made from authentic reclaimed wood from around the US. Builders and homeowners can enter and individual plank’s code into the ARTISWALL website to see the age, location, history, and a picture of where the plank came from. The boards use a patented Velcro installation system, making the wall covering removable and reusable.
Best Bath Product: Precision Frameworks Easy Frame by Precision Frameworks
The Easy Frame is a flat backed molding made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) that can be installed around frameless bathroom mirrors. It works without a rabbet and is installed directly to the mirror using industrial strength double-sided tape. All frames can be customized in specific sizes and are available in various finishes and designs. They are shipped ready to assemble with the company’s pre-packed assembly kit.
Best Energy Efficient Product: ecobee4 by ecobee
Ecobee’s newest version of its smart thermostat is ecobee4. Featuring a built-in speaker and microphone, ecobee4 can be controlled through a touch-screen, smart device, or voice. It pairs with Amazon Alexa and offers far-field voice recognition for voice control from anywhere in a room. It also uses the company’s signature room-sensing technology, which measures occupancy and temperature to save energy when a room is empty.
Best Green Building Product: DLS Series SL280NV Ultra-Low NOx Furnace by Lennox Industries
Lennox says this is the first residential Ultra-Low NOx furnace in the HVAC industry. Producing 65 percent lower emissions than a standard low-NOx furnace, it offers 80 percent efficiency and is a part of the Dave Lennox Signature Collection of high-efficiency HVAC products. It includes a two-stage gas valve and a variable-speed blower motor that allow the furnace to quietly adjust airflow and heating output.
Best Home Technology Product: Onelink Safe and Sound Smoke/CO alarm by BRK Brands Inc.
BRK Brands claims the Onelink Safe & Sound is the first announced smoke and CO alarm with the ability to process voice commands. Its location detection allows OneLink to alert homeowners of dangers in their area. It has a built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing users to control other smart devices through the alarm. It also has the ability to connect to other hardwired home alarms and activate them when it detects danger.
Best Indoor Living Product: Home Automation Hub by Eaton
The Home Automation Hub from Eaton allows homeowners, builders and contractors to integrate into their smart home systems and control a variety of smart devices. Through the Hub app, a user can control lighting, security systems, locks, garage door openers, thermostats, cameras, entertainment networks, sensors, and more. Users can access connected devices away from their home, and control them via voice.
Best Outdoor Living Product (tie): AeroTherm Innovative Coatings by Advance Coatings Group
AeroTherm is an internal insulation that reflects heat within the room and prevents it from escaping into the building structure. It is applied straight to a ceiling, floor, or wall surface. A coat one millimeter thick will save up to 35 percent of energy use, the company says. AeroTherm helps to eliminate cold spots, condensation, and mold. It can be painted or wallpapered over.
Best Outdoor Living Product (tie): Aquor House Hydrant by Aquor Water Systems
The House Hydrant V2 from Aquor builds on the in-wall faucet system of the company’s V1. It can be connected under full pressure, and its O-ring connection system ensures a leak-proof seal, even at high water pressures. It drains upon disconnection to prevent freezing, and is made of maintenance-free stainless steel. The V2 adds an atmospheric vacuum breaker for anti-siphon protection.
Best Window and Door Product: VELUX Active by VELUX America Inc.
The VELUX Active system allows homeowners to pair home automation with skylights to allow natural light and fresh air into the home, the company says. The system monitors CO2, humidity, and temperature, and automatically opens VELUX skylights two-to-three times daily to remove stale, harmful air. The controls are operable by a smartphone app or with Apple HomeKit, allowing homeowners to open and close skylights remotely. It can also read local weather reports and open or close window or blinds accordingly. The system is expected to be available in fall 2018.
Editor’s Note: Our own Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director, Nigel F. Maynard and Denise Dersin, were judges in this competition.