A “smart” toilet with an automatically opening lid, an oven that also refrigerates food, and an in-sink dishwasher are a few of the home products that ranked on a top-20 list of “cool products,” selected by a panel of judges for the PCBC building show that will be held next week in San Francisco.

The annual conference, launched in 1959 as the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, is expected to draw over 25,000 home builders, developers, architects, product manufacturers and industry consultants this year and will feature 600 exhibitors at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

Ranking first on the top-20 list is a gas-fired water heater that heats water only when it detects a demand from an open water source and then shuts off automatically when the water tap is closed. This system is housed in a compact, wall-mounted unit that saves floor space and energy and is expected to last for 25 years.

Solar Board, a new type of board that is engineered to block about 97 percent of the sun’s radiant heat and keep buildings cooler also ranked on the PCBC panel’s “cool” list. This board, sold as a 4-by-8 structural panel, can reportedly keep attics up to 30 degrees cooler and reduce electricity costs by up to 25 percent. QuietRock, a type of drywall that is designed to suppress sound, is also ranked on the top-20 list. The product can be used like standard drywall and saves total cost over common soundproofing techniques.

The NEOREST 600 is a high-tech toilet that features a lid that automatically opens and shuts, an automatic flush, a cleansing system, a water-conserving flush and a tankless design. An in-sink dishwasher, which can clean up to five place settings at a time and accepts plates up to 11 inches, placed 10th on the list. And a refrigerator and oven that can be programmed to cool, cook, warm and re-cool, also made the list.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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