Product Organizations and Manufacturers

Organized by 16 Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) divisions

1. General requirements

See “Organizations and Tools”

2. Site Construction

Select list of Wisconsin native (pre-European settlement) trees, shrubs and perennials available if you request via e-mail

USDA Plant Database
The United States Department of Agriculture plant database includes all plants present in the 50 United States (and where those plants are present in other locations on Earth). The database includes where plants are present, whether they were introduced or are native along with common and scientific names and symbol for every plant and species and sub species. A comprehensive database that can be used if desiring to chose native plants to your area that are beautiful, suitable to your soil and light conditions and serve the purpose you intend.

Northwind Perennial Farm
Northwind specializes in hardy field grown perennials and established natural and low maintenance landscapes. One of the owner’s Roy Diblik is a ‘rock star’ in the US perennial world believing what we plant should represent someplace on Earth.

Johnson’s Nursery
A full service Southeastern Wisconsin nursery that has the most diverse selection of locally grown deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials. Much of what they grow is native to Wisconsin.

Prairie Moon
A seed, bare root and plug provider of native forbes (flowering perennials), grasses and sedges. They have extensive seed mixes specific to soil types, sun exposures and to attract specific wildlife.

3. Concrete

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the only foam insulation that retains 100% of its insulating value for life. It has never contained CFC’s or HCFC’s or used them in its manufacture. EPS is 100% recyclable.

Insulating Concrete Forms
Expanded polystyrene concrete forms used for below or above grade walls. Learn how to build with ICF’s and where to find a dealer or installer.

Expanded Polystyrene Insulation Industry

Find EPS manufacturers for custom foundation/footing forms, window sills and sheet foam of densities between 7.5 and 60 psi. Ideal for use both above and below grade and for footing forms in shallow frost protected foundations.

ACH Foam Technologies

National manufacturer of EPS insulation for building construction and geotechnical projects. They can shape foam of any density to any shape and arrange shipment to your project site. If clean unused material is returned, ACH is able to recycle 100% of the foam back to liquid and back to foam of another shape and density.

Plymouth Foam
Another manufacturer of EPS insulation for building construction projects and OEM. They have all the same capabilities of ACH and are located in Plymouth Wisconsin.

LM Scofield
Decorative concrete and coloring manufacturer since 1915. Stains and color additives that can make concrete as decorative as other finishes with the potential of lower cost. There are other decorative concrete product manufacturers with same or similar products such as www.superstone.com and many others. LM Scofield products are those I have used personally.

4. Masonry

Lakes Brick and Block, Zenda (Lake Geneva) WI
Supplier of brick, mortar, stone and manufactured stone and manufacturer of standard and decorative concrete block.

Building Science Corporation
Technical articles regarding damage to masonry as a result of freezing moisture within masonry. Moisture absorption in masonry (particularly older soft clay brick) often does not dry out before freezing weather in cold climates causing both masonry and mortar (particularly older soft lime mortar) to spall. This issue is often exaggerated as a result of building energy retrofits that leave thermal bridges (non or low insulated portions of envelope adjacent to well insulated portions of envelope) and do not address bulk (weather related) moisture penetration.

5. Metals

McNICHOLS
Perforated decorative sheet metal, wire mesh, expanded metal, grating, stair treads and many other ‘interesting’ metal components.

Feeny
Cable railing system that results in few fasteners and thus a ‘clean’ look. Common hardware store hardware may also be used if a more ‘utilitarian aesthetic’ is desired.

SIMPSON Strong-Tie
A manufacturer of connections for wood, cold formed metal framing and other structural building components for all types of situations. Some are simultaneously decorative and functional, while others simply serve as a convenient or necessary method of connection.

6. Wood and Plastics

SIPS.org
Structural insulating panels (SIPs) and Nail base are sandwich panels of OSB (or plywood or metal) and foam (Expanded polystyrene as most common) are integral air barriers, continuous insulation, structural walls/floors/roofs and nailing surface. Find a manufacturer or installer near you. Manufacturers can ship anywhere, but the longer the shipping distance the higher the cost of shipping – choose a manufacturer close to project.

Weyerhauser 
Engineered lumber including I-joists, Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL), Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) that are often have a lighter weight to strength ratio than dimensional lumber. PSL is the strongest (least deflection) form of solid lumber.

US Glu-lam
Dimensional wood laminated into larger wood structural members that are stronger and more stable than solid single piece dimensional lumber. Though this lumber is not as strong or dimensionally stable as LSL, PSL or LVL, it has what many consider a superior aesthetic for exposed construction.

7. Thermal and Moisture protection

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the only foam insulation that retains 100% of its insulating value for life. It has never contained CFC’s or HCFC’s or used them in its manufacture. EPS is 100% recyclable.

Insulating Concrete Forms
Expanded polystyrene concrete forms may be used for below or above grade walls. Learn how to build with ICF’s and where to find a dealer or installer.

EPS Industry

Find EPS manufacturers for custom foundation/footing forms, window sills and sheet foam of densities between 7.5 and 60 psi. Ideal for use both above and below grade and for footing forms in shallow frost protected foundations.

ACH Foam Technologies

US manufacturer of EPS insulation for building construction and geotechnical projects. They can shape foam of any density to any shape and arrange shipment to your project site. If clean unused material is returned, ACH is able to recycle 100% of the foam back to liquid and back to foam of another shape and density.

Plymouth Foam
Another US manufacturer of EPS insulation for building construction projects and OEM. They have all the same capabilities of ACH and are located in Plymouth Wisconsin.

WUFI
Fraunhofer IBP in cooperation with Oakridge National Research Laboratory (ONRL)  developed the WUFI multiple layer building assembly analysis modeling software. Software will run a user defined building envelope assembly through moisture and temperature changes in a specified climate (represented by select cities) for a period of multiple years to assist in determining if some portion of the assembly is likely to develop increasing moisture over multiple years. This is what is termed hygrothermal analysis by building scientists. As building envelopes become increasingly air tight and more insulated, consideration of moisture increase over time becomes more and more vital.

Mcelroy Metal
One of many manufacturers of standing seam metal roofing. Metal roofing, due to its long life and relatively low premium first (installed) cost, often has a lower life cycle cost than asphalt based shingles or membrane type roofing products. Standing seam metal roofing with seams at 16” on center also allows for the immediate or future installation of either bracket mounted crystalline panel photovoltaic (PV) electric, bracket mounted solar thermal panel, or 15 ½” wide adhered laminate photovoltaic (PV) electric solar collectors.

FABRAL
A manufacturer of metal wall and roof panels for traditional framing and post frame construction.

8. Doors and Windows

Wasco
Wasco in Milwaukee, WI sells several types of windows. The Geneo series windows are high performing Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certified UPVC windows assembled from frame material manufactured in Germany by Rehau. Wasco imports frame extrusions and hardware from Germany and then assembles the window frames with several options of glass either assembled at Wasco or by US manufacturer Cardinal Glass to meet the demanding high thermal and air tight performance requirements of Passive House buildings. Bulk importing shipment of components and assembly in the U.S. reduces excise taxes and shipping cost, employs US citizens and makes replacement parts or windows easier and quicker to obtain within the US.

High performance imported European Windows

Energate
Intus Windows
Optiwin USA
Zola Windows

There are many others imported from Europe available in the US. They all have superior thermal (U = 0.14 [R7.14] and less) and air leakage performance. Many have frames intended to allow exterior over insulation to reduce thermal bridging at installation (shim) perimeter gap between units and wall opening. They all have many glazing options to balance minimizing thermal (conductive) losses with either maximizing or minimizing solar heat gain. Importing incurs added tax and shipping cost associated with fully assembled units.

9. Finishes

Floors, walls and ceilings……
No and low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and sealants, no formaldehyde products, cradle to grave products, recycled content products, repurposed materials……the opportunities are endless

Dale Tile
Dal Tile is a US manufacturer of many shapes and sizes of ceramic tile. The parent company is also the owner of American Olean with very similar, but a few different tile colors, patterns and availability.

FLOR
An online mail order carpet tile outlet owned by parent company Interface. The product is 100% recycleable by the manufacturer, the colors and patterns are endless and the product can be a DIY project.

Lumber Liquidators
Lumber Liquidators is a hardwood floor distributor with many retail outlets throughout the US with all types of solid and engineered wood, laminate, bamboo and cork floors that are either nail down, floating glued together or floating snap together.

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams
Paint manufactures with all types of interior and exterior paints including low and No VOC products. Both are good quality manufacturers, but sometimes painting contractors consider one or the other more easy to obtain.

Minwax
Minwax manufactures all types of wood stains and sealers including water based colored stains in just about any color in or under the rainbow.

Cabot Stain
Cabot manufactures many types of exterior stains and sealer including colored stains in just about any color in or under the rainbow.

10. Specialties

Kitchen and bath accessories, closet hardware, wood stoves……
IKEA
IKEA is a Swedish owned department store with everything for the home including all the accessories required in baths and kitchens at great value….and if you purchase anything at the store the cost of your in store Swedish meal is credited toward your purchase.

The Log Rack 
Is a retailer of all kinds of wood stoves and related wood burning accessories. This page is an assembly of the US EPA’s rating of all stoves available in the US. The ratings include if the stove has a catalytic combustor, what the emissions is in grams per hour (from 0.6 up to 7.8 g/hr), efficiency % (amount of heat out of the fuel in – 63 or 72%), and BTU/h output range (min. to max. depending on burn rate – from 5700 to 75,500). Ideally a stove is sized based upon a calculated heating load considering building envelope transmission loss, ventilation loss, free/unavoidable internal heat gains and free solar radiation heat gains so that is neither over or undersized (it is best not to use a rating based upon floor area as that assumes the heating load is 35 BTU/h for every square foot of floor area – and that is usually not acurate). Emissions are best if as low as possible and efficiency is best if as high as possible. If the building envelope is tight, a dedicated source of combustion air must be provided – either directly to the fire chamber or indirectly through air introduced to the building or space.

Jotul
Jotul is a Norwegian wood stove manufacturer that was established 1853. They manufacture several different styles and BTU/h capacities of wood and gas burning stoves and fireplace inserts. Capacities range from as low as 19,000/28,000 BTU/h to 81,500 BTU/h.

Vermont Castings
Vermont castings is a more than 35 year old US manufacturer of stoves and inserts. They have a burn technology they call flexburn which allows either catalytic or non catalytic operation to give the owner/operator the option of higher efficiencies and lower emissions or ease of use and operation with up to 3 burn chambers.

11. Equipment

Residential Appliances and electronics equipment…
ABT
Is a Chicagoland area appliance and electronics retailer with competitive prices and ability to deliver anywhere within 2 hours of Chicago.

LG
LG is one of a few manufactures of combination clothes washers and dryers in a single unit that fits under a standard height counter (the same size as a typical residential dishwasher. They, like several other manufactures also manufacture condensing in addition to heat/exhaust clothes dryers that do not require removing/exhausting air from the building.

Garden Web
This link describes what a condensing clothes dryer is. The primary advantage is no need for exhaust, which for buildings/spaces with tight envelopes eliminates need for a source of make-up air. Other differences include a longer cycle time (though not requiring more energy), and a portion of the moisture removed from the clothes/linens is transferred to the indoors.

12. Furnishings

Modular casework (kitchen, bath, office, AV equipment), window treatment and free standing furniture….
IKEA
IKEA is a Swedish owned department store with everything for the home including furniture and accessories for every room in your home or office – choose for any room under the departments pull down at the upper left corner of the website. The modular flat packed kitchen cabinetry comes has superior door and drawer hardware and is available in many styles at great value….and if you purchase anything at the store the cost of your in store Swedish meal is credited toward your purchase.

Room and Board
Room and Board is a retailer of many modern furniture styles at great value.

The Room Place
The Room place is a retailer with large variety of furniture styles (including modern/retro) at great value.

Crate &  Barrel
Crate & Barrel is a retailer of furniture and accessories with modern style at moderate prices.

Design Within Reach
Design within reach is a retailer of new and reproduction designer furniture at reasonable prices.

13. Special Construction

Post Frame Advantage
Post frame buildings can be economical and flexible. With a creative designer this can be accomplished without sacrifice to design or performance.

Cleary Building Corp.
Morton Buildings
Wick Buildings
All the above companies are manufacturers and erectors of post frame structures.

14. Conveying Systems

Elevators, dumbwaiters and escalators…..

15. Mechanical (and Plumbing)

Mechanical (HVAC) and Plumbing systems can function independently or in combination. When building envelopes are efficient and air tight, conditioning loads reduce – sometimes dramatically – such that the amount of energy required to heat domestic/service water exceeds the need for space conditioning heat. When plumbing systems are efficient and correctly sized they use less energy, require less maintenance, reduce inevitable replacement costs and ward off other aspects that can prematurely damage the system or its components. It is best to choose the smallest systems that will perform the tasks at their peak load.

AC Wholesalers
AC Wholesalers is a supplier of all types of heating, cooling, dehumidification and ventilation systems that will sell and drop ship to anyone. They have great value prices on many types of systems including those that are small and efficient.

LG
LG is one of a few manufacturers of high performance mini split ductless and ducted heat pumps including one that comes in charcoal gray (rather than the typical white) and with an illuminated picture front.

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi is another manufacturer of high performance ductless and ducted mini split heat pumps that are able to provide 100% heating capacity down to as low as 0 degF and over 60% heating capacity down to -14 degF.

Fujitsu

Fujitsu is another manufacturer of high performance ductless and ducted mini split heat pumps. Their ducted units have fans with five speeds and static pressure up to 0.36 water gauge (LG is 0.15 and Mitsubishi is 0.2) thus having more fan power to better overcome any duct friction/resistance.

Ultimate Air
Ultimate Air is a US manufacturer of one of the most efficient Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) and the most efficient of any US manufacturer.

Zehnder
Zehnder is a German manufacturer of several sizes and types of Heat only (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) including a proprietary ducting system that omits friction loss and air leakage of fittings. Their ‘straw’ cores do not have the exhaust/undesired air leak by associated with enthalpy ‘wheel’ ERV’s.

Airpohoda
Airpohoda is a Chekoslovakian manufacturer of very efficient ERVs that have automatic regulating controls to minimize need for preconditioning (to prevent core freezing) and allow the ability to automatically regulate the amount of humidity recovered versus exhausted.
Furthermore, their enthalpy i-ERV’s do not have any of the exhaust/undesired air leak by associated with enthalpy ‘wheel’ ERVs.

Air Concepts Inc.
Air concepts Inc. is a US manufacturer of supply and exhaust air diffusers that produce high velocity/long through with little noise. This method of distribution/air flow causes what is called aspiration where stream of air travels through still air in space causing superior air mixing, thus more even temperature and humidity.

Seiho

Seiho is another manufacturer of supply and exhaust diffusers for small ducts. Most of their diffusers include integral air volume dampers making system air balancing easier.

Radiantec
Radiantec is a radiant heating contractor and material supplier that developed both an open direct and indirect combined space heating and domestic/service water heating system using a single dual use water heater. They have also constructed their own testing facility comparing the efficiency of various sizes and types of piping for heat transfer and pump energy efficiency. Though located in Vermont, they can help design a system and provide all the components necessary for completion of a system for installation by a DIY owner or a plumbing or heating contractor.

American Water Heater
American Water Heater is a US manufacturer of many types of residential and commercial water heaters and solar water heating systems for all types of applications. Their Polaris gas fired water heater is the only heater that combines a 444 stainless steel tank, high rate of recovery, rating for simultaneous water and space heating, dual tank ports/taps allowing connection to solar heat exchanger or a potable water rated (i.e. NSF) water to air heat exchanging coil a >95% operating efficiency and a 92% standby efficiency.

Rheem
Is another US manufacturer of many types of residential and commercial water heaters, solar water heating and storage tank systems for all types of applications. Their Marathon series of electric water heaters, solar storage tanks with optional electric back up and point of use water heaters combine a bullet bottom shaped polybutene tank that is lightweight and will not corrode. The Marathon is not available with a gas burner and thus does not offer a high rate of recovery, but the 4500 watt electric back up does insure at least 40 gallons of heated water are available even when the solar collectors are not causing water to heat.

GRUNDFOS
Grundfos is am manufacturer of highly efficient fluid pumps for use in a variety of applications. Their Alpha2 series is a very efficient pump with (less than 10 Watts for up to a 25 foot head) and includes an AUTO Adapt control mode automatically adjusting based upon pressure, flow speed and temperature to maximize energy efficiency.

Watts 
Watts is a manufacturer of water flow control valves and devices. Their intelliflow automatic clothes washing machine shut-off valve will automatically shut off both cold and hot water supply during all times the washing machine is not operating.

Blanco
Blanco is a US manufacturer of stainless steel and SILGRANIT synthetic kitchen sinks and faucets.

ELKAY
Is a US manufacturer of residential and commercial sinks, faucets, accessories, drinking fountain and bottled water dispensers.

Kohler
Kohler is a US manufacturer of all types of plumbing fixtures (and many other products and hospitality services).

American Standard
American Standard is a US manufacturer of all types of plumbing fixtures including low flow toilets.

Crane Plumbing
Crane is a US manufacturer of all types of reliable plumbing fixtures with great value.

Mansfield Plumbing
Mansfield is a US manufacturer of all types of plumbing fixtures with great value.

DELTA
Is a US manufacturer of all types of faucets with great value.

IKEA
IKEA is a Swedish owned department store with everything for the home including kitchen and bath sinks, faucets and accessories – choose bath or kitchen under the departments pull down at the upper left corner of the website. The kitchen sinks and faucets and bath sink/counter/cabinet combinations are available in many styles at great value….and if you purchase anything at the store the cost of your in store Swedish meal is credited toward your purchase.

16. Electrical

‘Solar PV thin film laminates on Metal Roofing’
Metal roofing company discusses the choice between crystalline panel and flexible thin film laminate PV solar collectors on standing seam metal roofs. Laminates are lighter weight (reducing structural requirements), easy to install and appear integrated with the metal roofing, but have a lower production rate per surface area. Panels have higher production rates when exposed to direct sunlight, but have higher initial cost and, unlike laminates, have notable production rate drop when sun angle is not near perpendicular or there is shade or an overcast sky.
The website also includes a discussion regarding integrated solar thermal (between metal roofing and roof sheathing) (for heating domestic or space conditioning water) coupled with solar laminate PV (for electricity production).

1000Bulbs.com
Source for nearly any type of lamp available in the US. Because they sell only what they have in stock, they do not always have specific products (i.e. color temperature, lumen output or size), but they have a large variety and are a good place to start when searching for unique or highly efficient bulbs.

Product Organizations and Manufacturers