Archive for June 2012


Environmental Design and Construction Highlights Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Joel Williams

This amazing transformation demonstrates the results from one application of Wet & Forget outdoor cleaner. No scrubbing or powerwashing was needed: Wet & Forget did all the work over three months.

The amazing results with the environmentally gentle, bleach-free Wet & Forget, a scrub-free exterior stain remover, have rung a bell with Environmental Design + Construction magazine. ED+C recently featured a case study highlighting the role of Wet & Forget in restoring the fragile tile roof of an 80 year old bell tower in Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark located in Lake Wales, Florida.

The size of the roof - a sprawling 50,000 square feet - combined with the delicacy of the Spanish tiles, which could be damaged by traditional pressure washing, made the restoration of the roof particularly challenging. In just one application, Wet & Forget achieved remarkable results without scrubbing and with significantly smaller water use compared to pressure washing.

This case study was previously published by the Cleaning Management Institute.


Uponor Now Offers CEUs for Continuing Education

Posted on June 22, 2012 by John OReilly

Professionals looking to expand their knowledge in radiant heating and cooling, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems can now receive continuing education units (CEUs) when attending the following Uponor Academy training courses.

  • Radiant Hydronics and Design with Controls
  • Advanced Radiant Hydronics with Advanced Design Suite (ADS)
  • Climate Control Network System
  • Geothermal Design and Application (receive IGSHPA accreditation)
  • AquaSAFE Multipurpose Fire Sprinkler System Levels I and II
  • Commercial PEX Plumbing Systems

“Uponor has a strong history of education and being on the cutting edge of technology,” says Wes Sisco, training manager at Uponor Academy.

“By offering CEUs with our Uponor Academy courses, professionals are now able to learn new skills and technologies that can help them expand their offerings to customers along with meeting their continuing education requirements.”

To learn more about the course offerings and to register, visit


Victorian Style Faucets Add Elegance to Bath

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Nora DePalma

Inspired by traditional Victorian Era designs of perfume bottles and vases, the Quentin collection of antique style faucets for the bathroom offer exquisitely detailed craftsmanship combined with modern water savings and technological advances.

This statuesque new vintage faucet collection from American Standard includes a full line of beautifully coordinated and intricately formed lavatory faucets, bath/shower fixtures and complete shower systems, including two decorative lavatory faucet spout options.

Conservative in both appearance and water consumption, Quentin lavatory faucets use 32 percent less water than conventional faucets and meet the rigorous WaterSense-certification standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requiring a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm)

For more information on this new bathroom collection, view the complete press release for the Quentin collection linked above or email us.


Uponor Products Up to 2″ Listed for Multipurpose Fire Sprinkler Systems

Posted on June 14, 2012 by John OReilly


New listing: More design options and material cost savings.

Uponor recently announced that the vast majority of its ProPEX® engineered polymer (EP) fittings, lead-free (LF) brass sweat and threaded adapters, and larger-diameter Uponor AquaPEX® tubing (all up to 2″) are now listed to UL 1821 and ULC/ORD-C199P for use in AquaSAFE™ Residential Multipurpose Fire Sprinkler Systems. This new listing allows more design options and material cost savings for AquaSAFE systems and also provides the most comprehensive offering of fittings and crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-a) tubing for multipurpose fire sprinkler systems from a single manufacturer.

“Having this comprehensive offering will dramatically increase our options for designing and installing AquaSAFE systems,” says Jayson Drake, director, Plumbing and Fire Safety at Uponor. “Additionally, being able to offer EP instead of brass fittings will provide significant cost savings — up to 10 percent on some systems.”

The new listing also allows designers to use ¾” tubing and fittings for a majority of their systems, now that they can upsize the supply pipes. The ¾” systems will be much easier for contractors to install compared to 1″ systems. Dan Hubbard, design services supervisor for Uponor Fire Safety, adds: “Before this listing, we had to use copper for any pipe size larger than 1″. Having to install copper on a job can dramatically impact the profitability of a project, mainly because the contractor doesn’t know what is needed for pipe size until after the design is completed.”

Additionally, Hubbard estimates a typical two-story house has around a dozen brass tees as part of the multipurpose system piping. Now with the new listing, using EP instead of brass can reduce the overall list price on an average system by as much as 10 percent. “We’re also looking into alternative layouts that may help eliminate the need for booster pumps in certain situations, which will also reduce system costs,” he adds.

For more information, visit



Noritz Launches New Website

Posted on June 13, 2012 by John OReilly

The new and improved Noritz America website,, is packed with helpful information on tankless water heaters for homeowners and professional. The homeowners’ section helps consumers choose the water heater that best fits their needs. The site lists all water heater specifications, including thermal efficiency, energy factors, capacity ranges and sizes. Viewers will also see an illustration of how a tankless water heater provides continuous hot water, but only when needed, saving energy and lowering utility bills.

Noritz website: Packed with information

Consumers can enter their zip codes to receive help in locating qualified local installers and learning about utility rebates for which they qualify. They will also find a list of online retailers authorized to sell Noritz products.

The professional area of the website provides information for contractors, wholesalers, home builders, including the dates and subjects of the Noritz University training courses on installation and maintenance for tankless water heaters.

“The new site, which will offer quick and easy access to essential information on Noritz products and services, is part of the organization’s ongoing effort to enhance the quality and availability of information to distributors, wholesalers, contractors, homeowners and end users,” explains Jay Hassel, VP of Sales and Marketing.

For more information, visit


Bathroom Faucet Anti-Scald Feature Ideal for Homes with Small Children, Older Adults

Posted on June 13, 2012 by Nora DePalma

A hot limit safety stop — an essential feature for homes with small children, older adults, or anyone with physical disabilities — is now available in the attractive and affordable Colony Soft collection of single-control bathroom faucets from American Standard.

American Standard was one of the first manufacturers to introduce the hot limit safety stop. Previously offered only on luxury faucet collections, the hot limit safety stop is now available to consumers at an affordable price point. The hot limit safety stop is also a standard feature on Colony Soft pressure balance bath/shower valves.

For more information on this updated collection, view the complete press release for the Colony Soft Collection with Hot Limit Safety Stop linked above or email us.


Shining the Light on Innovative Kitchen Faucet Technology

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Joel Williams

The June issue of Reeves Journal includes an article looking at the latest advances in electronic faucets. Prominently featured in the article and the accompanying photography was the ONO Touch Light PRO from KWC. The ONO Touch Light was highlighted for its water saving abilities – once activated, the flow of water stops automatically after about 10 seconds – and for its color-coded light system that can help prevent accidental scaldings.

The KWC ONO Touch Light PRO allows the user to control volume and temperature remotely with a simple touch. Touch once to begin a stream of cold water, twice for the warm setting and three times for the pre-designated hot temperature. The device even has a colored light ring for an immediate visual cue as to the temperature selected: blue indicates cold; orange, warm; and red, hot.


O’Reilly-DePalma Wins Skyline Award of Excellence from PRSA-Chicago

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Nora DePalma

The view from our offices is particularly nice today, as we’ve just won the Skyline Award of Excellence in Media Relations from the Chicago chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for an already award-winning client case study that generated over 40 million impressions.

The case study being recognized by the PRSA-Chicago highlighted how the Loews Hotel chain experienced an 80% drop in service calls related to clogged toilets after replacing their old commodes with the American Standard Champion 4. Pitched by ORDP account director Joel Williams, the case study received coverage on the travel blogs of USA Today and The Economist, as well as a related humor feature on AOL.

The story previously won a Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chapter, as well as a Golden Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago.


Why Best Buy Might Not Make It

Posted on June 11, 2012 by Nora DePalma

In the wake of founder Richard Schulze’s sudden departure from Best Buy last week, I shopped there this weekend.

After doing my research online—with the usual frustration that I couldn’t match top reviewed products from CNET within the Best Buy site search—I settled on a new camera that was on sale.  I put it into my shopping cart, intending to buy online and pick-up in store. But then I had a change of heart, and abandoned the shopping cart in favor of the in-store experience, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.  I still tend to kick it old school when shopping for major purchases, thinking that the sales reps will know a lot more than I do.


The sales rep not only didn’t try to upsell me on anything, but he didn’t even know about some of the upsell opportunities I had found through my research.  He followed me around like an eager Labrador puppy, trying to be helpful, as I snapped up accessories that I wanted, but he was ultimately pretty clueless and unable to answer questions.

Then I noticed that the online sale price was lower than the price listed in store. I showed the salesperson where I had bookmarked the sale price on my Android phone.

“Oh, yeah, we’ll match that,” I’m assured.

“Match it? It’s yours. This is your site, Best Buy.”

“Oh, yeah, and I mean we’ll match the online company’s pricing.”

The store was his employer.  The website was practically a foreign entity.

That’s a problem.

While unable to help me find accessories to improve my camera experience, the salesperson was, however,  very well trained in selling the extended warranty.

That’s a problem. (Talk about kicking it old school!)

I got an auto email precisely 24 hours after I had abandoned my original shopping cart, asking if they could help me. Not aware of a transaction made in store. Two separate systems.

That’s a problem.

No follow up from Best Buy to help me use my new technology. No links to videos or other cool helpful content.

In the end, Best Buy got the sale, but it’s probably for the last time, after a good decade of complete customer loyalty.

Next time: Amazon.


Atlanta NBC Affiliate Covers School Environmental Prize from American Standard

Posted on June 8, 2012 by Nora DePalma

The Marist School’s Environmental Science Class in Atlanta won a national “Green in Action” Contest from the Green Education Foundation, sponsored by American Standard Brands.  The Atlanta NBC affiliate, 11 Alive, documents what the students accomplished. Watch the report here.

Marist School student Dani Spencer being interviewed on 11 Alive this morning.

What it looked like behind the scenes with Spencer being interviewed by Donna Lowry, education reporter for 11 Alive.

Donna Lowry with Marist Environmental Science Teacher Kelly Mandy setting up the students for some shots.