Our roundup this month includes a wide range of interior and exterior wall and wall-surfacing options, from a new breed of siding (featured below) to handcrafted wallpaper to interior wall products that may help those who are building green projects to breathe a little easier. ' Rita Catinella Orrell

Microposite siding comes in four widths, provides more prominent shadow lines, and features no-repeat grain patterns to replicate the look of real wood.

U.S. manufacturer launches first new siding category in 20 years
Michigan-based Microposite claims to have introduced the first new siding category to the building-product marketplace since fiber cement siding was launched 20 years ago. Nine years in development, Microposite’s premium 7¼16'' boards are constructed of a combination of lightweight microspheres made of perlite (a mineral widely used in drywall paste, paint, roofing insulation, and other products) and a proprietary polyurethane resin binder. Perlite is mined from countries around the world, including the U.S., Greece, and China.

Microposite siding’s microsphere technology gives the product the strength to resist temperature shifts, buckling, and warping, according to the manufacturer. Microposite offers an R-value rating 3.5 times greater than fiber cement, yet is 50 percent lighter.

In addition, the siding does not require any special installation tools and creates no harmful dust when cut.

Microposite’s closed-cell technology delivers 100 percent water resistance, eliminating concerns about decay or rotting. The boards are available in four widths, provide more prominent shadow lines, and feature no-repeat grain patterns to replicate the look of real wood. Microposite states that the siding has undergone independent testing for areas such as wind load, moisture, and fire; the manufacturer is currently working through the process for International Code Council (ICC) testing.

“We’ve already received overwhelmingly positive response and interest in this new category of siding, reinforcing our belief that when applied intelligently, technology can be a beautiful thing,” states Microposite president and C.E.O. Marc Carlson. The siding has already been specified into a multithousand housing-development project in the United States.

Microposite’s siding products will be competitively priced and distributed exclusively by building-product supplier BlueLinx Holdings. The product will be available beginning in the second half of 2008 in select markets, starting in the Northeast region. Microposite, Auburn Hills, Mich. www.microposite.com

[Reader Service: February 2008 #221]


Handcrafted wallpapers
Masterworks, the fourth collection from designer Lori Weitzner’s eponymous wall-coverings company, Weitzner Limited, utilizes custom gilding, printing, and papermaking methods. All patterns pass Class A fire ratings; have a stain-resistant, water-based finish; and are suitable for residential, retail, and hospitality applications where a high-end look is desired. The collection is distributed nationally by Bergamo and worldwide through Sahco Hesslein. Bergamo Fabrics, Mount Vernon, N.Y. www.bergamofabrics.com

[Reader Service: February 2008 #222]


Certified wood panels
The S.J. Morse Company, a full-service manufacturer of premier quality architectural wood-veneer-faced panels, has introduced fire-rated, 100 percent FSC-certified veneer-faced panels that meet additional USGBC LEED program criteria, including no added formaldehyde and postindustrial recycled content. The panels were contributed to the University of Maryland’s LEAFHouse (right), which placed second in the 2007 Solar Decathlon. S.J. Morse Company, Capon Bridge, W.V. www.sjmorse.com

[Reader Service: February 2008 #223]