16 Merit Award Winners: Product Innovations 2019

07/01/2019 | By Janelle Penny

We appreciate the interest in our Product Innovations contest this year! Each entry had a truly remarkable product. Our judges had to choose the ones that stood out to them as being the most innovative, with products that provide solutions for facility managers and building owners.

Out of the submission entries we received, there were 27 standout products. Of those, 3 were selected to receive our top award, the Editor’s Choice; 8 were awarded our Grand Prize and then below, you will find our Merit Award winners.

Each winner will be featured in our July/August BUILDINGS print issue as well as online. Check these out!

Merit Award Winners - Product Innovations 2019

16 Merit Award Winners

3 Acoustics Products:

1. Xorel Artform Baffles | Carnegie

Xorel Artform Baffles mitigate sound issues often found in large open office plan spaces.

Carnegie Acoustic Panels - Xorel Artform Baffles

Flexible placement options enable their use with existing open ceiling conditions or dropped ceilings. Mix and match five shapes and hundreds of color, texture and pattern options to create custom installations. Hang with rods or cables or use as wall panels.


(Cliff Goldman, executive chairman, Carnegie)

Carnegie BafflesThe baffles’ Noise Reduction Coefficient rating exceeds 1.0. The highly cleanable panel material can withstand bleach, a critical consideration for healthcare projects.

Cradle to Cradle Certified at the Silver level, with a Gold-certified bio-based option available in many designs. All Xorel textiles are free of any added finishes or coatings.

2. BuzziDish | BuzziSpace

BuzziDish is a high-performance 3D acoustic wall panel that stands out for its original shape and fun, flexible design. Distinct for its three-dimensional appearance and rotating capabilities, BuzziDish helps create more acoustically balanced spaces in open-plan environments.

BuzziDish from BuzziSpace

BuzziDish from BuzziSpaceThe parabolic, concave design mitigates unwanted noise efficiently, making it an ideal solution for commercial interiors, hospitality spaces and open plan offices.

BuzziDish can stand on its own as a wall fixture, letting users create their own unique installation by combining multiple panels and hues together for maximum visual and acoustic performance.

3. FLAT | Snowsound

FLAT is a line of sound-absorbing panels that have a perfectly planed front surface, resulting in a clean, minimalist design. The front surface is flat and appears weightless, holding most of the depth in the rear portion.

FLAT acoustic panels by Snowsound

Two irregular shapes come together to create innumerable arrangements, ranging from geometric designs to bold, unexpected compositions.

FLAT SnowsoundA rear metal hinge allows FLAT to tilt and rotate as if it were a weightless sheet of paper to achieve different solutions. Incorporates patented Snowsound technology, which mimics the sound-absorbing properties of freshly fallen snow.

The other product featured in this video is BOTANICA, which received a Grand Prize. View it here.

4 Flooring Merit Award Winners:

Four flooring products received a Merit Award:

1. LONSTRAND Topseal | LONSEAL

LONSTRAND Topseal, a line of resilient sheet vinyl, was designed to contribute to restorative responses such as reducing stress, improving cognitive function and creativity, improving well-being and healing. The design mimics the bark of a tree and features long, fiber-like strands that can visually expand a space.


(Dottie Greaney, western sales manager, LONSEAL)

Choose from eight nature-inspired colors, all of which are suited for environments where people need to be comfortable, alert and productive.

LONSTRAND Topseal from Lonseal

All eight are phthalate-free and include Topseal, a factory-applied urethane finish that protects the floor, reduces scuffing and makes maintenance easier.

2. Relaxing Floors | Mohawk Group - Designed by 13&9

Relaxing Floors, a modular flooring system designed by 13&9, draws on fractal patterns to create stress-reductive qualities.

Relaxing Floors from Mohawk

Fractals are the building block of many patterns found in nature and have been shown to reduce stress and provide health benefits in studies by Fractals Research. Relaxing Floors uses mid-complexity fractal patterns, which are the most common in natural scenery, for its 12-by-36-inch carpet planks.


(Anastasia Lesjak, CEO & creative director of 13&9 Design; Dr. Richard Taylor, head of physics dept at University of Oregon; Martin Lesjak, cofounder of 13&9 Design)

Mohawk Relaxing Floors Mohawk Group’s Duracolor Tricor solution-dyed nylon fiber leverages a modified triangular-shaped core to deliver stain resistance, colorfastness, durability, color clarity and enhanced soil performance. The planks are backed with EcoFlex NXT, which supports dimensional stability, resists unraveling for clean edges and prevents water damage and mold/mildew growth.

3. Look Both Ways | Interface

Look Both Ways delivers a concrete-like aesthetic for flooring that combines the acoustic and maintenance benefits of carpet tile and luxury vinyl tile into a system that coordinates across hard and soft surfaces.

Look Both Ways from Interface

The carpet and LVT components are dimensionally compatible, so no transition strips are needed.


(Erin Jende, director of marketing & communications, Interface)

Look Both Ways from InterfaceThe collection pairs unexpected but striking textures, patterns and colors in both carpet tile and LVT. Complementary (and in some cases, directly coordinating) patterns in soft and hard surfaces create continuity while ensuring endless design possibilities.

4. Metroforms with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology | Metroflor

The pre-cut Metroforms shapes combine quickly to create custom flooring layouts and patterns, such as starbursts, chevrons and basketweave.

Metroforms from Metroflor

The flooring has an integrated ferrite receptor film laminated to the bottom of it, allowing it to cling to the MagneBuild magnetic underlayment. Roll the underlayment out over a smooth, flat, clean and dry floor and install the shapes easily and quickly.


(Russ Rogg, president & CEO, Metroflor)

Metroforms from MetroflorThe palette for Metroforms comes from Metroflor’s Déjà New LVT, which has a 20-mil wear layer in a 2.5mm gauge.

[This product is also featured here: Fast Flooring for Changing Spaces]

Choose from 38 options for colors and textures, including wood, concrete and textiles. Eliminates adhesive-related VOCs and the need for cutting patterned floors on-site.

2 Furniture Products:

1. MyPlace Lounge Shape Additions | KI

MyPlace is a simple, adaptive, configurable lounge collection designed to provide flexibility in lounge environments, activity areas and third spaces within today’s environments.

MyPlace Lounge Shape Additions from KI

Easy-to-rearrange modular furniture supports varying levels of engagement in small, private groups and work areas, as well as larger configurations.

Users can create subtle or tight curve layouts with a variety of seating shapes, a single seat lounge chair, two ottomans and two inline laminate tables. Choose from a variety of fabrics and three base options, including concealed glides, wood or plastic feet, or casters.

2. Ruckus Classroom Storage Solutions | KI

Ruckus Storage empowers users to change a classroom at a moment’s notice. With Ruckus Storage, teachers can optimally store, distribute and present learning materials.

Ruckus Classroom Storage from KIThe storage additions tie into the comprehensive Ruckus classroom collection, creating a cohesive visual language throughout a learning space and helping to align brand and culture.

Ruckus offers a variety of customizable interior and exterior features, including four sizes of storage bins, table surfaces, metal accents and more than 25 standard finish colors for the steel frame, door fronts and sealed edge banding. Laminate top finish options include markerboard.

Ruckus Classroom Storage

KI also won an award for their Hiatus Sleeper Bench. Find it in our Editor’s Choice section here.

2 Seating Products:

1. Bon Vivant Poufs | Janus et Cie

The Bon Vivant Poufs can be used both as seating or side tables. This adaptability pairs well with commercial interiors, where multi-use furniture is often essential.

Bon Vivant Pouf from Janus et Cie

A firm body allows one to use the pieces as a table, and its foam makeup is comfortable as a perch. The reticulated foam body allows for maximum water drainage and air circulation for quick drying.


(Harry Ward, VP of contract sales, from Janus et Cie)

Bon VivantBon Vivant’s removable crocheted exterior makes each pouf easy to clean, and the interior is shielded by a protectant that lets it shed water during outdoor use. Available in four finishes and two sizes.

2. Angie Seating | Peter Pepper Products

Angie Seating offers a comfortable seat no matter the requirements—from the standard four legs, to sled, spider legs, and even a three-seat bench configuration, Angie is well suited for just about any space. 

Angie Seating from Peter Pepper Products

The curved back and continuously flowing arm rests offer an almost natural feel.


(Kip Pepper, VP of Sales & Marketing, Peter Pepper Products)

Angie’s sturdy and durable polypropylene/fiberglass shell allow it to be placed in conference rooms, offices, waiting areas, and outdoor spaces. An optional upholstered seat pad is also available for indoor use. Choose from a variety of tones for the shell and base.

3 Technology Support Products:

Three Merit Awards were given for these products:

1. WM40 Under Desk Cable Tray | Doug Mockett & Co.

The WM40 Under Desk Cable Tray offers heavy-duty cable management options to move cables cleanly and efficiently out of sight. Modular trays can be extended to custom lengths and flip down for easy access to cables.


(Billy Peele, marketing manager, Doug Mockett & Co.)

Conventional wire stays can typically only manage a few wires at a time at most.

WM40 Under Desk Cable Tray from Doug Mockett & Co.

WM40 can handle much heavier loads and can even house excess length to prevent the slack from hanging and drooping under the desk. Easy to mount and access, effective utility.

2. Ella Monitor Arm | Innovative/HAT Contract

Ella, an adjustable monitor arm, provides strength and mobility for larger, heavier monitors with an engineered vertical column behind the monitor.

Ella Monitor Arm from Innovative/HAT Contract

A user-friendly handle is located at the bottom of the column. Users squeeze the handle’s trigger with one finger to move the monitor up or down. A hidden brake locks the monitor perfectly in position when the handle is released.

Users can easily tilt their monitors or move them forward, back or side-to-side to prevent eye strain.

3. Desktop Power Center Slim | Legrand

Desktop Power Center Slim LegrandThe Desktop Power Center Slim adds a power source away from the floor or wall by mounting directly to any workstation, providing convenient, clutter-free access to power.

Its smart charging capability recognizes the device and adjusts the speed of the charge accordingly.


(Sabrina Snyder, marketing manager, Legrand)

It can accommodate the latest devices via a USB-C port and also includes a USB-A port and power outlets. Available in black and white/gray to blend into any design.

2 Wall & Partition Products:

1. HardStop Decorative Protection Panels | Formica Corporation

HardStop Decorative Protection Panels are a new line of easy-to-install high-performance wall panels featuring a fiberglass core for added fire resistance, durability and strength.

HardStop Protective Panels from Formica Corporation

Traditional laminates contain a paper core, but HardStop’s fiberglass content means the panels are scratch-, stain-, water- and chemical-resistant, and qualifies them for a Class A fire rating.


(Renee Hytry Derrington group VP design, laminates and panels division, Formica Corporation)

HardStop Protective PanelsHardStop panels are available in the full spectrum of Formica Brand colors. They’re an ideal solution for high-traffic areas that need wall protection, aesthetically pleasing designs and easy maintenance, such as corridors, foyers, reception areas, elevators, cafeterias and restrooms.

2. Acrovyn by Design Tapestry Collection | Construction Specialities

The Tapestry collection fuses Acrovyn wall protection with woven fibers designed to coordinate with Construction Specialties interior product systems.

Acrovyn by Design Tapestry Collection

Featuring four exclusive artisan textiles in 16 colors for 64 unique combinations, Tapestry integrates with wall panels, shapes and direct applied sheet. It can coordinate with existing Acrovyn products to provide a complementary component for any project.


(Stephen Smith VP of global sales and marketing, and Shelly Neubauer, marketing, Construction Specialities)

Install the panels with Construction Specialties’ Sure Snap System, which also allows designers and facilities managers to swap individual panels later to create a new look or do maintenance.

Want to see the Grand Prize and Editors Choice Winners?

Editor's Choice Product Innovations Awards

8 Grand Prize Product Innovations Award Winners

Connectrac® wireways are the new standard for bringing power & communications cable management to all interior applications. Free yourself from core drilling!

Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.

Connectrac® wireways are the new standard for bringing power & communications cable management to all interior applications. Free yourself from core drilling!

Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


Related Coverage