By Rebecca Collins
USGBC MA is proud to have such a diverse set of sponsoring partners committed to sustainability and transforming the green building industry. Excel Dryer, creator of the high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryer category, is one such partner. In August of last year, Excel Dryer published the industry’s first dry time and energy use results in compliance with the first global Product Category Rule (PCR) published by UL Environment (a business division of Underwriters’ Laboratories). This was the first step toward the development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), type III, independently verified ecolabels that govern one or more product categories. Standardized evaluation guidelines and reporting such as this allows buyers to conduct a more ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison of hand dryers, and ultimately make a more informed decision, based on credible third-party testing and not false claims.
The publication of the global hand dryer PCR was the culmination of more than a year long, data-driven and science-backed process and was the first testing method for hand dryers established through industry consensus. SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, was selected by Excel Dryer to test the XLERATOR Hand Dryer models. The original, patented, high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® Hand Dryer recorded an 8 second dry time and 3.7 Wh of energy per use, while the XLERATOReco® Hand Dryer recorded 10 seconds, 1.7 Wh, respectively, making them the first-published in the industry.
“We are proud to have initiated the development of the first-ever global PCR published by UL Environment,” said Vice President of Marketing at Excel Dryer, William Gagnon, who also served as Chairman of the PCR Project. “Excel Dryer recognized the need to standardize the way products are evaluated by the hand dryer industry on a global scale. This PCR includes testing guidelines established through industry consensus that specify how a hand dryer’s performance is tested for energy use and dry times, both key components to properly reporting their environmental impact. Third-party testing to these guidelines levels the playing field and ushers the hand dryer industry into a new ‘age of transparency.’”
“If we say something, we can back it up,” said Excel Dryer President, Denis Gagnon. “I’m proud to be an American manufacturer of quality products people enjoy using and can depend on. The publication of the first-ever global PCR allows companies to create EPDs which help people compare hand dryers accurately to make a better decision. We make the best hand dryers in the industry and these results prove it.”
The hand dryer market, like so many others, is inundated with knockoff products and manufacturers making unsubstantiated claims. Architects and specifiers may approve ‘or equal’ products that are not true equivalents. The same is true for buyers looking to compare and purchase the best product for their facilities. All products need to be evaluated by the same set of rules and reporting guidelines — for hand dryers, that rule is the new, global PCR from UL Environment.