Buzz: Product News Roundup—Smarter Sprinklers Edition

Introductions, insights, and inspirations from the world of building products this past week:

• Products Insider loves the WaterSense label, so we’re happy to see that the EPA certification is expanding to outdoor products with a pending program for irrigation controllers.

• Research by Professional Remodeler reveals that 54% of remodelers have seen a slight to significant decrease in window business since the tax credits expired.

• Adding insult to housing’s ongoing injury, gypsum prices could climb by as much as 35% in 2012.

• On the bright side: The California solar power industry now generates enough electricity to light more than 600,000 homes.

• Head’s up, home builders: Under OSHA’s new rules, residential construction must now use the same fall protection methods that traditionally have been used in the commercial industry.

• About as far from a sprawling McMansion as you can get, these 7 “nano houses” demonstrate the power of design creativity on the concept of space.

• Speaking of homes that are truly one-of-a-kind, Locus Architecture combines polycarbonate and reclaimed billboards to create unique, eye-catching cladding.

• Simple product choices + some design creativity = a more livable—yet still beautiful—dwelling for a homeowner with muscular dystrophy.

• Talk about brand loyalty! Milwaukee’s online gallery showcases dedicated folks who have gotten the tool company’s logo inked on their body.

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