Member News: Whirlpool’s Latest Tech, Acquisitions for House of Rohl and Zonda, New Home Sales Tick Up and More – NKBA


Member News: Whirlpool’s Latest Tech, Acquisitions for House of Rohl and Zonda, New Home Sales Tick Up and More

By Dianne M. Pogoda

Image courtesy of Surfalite.
Company News 

Whirlpool Introduces Refrigeration Technology: Whirlpool Corp. unveiled its innovative SlimTechTM refrigerator insulation technology. SlimTech vacuum seals a highly porous powder within the refrigerator door or sides, eliminating bulky polyurethane foam insulation. This reduces the wall thickness by up to 66 percent and allows for up to 25 percent more interior capacity. The technology will be available this year on select JennAir® luxury 30-inch SlimTech™ Insulation Column refrigerators, and will roll out more broadly in KitchenAid refrigerators. Learn more at Whirlpool.

Image courtesy of House of Rohl.

House of Rohl Launches Modelle; Buys Emtek, Shaub: House of Rohl acquired Emtek and Schaub, two leading brands in premium personalized cabinetry hardware and doors. HoR announced the acquisition at KBIS. Additionally, the company launched the ROHL ModelleTM bath faucet collection inspired by Milan and Paris couture runways and designed by furniture and interior designer Xander Noori. HoR brands also include Riobel®, Perrin & Rowe®, Shaws®, Victoria + Albert® and ROHL®. Learn more at House of Rohl.

Surfalite’s 7 MM Solution: Santamargharita S.p.A., an Italian marble and quartz producer, introduced Surfalite, an advanced engineered surface that combines strength and durability in a unique, ultrathin surface. Surfalite is just 7 MM (0.7 CM) thick, a fraction of standard surface thicknesses, which typically range from 1.2 CM to 3 CM. At 17 KG (37.5 LB) per square meter, Surfalite is about half the weight of the lightest standard slabs. It is resistant to mold, mildew, abrasion, heat, cracks and dings, never needs sealing or grouting and is easy to repair. Surfalite is available in large format slabs and is suitable for any wet surface, including backsplashes, countertops, vanities, flooring, shower surrounds and other interior wall cladding. Learn more.

Renovation Angel Ceases Operations: Luxury kitchen recycler Renovation Angel closed its Fairfield, NJ, showroom and halted operations, according to Business of Home. The non-profit company, founded in 2005 by Steve Feldman, has recycled thousands of high-end kitchens and resold their components, diverting millions of tons of waste from landfills. Its proceeds benefitted addiction and at-risk youth programs, among other charities. Business of Home reports.

Elmira Adds Induction: Elmira Stove Works launched induction technology in three of its premium vintage style appliances, expanding its range options that also include natural gas, liquid propane, dual fuel and radiant electric. Induction cooktops are now available in the 1954-IN-C model from the Ontario-based maker’s Northstar Collection, which features a 30-inch range and cooktop with four 180 mm coils, retro front knob power controls and Flex Zone technology. More details here.

Industry News

Zonda Buys BDX: Real estate data giant Zonda acquired Builders Digital Experience (BDX), its new construction listings site, and its design platform Envision, making Zonda North America’s largest resource for new construction home listings. BDX provides data to help builders plan budgets and future business. Zonda provides data-driven housing market solutions and analysis for builders, home-shopping assistance for consumers, and also operates the boutique listings site in Canada. Visit Zonda for more.

New Home Sales Inch Ahead in January: Sales of new single-family homes crept up 1.5 percent in January 2024 compared to December 2023, and were 1.8 percent over January 2023, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is slightly lower than analysts’ expectations. Selling prices fell 2.6 percent YOY as overall inventories are increasing, indicating that the market is cooling slightly. Learn more here.

Yamamoto Wins Pritzker: Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto has been named the winner of the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize for his buildings that aim to foster community. Yamamoto, the 53rd Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate and the ninth from Japan, established his studio, Yamamoto & Field Shop Co., in 1973. He’s built numerous private homes, housing projects, schools, university campuses, civic buildings, museums and even a fire station over a five-decade career. Dezeen has the story.