Our residential facilities are designed with sustainability in mind! From our recycled wood flooring to the dual-flush toilets, our facilities workers strive to increase the usage sustainable, local and recyclable materials.
The Corian counter-tops in all newly remodeled buildings (E, F, G, I, J, K, N, P, Q, R, S, T) are made of an acrylic, nonporous material that is built to last. They are amazingly easy to maintain, and in the long run require much less time and energy than Formica or particle board countertops which often degrade and need to be replaced.
Our JELD-WEN windows feature an insulating Low-E glass. They have an exclusive WEN-lock automatic lock, which prevents the windows from not closing properly and letting heat escape. Although Vinyl window sills require more energy to produce than aluminum sills, vinyl helps conserve more energy in the long run. The vinyl frames save 30% more energy than aluminum frames, and reduce noise significantly.
Recycled Wood Floors
All of the wood floors in the bedrooms of all newly remodeled buildings (E, F, G, I, J, K, N, P, Q, R, S, T) are made of 50% recycled materials. The wood floors are 100% recyclable. It is written in the state contract that they will be recycled by the manufacturer when they need to be replaced.
All of the carpets in all newly remodeled buildings (E, F, G, I, J, K, N, P, Q, R, S, T) are made of 50% recycled materials. The carpets, as well as the carpet padding, are 100% recyclable. It is written in the state contract that they will be recycled by the manufacturer when they need to be replaced.
Residential and Dining Services uses all low-flow toilets in each of the residence halls and housing offices. They use 1.1 gallons per flush, which is within the qualifications f or a High Efficiency Toilet. (HET) Eljer toilets use a plumbing design that emphasizes gravity rather than water pressure to reduce the amount of water used per flush.
Dual-flush toilets are installed in most of our newly remodeled buildings (E, F, G, K, N, P, Q, R, S, T). The Sydney model from Caroma is WaterSense approved and has two buttons for different amounts of water per flush (a half flush for liquid waste, and a full flush for solid waste). Being high efficiency toilets, they also save 40%-76% more water than traditional toilets, depending on the size of the tank in the traditional toilet the dual-flush is being compared to.
Our kitchen and bathroom faucets use Moen energy efficient aerators, which mix air with water to reduce the amount of water flow while maintaining the same water pressure. The bathroom sinks allow 0.5 gallons per minute of water flow, and the kitchen sinks allow 1.5 gallons per minute. These low-flow aerators save 32% more water than typical aerators, and are vandal-proof to prevent tampering.
The Moen Water Saving Showerheads in all newly remodeled buildings (E, F, G, I, J, K, N, P, Q, R, S, T) are designed to deliver 1.75 gallons per minute. This is 30% less than a typical showerhead. This reduction in water use can save an average of $2250 per year on water bills ($375/year/apartment building), and $1710 in electricity ($285/year/apartment building).
The shower curtains in K-Building are made from a cotton and biodegradable polyster blend, rather than Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which disperses toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and certain hormonal defects. PVC is almost harmful to the environment, as it is not bio-degradable. We wash and re-use our shower liners.
No Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Paint
We purchase Sherwin-Williams No VOC Paint via state contract. VOCs are dangerous compounds that vaporize easily into the air. They damage soil and groundwater, and are also suspected carcinogens. Prolonged exposure can also lead to respiratory problems. In addition to the environmental effects, damage to buildings can also occur. Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony Paint also helps prevent general wear on walls from mold, a problem which occurs fairly often in the Pacific Northwest.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
The 23 watt Westpointe™ Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs we use replace a typical 100 watt standard incandescent light bulb. We use ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs in the bedrooms, common spaces, and bathrooms of each residence hall and apartment-style unit. They are also used to provide light for our office spaces on the 3rd floor of A Building.
T8 Fluorescent Ballasts
A few years ago, we replaced all of our T12 Ballasts with T8 Ballasts, which use 70% as much energy. Ballasts convert electricity into a charge that can be used by fluorescent tubes and bulbs. 30% less may not seem like that much less, but the fluorescent tubes in the residence halls are usually on 24 hours a day, and when the number of tubes and the amount of time they are on are taken into account, the dollar amount of energy saved is significant.
Minimizing Remodeling Waste
In 2011, we assessed our 2010 remodeling efforts and this year were able to minimize our diversity of our vendors and amalgamate much of our remodeling purchasing, reducing packaging waste and number of deliveries. Additionally, we recycled over 98% of our wood, metal, and glass construction waste.
Additionally, RAD exclusively uses green products when they clean because they are more economic, effective, and non-toxic. They also encourage all residents to do the same! Please visit Green Cleaning to learn more about green cleaning products and how to make your own low-VOC products.