SUSTAINABLE BUILDING MATERIAL
During the design, construction, and current function as an environmental education center, the “4 R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot were implemented wherever possible. The priority is to reduce consumption in all practices first and foremost and to then recycle or compost whatever waste is generated. These principles are a valued part of daily procedures and ongoing decision-making. As a consequence, the EcoCenter is a nearly zero-waste facility. Zero waste means no waste is sent to the landfill but instead is reused, recycled, or composted. With a little forethought, we generate LESS than a kitchen size garbage bag full of landfill waste in a YEAR. The facility was created using an extensive array of sustainably harvested, sourced, reused, and recycled materials, as well as energy- and resource-efficient design features and fixtures. These include exterior walls and roof constructed using structurally insulated panels (SIPs) made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood and recycled polystyrene foam insulation, FSC-certified wood throughout the buildings’ interiors, reclaimed wood siding, concrete foundation and flooring made with 100% recycled aggregate and 75% slag, natural linoleum flooring, windows with recycled glass content, window frames made of a reclaimed wood/partially recycled plastic composite that never needs painting, reused cabinetry, interior doors, moldings and furniture, recycled glass countertops, a Trombe wall (a passive solar heating design), highly efficient LED (light-emitting diode) light fixtures, daylighting (i.e., predominantly natural lighting during the daytime), low-flow faucets and toilets, and no- or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sealants, and adhesives. More content and images on the way-please check back!