Carpeting is considered a critical factor in indoor air quality. Our carpets meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus testing and product requirements. Carpets are applied to the floor using a solvent-free, acrylic cove-based adhesive that is nearly free of off-gassing. Also, our carpets have 100% recyclable co-backing. We use Collins & Aikman carpets and the company’s sustainable warranty guarantees returned carpet will be recycled and not incinerated or disposed of in any other way.
Paint and sealers cover a large amount of surface area in any building, and therefore have a significant impact on indoor air quality. There are two major types of paint products: solvent-based oil paints and water-based paints. Solvent-based paints contain large amounts of toxic chemicals and produce a great deal of hazardous vapors. To sustain a healthy work environment, we choose only low-VOC, solvent-free paints, adhesives, sealants and counter tops.
Building with easy access to public or other alternative transportation reduces carbon emissions and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Thoreau Center for Sustainability, New York is located just a short distance from major subway stops and bus routes. Our Centers also provide showers and bike lockers to encourage tenants to bike to work.
We install highly efficient heating and cooling systems with multiple override controls related to time of use, outside temperature and seasonal variation. To conserve energy, the HVAC system is controlled by a building management system, which allows temperatures to be adjusted centrally as well as by each building suite. For cooling and heating during after hours, there is an “on” switch near each tenant’s office. This design achieves an increased level of energy conservation to reduce the environmental impact associated with building operations. Tenants can also open windows for natural ventilation.
The primary goal of sustainable design is to create healthy environments. This includes furnishing office space that responds to individual needs. We use Freedom office chairs from Humanscale to help create ergonomic workspaces. The Freedom chair contains 62% recycled content and is 92% recyclable.
We use high efficiency, long-lasting fluorescent bulbs for lighting. To help reduce energy costs, lights are operated by occupancy and daylight sensors that provide convenience and visual comfort. Also, lighting controls are provided to enable occupants to make adjustments to suit individual task needs and preferences.
In order to reduce and control the use of water, the men’s room is equipped with Waterless No-Flush Urinals. No-Flush Urinals work completely without water or flush valves. These touch-free urinals stay odorless and are sanitary and more hygienic. Their simple design lowers maintenance costs and the need to replace operating parts. The toilets are equipped with a Sloan touchless, sensor-operating flushmeter that flushes automatically. The battery-operated flushmeter provides years of metered flushing to control water use.