COMMUNITY FORUM

shinjee

05:49PM | 09/17/07
Member Since: 09/16/07
3 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
* Avoid ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation: CFCs have been phased out, but their primary replacements--HCFCs--also damage the ozone layer and should be avoided where possible. Avoid foam insulation made with HCFCs. Reclaim CFCs when servicing or disposing of equipment.

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* Use durable products and materials: Because manufacturing is very energy-intensive, a product that lasts longer or requires less maintenance usually saves energy. Durable products also contribute less to our solid waste problems.

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* Choose low-maintenance building materials: Where possible, select building materials that will require little maintenance (painting, retreatment, waterproofing, etc.), or whose maintenance will have minimal environmental impact.

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* Choose building materials with low embodied energy: Heavily processed or manufactured products and materials are usually more energy intensive. As long as durability and performance will not be sacrificed, choose low-embodied-energy materials.

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* Use building products made from recycled materials: Building products made from recycled materials reduce solid waste problems, cut energy consumption in manufacturing, and save on natural resource use. A few examples of materials with recycled content are cellulose insulation, floor tile made from ground glass, and recycled plastic lumber.

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* Use salvaged building materials when possible: Reduce landfill pressure and save natural resources by using salvaged materials: lumber, millwork, certain plumbing fixtures, and hardware, for example. Make sure these materials are safe (test for lead paint and asbestos), and don't sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

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* Seek responsible wood supplies: Use lumber from independently certified well-managed forests. Avoid lumber products produced from old-growth timber unless they are certified. Engineered wood can be substituted for old-growth Douglas fir, for example. Don't buy tropical hardwoods unless the seller can document that the wood comes from well-managed forests.

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* Avoid materials that will offgas pollutants: Solvent-based finishes, adhesives, carpeting, particleboard, and many other building products release formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals can affect workers' and occupants' health as well as contribute to smog and ground-level ozone pollution outside.

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* Minimize use of pressure-treated lumber: Use detailing that will prevent soil contact and rot. Where possible, use alternatives such as recycled plastic lumber. Take measures to protect workers when cutting and handling pressure-treated wood. Scraps should never be incinerated.

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