What makes the Highlandtown Healthy Living Center “Green?”
· The building is located within one-half mile of an existing, planned or funded light rail or subway station, making it easily accessible for many people.
· Bike racks, showers and changing areas are provided to encourage employees to bike to work.
· Designated parking is available for car and van pools to encourage shared riding to work by employees.
· A minimum of 87.7% of unused construction debris was recycled instead of disposing of it in a landfill.
· A minimum of 20% of building materials came from sources within 500 miles, reducing the environmental impact of materials transportation.
· Extensive natural sunlight exposure minimizes the need for electrical lighting, with at least 75% of classrooms and offices lit with natural sunlight.
· A terrace healing garden and a front entrance rain garden bring plants and green into the environment; gardens have been shown to provide a calming effect to many people.
· The interior layout was designed in modules which can be independently opened and closed when only parts of the health center are in use, resulting in lower energy usage and costs.
· A white membrane roof protects the building against the heat of direct sunlight, and cools the building with lower energy usage and costs. A green roof was considered; however, the significantly increased cost did not result in any greater efficiency in cooling the building.
· Extensive use of existing and reclaimed/refurbished furniture; most newly purchased furniture includes materials with recycled content; all furniture is formaldehyde-free. Formaldehyde exposure has been shown to be very dangerous to people, as evidenced by the number of people who became sick living in FEMA trailers after Katrina which contained and emitted formaldehyde gases.
· Low VOC (volatile organic compound) materials, including paint, adhesives (e.g. glue in cabinetry), sealants and carpets were used throughout the building. VOCs are breathable gases which reduce air quality and may be bad for your health.
· Motion detectors turn lighting on and off leading to reduced energy usage.
· High energy light bulbs are used throughout the building.
· Small squares of cork flooring made of recycled content reduce noise and can be easily replaced in single squares, resulting in reduced landfill waste.
· Exam room tables include recycled steel.
· Wooden ceiling beams and trim is reclaimed from a local barn which was torn down.
· A highly efficient HVAC system, which includes an energy wheel, will reduce building energy costs by $16,000 each year. An energy wheel brings in fresh air and monitors and automatically adjusts the temperature based on the outside temperature, and is proven to alleviate “sick building syndrome.”
· The building is cleaned with environmentally safe cleaning products by a cleaning company experienced in “green cleaning.” In spite of us often associating chemical smells from many cleaning products with cleanliness, many of these smells are often very dangerous.
· Recycling bins for paper, glass, cans and plastic will be readily available and routinely collected to significantly minimize landfill waste generated at the building.
· The building is smoke-free and no smoking areas are located within 25 feet of all doors, exterior ventilation intakes and windows that open.