Published by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Four Steps to Building Green:
1. Whole Systems Thinking
2. Front-Loaded Design
3. End-Use/Least-Cost Drivers
Why Green Buildings?
During the last decade, knowledge about the impact of construction on ecological and human health has expanded significantly. Alternative techniques and products, designed to reduce these impacts, have developed in an arena known as sustainable construction, or green building. Emphasizing a "whole system" perspective, green building looks past the construction process and first costs toward the life cycle of a building and the longer term interests of owners and occupants.
Rick Barnett owns Green Builder, an environmental consulting firm in Corvallis, Ore.
Sustainable Building Plans Afoot in the Region
This morning I was in another meeting. The air was stuffy. Inches away, outside, the air was just perfect. We, however, were sealed in, on the 34th floor of Key Tower. The only way to open a window would be to throw a chair through it.
Peter Hurley coordinates the Sustainable Building Action Plan for the city of Seattle.
|Green Buildings Can be Money Spinners
Sunlight is good for people. Just ask anyone on the west side of the Cascades still reeling from the greyest winter in decades. Sunlight is so good, in fact, that there are indications that lighting buildings naturally can boost productivity in offices, increase sales in stores, and improve test scores in schools.
'Recently completed analyses suggest that improving buildings and indoor environments could reduce health-care costs and sick leave and increase worker performance, resulting in an estimated productivity gain of $30 billion to $150 billion annually.'
'The (green building) client has to take a hard stand: "if you want to play, play it my way." Then, when the architect, engineer and builder understand that a different outcome is required, they can adjust.'
|Overcoming Those Human Barriers
Pulling off a successful green building project means more than coming up with the right design. There is a human element to it, as EPA found out when remodeling 2,035 square feet of the Region 10 executive offices in Seattle. The recently completed project features reused materials, wood from certified forests, low-VOC finishes, indoor air quality protection, and energy efficient lighting, including daylight, compact fluorescent lamps, and dimmers. Building waste was recycled.
Here are three lessons that can be gleaned from the project:
Make a Plan - Set goals and priorities, knowing that many decisions will have environmental trade-offs. Example: Should you reuse two water-hogging toilets, or toss them in favor of water-efficient models? EPA reused one of the commodes and replaced the other.
Be Persistent - Don't take suppliers' word that "it can't be done." Do your own research if necessary. Example: A furniture manufacturer resisted using certified wood. EPA didn't back down. "We pushed back," said EPA project manager Judith Leckrone. A certification agency helped by putting the manufacturer in touch with vendors selling certified wood.
Communicate Clearly - Write very clear specifications for all tasks, no matter how small the job, and make sure crews know what's expected of them. Example: Drywallers persisted in using a high-VOC mud and didn't listen to stop orders until project managers were forced to remove the stuff from the job site.
CONTACT: Judith Leckrone at 206-553-6911, or email@example.com
|On the Ground: NW Green Building Stories
Office: An 84,000-square-foot building at the Crestwood Corporate Centre in Richmond, B.C., used a "whole systems" design approach to achieve energy savings 50 percent above accepted engineering standards. Extra insulation and advanced windows allowed designers to reduce the capacity of the air conditioning chiller by 75 percent. Windows cover 60 percent of the exterior and ventilation brings in 50 percent more fresh air than standard. Simple payback based on energy savings is 4.4 years
... Sellen Construction saved $186,000 by recycling 2,300 tons of construction materials from a Microsoft remodeling project. Good ideas were generated by involving subcontractors in recycling discussions.
Retail: Norm Thompson Outfitters, a retailer and mail order company in Beaverton, Ore., built a headquarters building oriented to bring in solar heat and daylight. Landscaping emphasizes native plants, which require little irrigation and maintenance once established. Inside, the building features efficient water fixtures, formaldehyde-free particle board and hardwood flooring made of wood salvaged from old railroad cars. Cost of construction: $67 per square foot. Payback on the energy measures is an estimated 4 years.
Industrial: Northwestern Industries, a Seattle glass fabricator, built a 60,000-square-foot production facility next to an existing warehouse. A combination of skylights and efficient metal halide lamps greatly increased light levels above the warehouse's, with an electricity load a third or more below the energy code
... GTE used re-patterned 10-year-old carpet tiles at its Everett plant, at half the cost of buying new carpet.
Institutional: The new King Street Center, which houses King County's Natural Resources and Transportation departments, features a rainwater collection system that will meet 60 percent to 80 percent of toilet water demand. Eighty percent of construction waste was recycled. The building features remanufactured carpeting, low-VOC paints and adhesives, and lighting systems that cut the lighting electricity load nearly a third below code ...... Operating costs of the renovated Portland City Hall were reduced an estimated 24 percent as a result of energy and resource efficiencies. Building comfort was enhanced through installation of double-glazed windows, re-opening of two 1930s-era atrium skylights, and use of low-VOC paint and flooring finishes. Nearly 90 percent of construction wastes were recycled, saving taxpayers $221,000 in disposal costs.... The C.K. Choi research building at the University of British Columbia has composting toilets that cut water consumption by 1,500 gallons daily and reduce the burden on the campus wastewater system. The King County Regional Justice Center in Kent used 28,000 tons of recycled concrete aggregate acquired from demolition waste. Benefits included reduced disposal costs, and avoided costs of purchase and trucking new material. Engineers said recycled aggregate stayed drier than new material.
Residential: The 900-unit Hidden Springs housing development near Boise is using an advanced 2 x 6 framing technique, reducing wood requirements and increasing energy performance without compromising structural integrity. Advanced framing can reduce material costs by $500 for a 1,200-square-foot house. Hidden Springs is a Building America project, incorporating a systems design approach to reduce material use and improve energy efficiency ... Habitat for Humanity built a home in Portland out of certified wood. Hardboard siding was made of forest thinnings and sawdust. The Bonneville Power Administration has built a demonstration home in Post Falls, Idaho that will cost $200 per year to heat and cool. Hardwood flooring was made from salvaged wood.
| Efficient Homes Rate
Home energy ratings were used as a marketing tool to transform Alaska's housing market. In 1992, 9 percent of new Alaska homes were more efficient than energy codes. By 1994, 74 percent were more efficient than code.
Source: Home Energy Ratings Primer, http://www.natresnet.org/
Saving Energy: Go Figure
How much energy can you save in your home? Call up the Home Energy Saver at http://hes.lbl.gov, punch in your Zip Code, and find out.
Build a Better Home
Build a Better Kitsap is a network of architects, contractors, suppliers and real estate agents helping home builders with energy efficiency, indoor air quality, recycled product use, and construction waste reduction.
Build Wise in Bellevue
BuildWise teaches architects about sustainable practices.
Contact:Vikki VanDuyne, city of Bellevue, 425-452-7103, or vvanduyne@
|Take a Look at PPRC's Revamped Web Site|
NEW LOOK FOR WEB SITE:
We've been busy revamping the PPRC web site to make it easier to find the information you need. Here are some of the features you'll see with the new look.
Check it Out!: Information on cross-cutting topics such as salmon and P2, adhesives, cleaning for manufacturing, and PBTs.
Industry: Fact sheets, roundtable reports, workbooks and contacts. A quick "sector finder" will help businesses find information specifically tailored for their industry.
Government: Resources for P2 program managers and assistance providers
Contacts: P2 policy, technical assistance and compliance assistance contacts
P2 For You: P2 around the house and in the yard, plus the Official PPRC P2 Quiz
PPRC Resources: A one-stop catalogue of past P2 Northwest editions and PPRC publications
Funding for You: The Request for Proposals Clearinghouse
P2 Research: Research Projects Database and Technology Reviews
See all this and more at http://www.pprc.org
NORTHWEST GUIDE TO PBTs:
|House of Pollution Solutions
The Lane Area Pollution Prevention Coalition will be constructing and presenting a "House of Pollution Solutions." The "house" will have facades of household appliances, an eco-lawn, recycled plastic decking, energy efficient lighting, a bicycle for transportation, and a gas stove. Signs will be placed around the house with tips describing the environmentally friendly choices people can make, such as using water-based paint.
The house is designed to be reused at other events, such as home shows and local festivals. You can see the house from August 17-22 at the Lane County Fair in Eugene, Oregon. For more information, contact Kim Kagelaris at 541-726-3693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST of the Bunch Awarded
Six Portland area businesses have received the seventh annual Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) awards. They include:
Energy Efficiency: Ash Grove Cement uses landfill gas to fire three lime kilns, saving $2 million and 650 million cubic feet of natural gas per year, enough for 13,000 homes. The landfill gas formerly was flared. Portland General Electric (PGE) replaced one line crew center with three smaller centers, saving $50,000 annually on building energy costs. The buildings feature extra insulation, daylighting, efficient windows, low-toxicity materials, and stormwater retention ponds.
Transportation: The location of the Buckman Heights apartment project was selected in part to give tenants close access to light rail and major bus lines. The complex has 92 locking bike racks and three car sharing vehicles on site. Fred Meyer uses van pools to help employees commute to its main office and attend business meetings, avoiding 800,000 miles per year in vehicle miles traveled and $50,000 per year in gasoline costs.
Water Efficiency: Crown Cork & Seal invested $12,000 in air-cooled equipment, saving $46,000 in water and sewer charges, and 8.5 million gallons of water per year.
Waste Reduction/Recycling: Mt Scott Family Dental installed a separator to keep mercury out of wastewater, and a digital X-ray, which eliminated lead and silver wastes. The ReBuilding Center is a non-profit outlet that accepts reusable construction materials for resale at cost. In its first year, the center diverted 300 tons of material from the landfill.
Find out more about BEST at http://www.ci.portland.or.us/
BPA Releases Energy Survey
To examine consumer attitudes about electric utility deregulation and the future of Northwest energy production, the Bonneville Power Administration reviewed public opinion surveys, and research and focus group reports.
The research indicates that a large majority of consumers supports utility investments in energy efficiency and renewable resources.
To view the full report, visit http://www.bpa.gov/Energy/
Water Quality Grants Available
WaterWorks grants are available for community projects that protect or improve King County's watersheds, streams, lakes, wetlands and tidewater. Applications for general water quality grants below $5,000 may be submitted any time. The deadline for submitting applications for grants exceeding $5,000 is August 31, 1999. To find out more, call 206-296-8265 or visit http://splash.metrokc.gov, click Resources, then click Waterworks.
P2 for Anyone with a Drain
Imagine a wastewater treatment plant registering a high level of cadmium. Where is it coming from? Find information for questions like these and more at a new web site hosted by Texas Water Utilities Association.
The site includes a pollutant index of major dischargers for 10 common pollutants, and P2 options by industry. You can also go to P2 tips and get user friendly advice for a variety of industries. Check out the site at http://www.twua.org/p2/
Which Choices Matter Most?|
A recent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) concludes that the great majority of consumer environmental impacts is linked to cars, food choices, household appliances, lighting, home heating and cooling, home construction, and household water and sewage. Here's one tip that makes a difference: wash your clothes in cold water.
To help individuals determine the relative impact of their purchasing decisions, UCS has published "A Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices." A summary and the first chapter of the book are online at http://www.ucsusa.org/
Technology Assessment Planned
New environmental technologies face a large hurdle: few want to risk using them until they are proved effective. To address this problem, the Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC) is partnering with the EPA's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program to provide an independent assessment of environmental technologies.
The ETV program has 12 pilots for testing and verifying technologies. Pollution prevention technologies for metal finishing and coatings are among the pilots in the program.
For more information, contact NEBC at 503-227-6361 or visit http://www.nebc.org. Click on the news and events button.
Find the Wind Near You
"Wind energy is the world's fastest growing energy source, and is clean and renewable. Want to know where wind energy projects are going up around the Northwest and elsewhere? Visit the American Wind Energy Association on-line database of wind energy projects and find out your state's current total wind energy generation, planned generation, wind energy potential, and the state's U.S. ranking. The web site is at http://www.awea.org/
Hey, Lighten Up
The Worldwatch Institute recently published, "Mind Over Matter: Recasting the Role of Materials in Our Lives," which looks at how nations and businesses are discovering ways to use materials more intelligently.
By reducing wasteful use, and by steering production toward durable goods that are easy to reuse, remanufacture, or recycle, a few pioneering firms are recasting the role of materials in our lives.
The report can be ordered on-line in paperback or in PDF format ($5 and $6, respectively), or by contacting 202-452-1999, or email@example.com. To view a summary and the table of contents, visit http://www.worldwatch.org/
Alternative Products Reviewed
Have you ever wondered about the long-term effects of exposure to alternative cleaners, pesticides, or other household products? The California Peer Review Project has reviewed scientific information on the human health, environmental effects, and effectiveness of 12 common alternatives to traditional household chemicals. The project was developed to counter industry challenges to the accuracy and reliability of information about alternatives recommended by household hazardous waste program managers. The web site includes information on boric acid, vinegar, baking soda, borax, diatomaceous earth, pyrethrins, trisodium phosphate, d-limonene, pyrethrins with peperonyl butoxide, methoprene, hydrogen peroxide, and linseed oil.
Visit the web site at http://www.peerreview.com. You can navigate the site with a Shockwave Flash plug-in, or visit the text-only version.
POLLUTION PREVENTION Northwest
Editor & Designer: Jim DiPesoPollution Prevention Northwestis published bimonthly by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. To receive a free electronic subscription, link to the newsletter order form or contact the PPRC, 1326 Fifth Ave.,
Technical Editors: Madeline M. Sten
Web Version Format: Crispin Stutzman
Suite 650, Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: 206-352-2050; Fax: 206-352-2049
About this Newsletter
Articles from this newsletter may be printed or distributed electronically only in their entirety with written permission from the PPRC. Please credit the author (if any), followed by "Pollution Prevention Northwest, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center."
About the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is a nonprofit organization that is the region's leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention information. PPRC works collaboratively with business, government and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. PPRC serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and also takes part in projects with benefits beyond the Northwest.
Financial support for PPRC is broad-based, with contributions from organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Northwest states, The Boeing Company, Intel Corporation and others. The PPRC accepts environmental settlement moneys to further its work on pollution prevention.
Significant in-kind support has been provided by organizations such as: Hewlett-Packard Company, Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle Seattle Research Center, Microsoft Corporation, Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd. and The Fluke Corporation.
Staff: Madeline M. Sten, Executive Director; Catherine Dickerson, Technical Lead; Chris Wiley, Industry Outreach Lead; Jim DiPeso, Communications Director; Crispin Stutzman, Research Associate; Cathy Buller, Research Associate; Mark Sten, Project Manager - Northwest Business Survey; Scott Allison, Chief Financial Officer; Natalie Sullivan, Administrative Assistant; Miyuki Ishibashi, Volunteer
Board of Directors: Richard Bach, President, Stoel Rives, Portland, Ore.; Joan Cloonan, Vice President, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise, Idaho; Kirk Thomson, Vice President, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Wash.; Dana Rasmussen, Secretary, Seattle, Wash.; William June, Treasurer, On Point Communications Strategists, Portland, Ore.; Rodney Brown, Marten & Brown, LLP, Seattle, Wash.; Charles Findley, U.S. EPA Region 10, Seattle, Wash; Scott Forrest, Forrest Paint Co., Eugene, Ore; Tom Korpalski, Hewlett-Packard, Boise, Idaho; Langdon Marsh, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Portland, Ore; Alan Schuyler, ARCO Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Allen, Oregon Environmental Council, Portland, Ore.
© 1999, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
phone: 206-352-2050, web: www.pprc.org