Feature Article - March 2008
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Easy Being Green

By Dawn Klingensmith

Green Design Checklist

How green can you get? Use this checklist to see if you can make your facility even greener:

Stop using known culprits:

Use products and materials that have no known dangerous toxins or chemicals.

Use durable products and materials:

Choose materials that are proven to last or can be easily refinished.

Use materials with low embodied energy:

Choose products that have not been heavily processed or manufactured, as these tend to require more energy. One estimate of relative energy intensity of various materials, from low to high: lumber, brick, cement, glass, fiberglass, steel, plastic, aluminum.

Buy locally produced building materials:

Cut down on transportation cost and fossil fuel depletion while supporting the local economy.

Use sustainable materials that are quickly replenished:

Choose natural materials that are grown quickly, like bamboo. Use sustainable materials like certified hardwoods.

Use products made from recycled materials:

Look for percentage of recycled content.

Use salvaged building materials when possible:

Locate salvaged lumber, bricks and components rather than buying new.

Minimize use of pressure-treated lumber:

Look for alternative decking or recycles plastic lumber.

Source: GreenExhibits.org