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Home Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project > Sustainable Systems > Material

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Sustainable Landscapes & Buildings Project
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Material

Choosing the right materials in our project is important for the environment and human health.  Our new buildings and landscapes include as many materials as possible that are recycled, reused, produced locally, and nontoxic.

Strategies:

FSC certified wood is used for the brise soleil and siding.
Image credit: Nicole De Feo


In the Garden’s new structures, building materials and furnishings incorporate a high percentage of recycled content, and over 20% are produced within 500 miles.  Over 75% of the waste produced during the construction of Visitor & Administration Building has been diverted from the landfill through recycling and reuse.

Interior surfaces are left largely unfinished, revealing the raw building materials such as steel, wood, and concrete.  The carpet used in selected areas of the Visitor & Administration Building can be endlessly recycled into new carpeting. Interior products, such as fabrics, sealants, caulks and paints, contain no or very low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Most wood-based materials are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Benefits:
Using recycled material limits the amount of waste that must be disposed of in landfills or incinerators, and reduces the resources used to produce new products and material.  Purchasing material locally saves energy and money on transportation and supports the local economy.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals found in many common products and building materials that can escape into the air and cause illness and allergic reactions.  By virtually eliminating them from new buildings, the Garden will help protect the respiratory health of its staff and visitors.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification ensures responsible forestry methods were used in the harvesting of timber products.

 

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