Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Putting the 3 Rs into practice

Reading, Writing and 'Rithmatic? No. I mean the 3 new Rs.

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.

The Monroe Clinic has an expansion project underway, and they are doing a stellar job implementing the new 3 Rs into their construction plans.

A few existing homes were acquired by the Clinic and had to be removed in order to accommodate the expansion project. Before razing the homes, all of the cabinetry, appliances, light fixtures, radiators, windows and other reusable parts were removed. The Clinic donated them to Habitat for Humanity of Green County. The donations will help the new Habitat homeowners have better quality fixtures than they might normally be able to afford while reducing the mortgage cost at the same time.

Other parts of the homes will find interesting lives after recycling. Bricks and foundation materials were saved to be used for things such as the garden border in a Habitat home. They will also live on as the base for the new parking lot for the Clinic and a fire pit that a local Boy Scout troop is constructing.

During the construction process, the Monroe Clinic is also working to reduce waste. As anyone who has worked in the trades knows, construction sites can be very wasteful places. The Clinic is utilizing practices to divert at least 50% of construction waste to other uses in order to prevent them from ending up in landfills. In the work done to date, they have been surpassed their goals and have been able to divert 65% of the construction waste to other uses.

The Monroe Clinic is also showing forward thinking in the new addition itself. The project was developed using LEED principles. It will include such things as green space, limited use of asphalt, heat reducing roofing and more.

Kudos to the Clinic for setting an example for the community and showing how easily green building concepts can be incorporated into local building projects!

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