The Importance of the Green Movement in Your Own Backyard: Why Scranton Products Supports USGBC Central PA

,

Earlier in the year, Scranton Products sponsored the USGBC Central PA 2016 Kick Off Party at the Governors Residence in Harrisburg. David Casal of Scranton Products also spoke at the event about the importance of using sustainable materials in design of buildings.

The USGBC of Central Pennsylvania was originally founded as the Green Building Association of Central Pennyslvania when design and construction professionals “recognized the need to educate themselves and their colleagues about sustainability.”

This is an idea that is shared by Scranton Products, whose products are made from recycled materials and contain pre-consumer and post-consumer content. They also resist mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria and offer improved air quality to your facility.

Learn more about taking advantage of these sustainable products and how you can help do your part in the green movement.

Ecosystem

About USGBC in Central Pennsylvania

According to the USGBC Central Pennsylvania Chapter, their mission is to ” is to promote environmentally responsible design, planning, construction and operation of the built environment through education, outreach and networking.” They also have a vision to create a sustainable built environment and that green practices become mainstream.

The USGBC aims to accomplish this mission with a list of the following goals:

  • Goal 1: Increase market demand for sustainable building practices in Central Pennsylvania
  • Goal 2: Develop top-notch educational opportunities in the region.
  • Goal 3: Ensure that the USGBC Central Pennsylvania Chapter serves as the region’s premier source of reliable information about green building technology
  • Goal 4: Secure USGBC Central Pennsylvania Chapter’s organizational capacity and stability
  • Goal 5: Represent the diverse needs of the region and leader the community in sustainable solutions in the built environment
  • Goal 6: Advocate for sustainable practices, materials, and products through legislation at state and local government levels

One way the USGBC has been on accomplishing these goals is with the Green Apple Day of Service. They host three different types of events for schools that are interested in participating, including new projects, educational awareness and maintenance projects.

New projects can be planting a garden or trees or painting a mural. Educational awareness is a program that helps students of all grade levels understand the importance of sustainability and green buildings. Maintenance projects are aimed toward improving the school facility’s air quality, energy use, waste or water consumption.

Scranton Products’ Green Products

Scranton Products is dedicated to providing you with products that are safe for the environment and safe for your facility. All bathroom partitions and lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified. Greenguard Gold certification offers stricter certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as elderly and children) and ensures that products are acceptable for use in environments such as healthcare facilities.

If you’re interested in improving your facility with better quality air and sustainable products, click here to learn where to buy Scranton Products.





Sustainable Building Products




Incorporating Natural Capital in Architecture with the United Nation’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

,
Ecosystem

Natural capital is a term that’s used to describe the method of ecosystem evaluation that considers the earth’s natural resources as the basis for economic viability, meaning that the health of our forests, air, and water is directly linked to that of our market. For example, a forest includes short-term provisions, including lumber, as well as long-term benefits, such as air and water purification.

Global standards put in place by operations such as the United Nation’s System of Environmental-Economic Accounting help to keep natural capital in balance.

As an architect, one goal may be to apply natural capital to a project. This would require the team to develop a plan that incorporates the site’s natural value rather than just the economics of the job. This means, the architect and the design team must work closely to generate designs that follow this ideology.

To help this process, the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) analyzes the impact of humanity on the environment and helps to understand the depths and breadth of ecosystem services.

Four Categories of Ecosystem Services

To assist the architect and design teams with an innovative approach, the MA outlines four categories of ecosystem services: cultural, provisioning, regulating and supporting services.

Cultural: These types of provisions aren’t material items. Instead, they’re inspiration benefits that come in spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, and other aesthetic experiences. Witnessing other forms of architecture in nature allows architects to take this value and utilize it to make their own contribution to the environment.

Provisioning: These are products that we obtain from ecosystems, such as raw materials, water, food, and energy. When design teams adopt a natural capital framework, there’s a more intensified focus on provisioning services than the general recognition for the importance of recycled products and energy conservation.

For example, Beijing-based People’s Architecture Office created a reuse project, Courtyard House Plugin, the transforms dilapidated housing into useful contemporary habitats with minimal additional resources.

Regulating: These fundamental natural processes are often missed design opportunities and are benefits that come from ongoing monitoring of the ecosystem, including air and water purification, climate regulation, storm protection, waste treatment and pollination. Identifying the site’s potential can lead to design strategies with measurable outcomes. Theses strategies could lead to the support of regulating service, which can maintain goals such as climate regulation.

Supporting services: Supporting services reveal the largest disconnect between conventional design practices and ecological thinking. These services are necessary for ecosystem functions and include primary production, nutrient and water cycling, oxygen production, soil formation, and habitat provisioning. These services show an impact over an extended period of time rather than direct impacts that the other services produce.

One example is a masonry unit called Loom Studio’s Egg Block. This company supports bird nesting.

Scranton Products’ sustainable products support a healthier environment and offer both initial and long-term improvements to the indoor air quality of your projects. Click here to find out where you can buy Scranton Products.





Sustainable Building Products




Hazards & Health Risks Lurking at Your Local Community Pool

,

 

Whether you’re trying to escape the heat of summer or getting some regular exercise, a public pool can be a fun and relatively inexpensive way to enjoy your favorite water activities. However, there could be hidden dangers that you’re not aware of. Understanding the possible hazards and health risks at your local community pool can help you to protect yourself and your family.

If you’re an administrator or the manager of a public pool facility, this post will provide you with actionable tips for keeping your facility safe.

Locker Room Rust

When a building’s main feature is a few thousand gallons of water, it’s understandable that things will get wet. However, when water comes in contact with iron, rust is a serious concern. As a form of corrosion, rust can eat away at metal surfaces inside the pool’s locker room. This can include the lockers themselves as well other metal fixtures like benches.

When rust gets into the air, it can irritate the eyes, similar to the way dust does. It can also lead to stomach irritation if ingested accidentally. Inhaling rust particles is particularly concerning, since long-term exposure can lead to siderosis, a condition in which iron deposits build up in the lungs.

One way to keep rust to a minimum is to replace metal fixtures with other materials. HDPE, for example, is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it perfect for use in locker rooms. This highly durable plastic can be used for lockers, locker room benches and bathroom partitions.

Bacteria in the Showers

Although we use showers to get clean, these areas can be some of the dirtiest places in the pool building. Particularly, the partitions that separate one shower stall from the next can act as bacteria landing pads as the germs splash off the occupant and onto the surface of the partition. If not cleaned properly by the janitorial staff, these surfaces can continue to be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

This is another area where HDPE plastic can offer some assistance. In addition to good cleaning practices, HDPE is resistant to bacteria. By being a poor surface for bacteria to live and multiply on, it helps to keep the showers and the rest of the locker room cleaner and healthier.

Chlorine

We all know about chlorine’s unpleasant smell, but did you also know that it could be potentially life threatening? Chlorine is used in pools because it helps to kill bacteria and fight off algae, but when it comes in contact with certain impurities in the water, it can produce haloacetic acids, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects.

To keep swimmers safe, pool officials should keep a close eye on the water’s pH and acidity levels. Proper cleaning should also be enforced to reduce impurities. Swimmers should never ingest pool water and always wash skin thoroughly after swimming in a chlorinated pool.

We hope you found this article on hazards and health risks at your community pool helpful. If you’d like to know more about HDPE and how it can improve the safety of your public pool, contact us at Scranton Products. 

Why You Need to Care about ASTM Standards

,

Bathroom When you’re purchasing products for your facility, you want to make sure they’re long-lasting and high-quality. You also want to make sure they’re safe for use and they perform the way they’re supposed to. The products in your facility are investments and it’s crucial that they are the deliverables you’re in need of. ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) will help you determine whether your products adhere to these standards.

What are ASTM Standards?

ASTM is recognized globally as a leader in development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards. Over 12,000 ASTM standards are used all over the world to improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and to let customers know they can count on products. ASTM serves many industries, such as metals, construction, petroleum, consumer products and more. Standards have been developed in accordance with the guiding principles of the World Trade Organization. These standards are used by individuals, companies and institutions globally. Government regulators cite standards in laws, regulations and codes.

How is an ASTM standard developed?

A member of an ASTM technical committee will identify a need to develop a standard. Group members will prepare a draft standard and it is then reviewed by its parent subcommittee.

Why is this important?

When individuals, companies, or institutions have products that adhere to ASTM standards, their products are proven to be reliable. Many tests are performed to find out vital information about the products and what they have to offer consumers. Consumers can rest assured knowing that the products they are purchasing will be effective and perform the way they expect it to. They also know that the standards make these products safe for use so that they’re not in danger. These standards also allow suppliers to know that their products are top notch and they’re offering the best quality to their customers.

Do Scranton Products adhere to ASTM standards?

Scranton Products are durable, sustainable and microbial resistance. HDPE plastic exhibited no microbial growth during a 21 day testing period which was conducted in accordance with ASTM D3293. While HDPE was microbial free, Phenolic had mold and mildew growth. The durability of Scranton Products also adheres to ASTM standards. The abrasion resistance of various bathroom partition materials was measured in accordance with ASTM G195, which resulted in HDPE having the best abrasion resistance with the lowest surface wear. Based on graffiti resistance, Scranton Products adheres to ASTM standards. Testing was conducted in accordance with ASTM D6578 which provides a standard set of conditions that can be used to evaluate the graffiti resistance of a surface. Seven marking agents and six cleaning products were used in the evaluation to show that HDPE is graffiti resistant utilizing no specialized maintenance procedure or additional coating. ASTM standards go a long way in proving how valuable a product is. Click here to find out where you can buy Scranton Products.





Sustainable Building Products




The Environmentally Friendly Secret Weapon Every Building Should Have

,

When designing or remodeling a building, facility owners are faced with many challenges. The two most common needs for a building concept are aesthetically pleasing designs and durable features, but a commonly forgotten yet important aspect is a strong environmental impact. But how can you build a facility and incorporate sustainable materials at the same time?

While unknown by many building owners or facility managers, there’s an environmentally friendly secret weapon that every building should have. You can read on to learn about the sustainable benefits of HDPE plastic materials.

Recyclable

The recycling loop works at its highest level when buildings purchase materials made from post-consumer recycled products but are also recyclable so they can be disposed of in an efficient manner. This process helps to reduce industrial waste, but not all facility and building materials are able to contribute.

HDPE plastic materials are available with up to 100% post-consumer products in order to provide facility managers with the ability to support the recycling loop. And with 100% recycling material, you can dispose of these products in an environmentally friendly way when you’re remodeling or renovating. HDPE secretly provides this added sustainability while other common building materials, such as phenolic or solid color reinforced composite, do not.

Non-Chemical Dependent

Many facility owners constantly experience a need for expensive chemical cleaners in order to efficiently clean their building materials. This is especially common in restrooms, where germs are frequent. However, these harmful cleaners usually have concerns surrounding their production and impact on indoor air quality.

Thankfully, if you choose materials made of HDPE plastic, you won’t need to worry about these harmful chemicals. HDPE plastic can be power washed or steam cleaned. And since it’s built with a solid color throughout and scratch resistant, facility owners won’t have to reapply chemically infused paints to cover up fading or marks.

Free of Urea-Formaldehyde Resins

While you may not be able to see them, many facility and building products have added urea-formaldehyde resins worked into them. While used to increase durability, this type of resin can be harmful for the air around your building. Your patrons will be in jeopardy of moderate to severe allergic reactions that could result in anything from a runny nose to difficulty breathing.

While HDPE plastic helps to improve and maintain an environmentally friendly and healthy air quality level by staying free of added urea-formaldehyde resins, other building and facility materials, such as phenolic, do not.

HDPE is an environmentally friendly secret weapon that every building should have. Not only is the material customizable for design and durability, but it also features a number of sustainable benefits that facility managers have the opportunity to take advantage of.

Scranton Products features a number of HDPE plastic materials near you that you can add into your building. You can also take a look at our continuing education courses to learn more about the beneficial environmental impact of HDPE.

Healthcare Gone Green: How Eco-Friendly Buildings Benefit More Than the Environment

,

An eco-friendly facility or building is something to be proud of. In a day and age where the world needs all hands on deck to conserve as many natural resources as possible, doing your part to be environmentally conscious will not only make you feel great but will help make a difference. However, from a business standpoint, eco-friendly buildings have the opportunity to benefit more than just the environment.

Scranton Products wants all facility owners to continue to make environmentally conscious decisions when remodeling or renovating their buildings, but we also want you to be aware of how you can benefit from this path of material sourcing and usage. Continue reading to learn how eco-friendly buildings benefit more than just the environment.

Sanitary Benefit for Producer and End User

An eco-friendly building is constructed with environmentally friendly materials that are post-consumer based and 100% recyclable. While this contributes to decreasing the amount of industrial waste, it also helps to create sanitary products for facility owners and patrons. When you make an effort to turn your building into an eco-friendly one, you’ll need to use materials that don’t contain vast amounts of chemicals, which benefits you and your users in numerous ways.

The lack of chemicals used in the production of your materials will help to increase the level of air quality inside your facility. In fact, for your building to receive LEED certification, a globally recognized certifier for eco-friendly buildings, your facility must show that it promotes healthy air quality for everyone inside.

Another improvement that eco-friendly buildings will benefit from is the overall health of your patrons who use your facility. Sustainable products tend to be more resistant to germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew. For a facility that needs new materials for its bathrooms or new lockers, this is a significantly important aspect, as it directly pertains to the health of your customers.

Low Maintenance

With an eco-friendly building, you can use materials and products that require low levels of maintenance. All-natural products that resist mold, bacteria, germs, scratches, or dents require fewer repairs, therefore saving you money in the long run. Having an environmentally friendly facility or building that supports our changing environment is important, but having one that will cost you less money over time because of low maintenance will benefit you even more.

There are many beneficial qualities of opting for an eco-friendly building. While you’re doing your part to reduce environmental waste and close the loop of recycling, you can also do your part to create a cleaner and sturdier facility.

The many great qualities of a sustainable building is precisely why Scranton Products works to deliver eco-friendly materials. With our HDPE plastic base, you can use recyclable, durable, and sanitary materials to positively boost your building’s environmental impact.

You can find Scranton Products materials near you to see how you can start supporting our environment.

Going Green in the Bathroom: 6 Ways to Keep Your Facility Restrooms Sustainable

,

An environmentally friendly restroom provides major benefits for facility managers as well as patrons. With a sustainable restroom, maintenance costs become much cheaper, materials are more sanitary, and you work to support a healthier environment by reducing industrial waste.

In this day and age, an environmentally friendly approach can go a long way in a facility’s restroom, and we’re here to show you how. Read on as Scranton Products teaches you six ways to keep your facility restrooms sustainable.

Read more

4 Ways to Be More Environmentally Conscious without Remodeling

,

It’s important to attempt to be environmentally friendly as much as possible, and that includes commercial restrooms and public locker rooms. Even a few minor tweaks and changes can go a long way in terms of supporting the environment.

You don’t have to completely remodel your restroom or locker room to boost your eco-friendly aspects. Scranton Products is here with four ways that you can be environmentally conscious without remodeling, so read on to learn how.

Read more