Green Building Materials: Types of Green Building Materials

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Whether you’re designing a new facility or looking to do some renovations on your current facility, utilizing green building materials is a smart route to take. Sustainability is important when picking your building materials because you want them to last a long time. Luckily, there’s a variety of green building materials and sustainable products that can be used to make your facility structurally sound and eco-friendly.

Green Building Materials & Why You Should Use Them

When planning to build or renovate, choosing the right materials based off of sustainable design practices is crucial. When you choose a green material, it means that not only are you getting a quality product that will last for a long time, but you’re also doing your part to positively impact the environment long-term.

Sustainable Flooring

If you’re starting at the ground level, flooring will probably be your first step. Several types of flooring look good and also are sustainable, meaning that you likely won’t have to replace it in the short-term.

Linoleum, for example, is a smooth, eco-friendly flooring made from linseed oil, jute, and flax that doesn’t release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like other types of flooring, such as vinyl. Repurposed wood is also a great option because it looks good and has been recycled.

Sustainable Roofing

Your roofing material needs to be durable so it can resist the elements but also sustainable enough that replacement will be far down the road. Tile is a good option because it’s thicker, so it helps to keep cool or warm air inside. Choosing a lighter color also has benefits because it reflects less heat into the atmosphere.

Sustainable Windows

A lot of considerations go into choosing sustainable and eco-friendly windows, especially if you intend to meet LEED standards. Starting with the frames, you should always choose a stronger material that’s more likely to improve insulation.

When it comes to choosing the glass, you could get multiple panes that will trap air between the panes to improve the facility’s insulation. If you prefer single-pane windows, you could get a clear coating that doesn’t affect the visibility but does enhance the ability to retain warm and cool air inside the facility.

Sustainable Plastic School Lockers, Bathroom Stalls & Partitions 

Making your facility greener isn’t just about the overall construction but also the materials inside. When designing your bathroom, instead of choosing a  metal or stainless steel for your stalls and partitions, try HDPE (high-density polyethylene). It’s a durable material that is resistant to moisture, scratches, and graffiti. It also doesn’t require painting, which results in less VOC emissions.

Another benefit is that HDPE products such as partitions and lockers contain recycled post-consumer products. By choosing HDPE, you take a huge step in making your facility more green and sustainable.

Eco-Friendly Building Materials

When renovating or erecting an eco-friendly building, it’s essential embrace to pick the right building materials. Then you can consider better ways to use solar energy and recycle rain water.

Want to learn more about how you can make your facility green? Download our eBook Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

If you have any questions about the benefits of HDPE and the sustainability of our school lockers and commercial bathroom stalls, contact us at Scranton Products.

How Is HDPE Made?

HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is one of the most durable and versatile thermoplastics in today’s market. It’s used for a variety of different materials like bottles, automotive parts, furniture, and different construction products. HDPE is even recyclable. But despite HDPE’s versatile and efficient nature, how is it made?

The Process of Making HDPE

HDPE is made under controlled conditions by applying intense heat to petroleum. This process, also known as “cracking,” helps create ethylene gas. During its production, the gas molecules will attach to form polymers, which then produce polyethylene.

After this process, the polyethylene will have a sludgy appearance, but after it’s put through a series of molds, it forms into granules. Once the molding process is complete, you’ll have a strong polymer material that can have a variety of uses and applications in your home or facility.

HDPE Uses and Applications

Because HDPE is a versatile material, there are a number of uses for it. Most notably, it’s used for bottling. Due to its durable construction and recyclability, it’s one of the most sought-after materials for liquid containers. It’s also used to house hazardous materials and agrochemicals.

HDPE can be made into strong and long-lasting furniture. HDPE also has important use and application within commercial building design. Due to its chemical properties, HDPE materials are resistant to temperature, moisture, and scratching and dents. This makes it an ideal material for lawn furniture, commercial lockers, and commercial bathroom stalls.

Why Is HDPE Better Than Other Materials?

Other materials like Phenolic Plastic and Solid Color Reinforced Composite (SCRC) are often brought up as durable and versatile materials used for bathroom stalls or partitions. However, when it comes to comparing these materials to HDPE, there’s not really much of a competition. HDPE is more resistant to microbes while providing a stronger surface. It even has a stronger screw retention than Phenolic Plastic or SCRC, meaning that whatever is built with HDPE will be more structurally sound than items made from Phenolic Plastic or SCRC.

The great thing about HDPE material is that it never needs to be touched up or repainted, resulting in less volatile organic compound emissions. These carbon-based chemicals can easily evaporate into the air at any temperature, and when inhaled, can result in health complications. Items made with HDPE can help improve air quality because the material resists mold, fungus, and bacteria. SCRC and Phenolic Plastic materials can absorb mold, resulting in odors and lesser air quality.

When it comes to sustainability, there’s no question that HDPE has a strong lead over the others. HDPE is 100% recyclable and made from post-consumer content. SCRC and Phenolic Plastic aren’t made from post-consumer materials, and therefore can’t be recycled.


Do you want to learn more about the many benefits of choosing HDPE over other materials? Check out our eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

Is HDPE Safe? Everything You Need to Know About High-Density Polyethylene

High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is a type of plastic that’s tougher and stronger and can endure higher temperatures than most other polymers. This durable plastic is used in a wide variety of applications, from transporting water to storing school books while students are in class. But those who aren’t familiar with this versatile material or who have had negative experiences with other materials in the past might be concerned about the product’s safety.

Is it safe for people to come in contact with HDPE? Are there any negative health implications? We’ll answer these questions and more as we explore everything you need to know about HDPE.

[READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers eBook]


Is HDPE Dangerous?

In a word, no. HDPE isn’t necessarily dangerous in its final form, once it’s been molded or manufactured into the container or product that it will continue to be used for until eventually being recycled. In fact, HDPE is frequently used for packing food thanks to its compliance with regulations set out by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, it should be noted that while all food-safe containers are made from HDPE, not all HDPE is food-safe.

HDPE can be dangerous during the manufacturing process if proper care and precautions aren’t taken. The dust or resin of polyethylene, for example, can cause eye irritation as can the vapors from the resin when it’s being heated. Individuals who are likely to be around HDPE while it’s being manufactured should wear adequate safety gear to avoid unintentional injury.

Using HDPE Safely

Given its high durability and resistance to most damage, HDPE has become a popular material for use in commercial buildings. At Scranton Products, our HDPE products even come with a GREENGuard Gold Certification, making them suitable for use in areas where occupants are considered especially sensitive, like hospitals and schools.

And since our HDPE products are colored throughout during the manufacturing process, there’s no need to repaint, which helps to limit the amount of volatile organic compounds affecting indoor air quality. Not only that, but since HDPE is extremely easy to clean, there’s no need for cleaning staff to use heavy-duty and often harmful chemicals.

Commercial Applications for HDPE

Although HDPE can be used in a variety of applications, some of the most exciting uses are in commercial building design. For instance, HDPE is perfect for lockers since the highly durable plastic is resistant to dents and scratches. It’s also guaranteed never to rust.

In commercial bathrooms, architects are using HDPE bathroom partitions because they’re resistant to graffiti and bacteria, unlike traditional metal partitions. Other applications include shower stalls and dressing compartments, which provide safety and privacy inside dressing rooms and locker rooms.

Interested in learning more about HDPE? Check these common HDPE questions!



How to Stop Vandalism and Graffiti in School Bathrooms

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Removing graffiti and repairing vandalism can cost your school a lot of money and how to stop vandalism is not as easy as it seems.

Not only that, but it can also give people the impression that your school is unsafe or not well maintained. To promote a positive learning environment and reduce expenses, many administrators are looking for new ways to prevent graffiti and other forms of vandalism from happening in the first place

Because vandalism is typically carried out in solitude, bathrooms are frequently targeted. For that reason, this post will concentrate on how to stop vandalism and graffiti in school bathrooms.

Act Quickly to Remove Signs of Vandalism & Graffiti

One thing that tends to promote graffiti is the existence of other vandalism. That’s why it’s important to have your custodial staff remove graffiti as soon as it’s spotted. Even waiting until the next day could inspire other acts of vandalism and lower the perceived quality and safety of your institution. Keep in mind that complete graffiti prevention is virtually impossible, but you can keep the instance of vandalism down by acting quickly.

commercial restroom cleaning

The same is also true for repairs. A bathroom with malfunctioning toilets, broken mirrors, or other issues isn’t only inconvenient, it can impact the way others treat the space. A well-maintained bathroom will likely encourage occupants to treat it with respect. A school bathroom that’s in poor condition, on the other hand, could suffer from further misuse.

Consider Using a Labyrinth Entrance

A labyrinth entrance is a design tactic that uses a turning hallway instead of a door to provide privacy into the bathroom. This type of entrance can help to reduce the occurrence of vandalism in two ways. First, it makes the distinct sounds of vandalism more noticeable by those outside the bathroom. This helps to remove a level of secrecy that most vandals hide behind.

The second way that a labyrinth entrance can help to prevent graffiti and vandalism is that there’s no door to sound an alert to vandals that security personnel is coming. Since the vandals can’t tell if someone is about to walk in and catch them in the act, they’re less likely to attempt to vandalize the bathroom.

Removing the doors on bathrooms and using a labyrinth entrance instead is also one way to keep bathrooms germ-free.

Use Graffiti-Resistant Materials

One of the most effective ways to prevent graffiti in your school bathrooms is to use graffiti-resistant materials like HDPE. HDPE, or high-density polyethylene, is a plastic material that’s resistant to graffiti, scratches, corrosion, and even germs. This durable material can be used in a variety of applications in the bathroom, including the stalls and vanities. As an added precaution, HDPE can be manufactured in a variety of colors with rough textures to create an undesirable surface for would be vandals to leave graffiti on.

You should avoid using materials like smooth steel and wood, which are easily damaged and defaced.

Above all, if you want to stop vandalism and graffiti in the bathrooms at your school, start by concentrating on keeping your facility clean and in good working condition. If you’d like to learn more about graffiti-resistant HDPE, contact Scranton Products today.

Different Types of Plastics and SPI Codes Used to Classify Them


In today’s market, numerous different types of plastics available, all of which are constructed differently and vary in their recyclability. For an eco-friendly facility, building with sustainable materials that are recyclable and come from recycled materials is important to consider. To ensure that you make the best choice, look at the SPI codes of potential plastic materials.

An SPI (Society of the Plastics Industry) code segments the different plastics on the market based on their materials and how they should be recycled. Continue reading to learn about which materials have SPI codes and what they mean to you.

Different Types of Plastics

SPI Code 1: PETE or PET

Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET) is the common plastic material used for water bottles of all sizes and jars for common kitchen goods such as peanut butter. When recycled, PETE is used to make textiles and fabrics such as tote bags and carpets and sometimes even to line clothing.

SPI Code 2: HDPE

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is a safe material, as it doesn’t give off any harmful chemicals. It’s commonly used to make containers for shampoo, detergents, and motor oil, but when recycled, it can be used for plastic lumber, fencing, or bathroom partition materials.

SPI Code 3: PVC

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is mostly used for pipes and tiles. When recycled, it’s used as flooring, walls, and industrial-grade materials.

SPI Code 4: LDPE

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a durable and flexible plastic that’s safe for food storage and used for plastic and Ziploc bags. While not commonly recyclable, LDPE can be used as garbage can material, furniture, and other common household products.

SPI Code 5: PP

Polypropylene (PP) is the plastic material that makes up Tupperware, stadium cups, and prescription bottles. While it’s infrequently accepted for recycling compared with materials such as HDPE or PETE, it can be used for durable items such as rakes or ice scrapers.

SPI Code 6: Polystyrene

Polystyrene (Styrofoam) isn’t a plastic material that can be recycled efficiently. Recycling Styrofoam requires a lot of energy, but when the process is undertaken, recycled Styrofoam can be used to create insulation and objects such as license plate frames and rulers.

SPI Code 7: Other Plastics

The SPI Code 7 materials are any plastics that don’t fall into the previous six categories, such as polycarbonates and polylactides, which are difficult to recycle. These materials are most commonly seen as compact discs, storage containers, and baby bottles. However, the other materials that fall into this category that are recyclable can be used for plastic lumber.

Noting the SPI codes of your intended plastic materials can help you to make sure you use sustainable materials that aren’t harmful to your customers.

Scranton Products specialize in the usage of safe and recyclable HDPE plastic for our materials. Learn more about the benefits of choosing sustainable materials through the eBook below.

different types of plastics

3 Reasons Why Plastic Partitions Are Superior

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Business owners and facility managers may face serious consequences when they fail to choose the best material available for bathroom partitions, especially when they only consider the privacy aspect of the partitions.

Scranton Products wants your restrooms to have the best partitions available so you can avoid costly maintenance fees due to rust, mold, scratches, or any other problems that you may encounter. Continue reading to learn three reasons why plastic partitions are superior to the leading competition. Read more