Energy Conservation in the home
When comparing an average house to an energy efficient house, it's possible to reduce annual energy bills up to 40 percent. Prudent homeowners should consider developing an energy conservation plan for their home. This is both an environmentally friendly and economically sound action
- The average house uses 38 percent of its total annual energy use on heating.
- Replace aging appliances with newer energy efficient ENERGY STAR models.
- The thermostat should be set at 68°F for maximum energy efficiency.
- A sun tempered superinsulated home uses passive solar design concepts with superinsulation construction techniques.
In developing an energy conservation plan for your home, use the following approach: identify the problem areas where energy is being lost or inefficiently used; prioritize the problem areas according to how much energy is being lost or inefficiently used; and systematically correct the prioritized problems according to the limits of your household energy improvement budget.
A good way to find out where energy loss is occurring is to conduct an inspection. First, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues and turn off any gas burning appliances and water heaters. Second, turn on all exhaust fans and use floor or window fans to pull air out of rooms in your house. Finally, search for air leaks in the following places: attic hatches, baseboards, corners of rooms, cracks, doors, fireplace dampers, mail slots, outlets, outdoor faucets, switch plates, and windows. Simply dampen your hand and place it by the suggested locations. Your hand will feel cold near a draft. Another method is to light a stick of incense and hold it near the suggested locations. If the smoke from the incense wavers you have found an air leak.
Our environment - our commitment. CCi has instituted a range of policies to fulfill our green mission, and we will continue to incorporate practices that address our environmental issues:Our Commitment in Design
- Minimize waste of materials through efficient custom designs
- Reduce number of components & parts to a minimum
- Minimize the number of different materials used
- Ensure durability & lifespan of product
- Allow for adaptability in product
Our Commitment in Manufacturing
- Powder-coat all metal components
- 100% recycled particle board
- 100% recycled upholstery available
- Formaldehyde-free glues
- Water-based adhesives only
- Low VOC
- Recycled sheet metal available
- Sustainable forest woods/papers used
Our Commitment in Recycling
- Surplus Property program
- Blanket-wrapped furniture
- Reuse packing/shipping cartons & pallets
- Recycle cardboard & shrink-wrap
- Rebuild pallets
Our Commitment in Partnering
- Manufacturers committed to our environmental and sustainability issues
- Several manufacturers are Greenguard and SCS certified
- Several manufacturers contribute to LEED credits
- Partnering manufacturers use only Sustainable Forest Woods
- Partnering manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to Forest Management
- Partnering manufacturers incorporate recycling programs within their own companies
The air we breathe is important to our health and environment. Most Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors. The quality of indoor air is affected by numerous elements, including your office furniture. CCi partners with manufacturing vendors who are aware and supportive of our world's environment and the need to protect our health and our world
There are various certifications addressing low VOCs and the quality of indoor air. Many of our partners have obtained certification with GREENGUARD, SCS INDOOR ADVANTAGE, or MAS. These certificates are obtained following stringent and rigorous requirements and testing levels. The commitment to our health and environment by our partnering vendors is evident in their environmental and sustainability programs and the certifications they have obtained.
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), part of UL Environment, was founded in 2001 with the mission of protecting human health and quality of life by improving indoor air quality and reducing chemical exposure. The GREENGUARD Certification Program helps manufacturers create--and helps buyers identify--interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), acquired GREENGUARD in 2011, further advancing its mission of promoting global sustainability, environmental health, and safety.
The SCS Indoor Advantage™ a certification program, developed by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), certifies compliance with rigorous indoor air quality emission requirements. The program is designed for interior building materials, furnishings and finish systems. Because most people spend as much as 90% of their time indoors - at home, work or school - indoor air quality is an important issue for architects, designers and purchasers of interior building products and materials. Poor indoor air quality is caused by inadequate ventilation, poor cleaning and/or excessive emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from surfaces and finishes. And it has been well documented that exposure to poor indoor air can contribute to health problems including headaches, asthma, dizziness and prolonged chemical sensitivities. SCS offers two tiers of certification: Indoor Advantage for office furniture and Indoor Advantage Gold for paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, insulation, wall coverings, furnishings and other interior products.
MAS Certified Green is a registered trademark that defines low VOC emitting products in the marketplace. This allows both purchasers and specifiers of those products an ability to construct or furnish their building in an environmentally "green" manner which can earn credits in sustainability programs like LEED and California CHP program. It's impossible today to read a paper or watch a newscast and not encounter the term "green" as a metaphor for sustainability, environmental stewardship and improved indoor air quality.
To learn more about the certifications many of our partnering vendors have acquired, please select the links below.
Along with our drive to respond to environmental issues, and provide eco-friendly products, we continue to work with our manufacturing partners to seek third party certification and recognition. Our suppliers have well-developed green policies, and several have won prestigious environmental awards.
CCi and our manufacturing partners are committed to providing you quality furniture that will enhance your workplace, while achieving the aesthetics, quality, budget and environmental issues that may arise. The practices and materials we incorporate within our furniture manufacturing processes affect not only our safety, but also address the quality of our products and impact our environment both inside and outside the workplace.
We pride ourselves on the quality of products we manufacture and provide through CCi. The life expectancy of our products allows you to enjoy your furniture for many years. This also helps in keeping our landfills free from further waste. Our modular furniture systems can be reconfigured to meet the changing needs of a customer, thus saving waste from construction, renovation and demolition, which would also affect our landfills.
Should a customer wish to dispose of furniture items, CCi operates the Colorado Surplus Property program (call on 303-370-2161), which recycles case goods, seating, filing and other furniture items. This program assists in extending the useful life of these donated items.
To visit the websites of our partnering manufacturers, or to read/print their PDF, click on their names (where possible, we have linked to their environmental pages).
AIS produces the GREENGUARD-certified Matrix system of office furniture, which thus qualifies for points toward the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating. Other LEED credits can be supported by products such as 100% recycled Terratex fabrics, and processes like powdercoat painting, avoiding VOCs.
ALLSTEEL has developed a number of techniques over the years to increase environmental responsibility, such as biomimicry, Rapid Continuous Improvement, extendibility, and materials selection. Most of their products meet LEED-CI requirements, and many have Indoor Advantage certification.
BOISE CASCADE Evergreen particleboard uses 100% recycled fiber, procured from Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified sources. It contains no added urea-formaldehyde, and supports five LEED Credits.
DAUPHIN has pursued environmental policies for over 10 years, and has been awarded the DIN EN ISO14001 environmental certificate. Powdercoating metal surfaces, and using water-based glue, or no glue, dramatically lower VOCs. All trash is sorted, and bundled or recycled - no hazardous materials are disposed. All PU is CFC and CHC free.
DELINE BOX COMPANY has their Sustainable Forestry Initiative label use and fiber sourcing certified by NSF International Strategic Registrations.
DIRTT is the only North American manufacturer to use all water-based stains and lacquers, and the Giardina wood finishing line. Their wood is FSC Certified, and they have several products that can be applied to LEED credits for low emitting materials.
FILTRATION GROUP has an ECO-FGI initiative that focuses on the manufacture of filtration products that reduce energy consumption and improve working, living and learning environments. They support LEED credits in the categories of Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.
FORMICA not only participates in the GREENGUARD and LEED programs, but also supports the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, as the core of its efforts to be an environmentally sustainable and responsible company.
GLOBAL not only participates in the GREENGUARD and LEED programs, but also uses innovative thinking and closed loop manufactuing to divert 7.5 tons of plastic and wood from landfill sites per day.
HON has had programs to conserve raw materials and reduce waste since 1947, and they participate in the LEED program. In 2006, they were the world's first office furniture manufacturer to have products certified under the Indoor Advantage air quality program run by Scientific Certification Systems - many are now Gold certified.
HUMANSCALE has integrated sustainability in the design process by adopting a "Life Cycle" thinking approach. The Life Cycle approach considers the impact on the environment from the extraction of raw materials, through manufacturing, use and disposal.
INSCAPE creates office solutions that help obtain LEED points, and also produces GREENGUARD-certified systems. Their green commitment applies both within the design of their manufacturing facilities and to the products they supply.
KI has set the important initiative of obtaining GREENGUARD certification for all of its products, as a crucial step for customers seeking LEED certification, and to help protect the environment. Another example of their commitment, effective April 2008, is the replacement of their range of tasklights with the new T5 energy-saving tasklights.
MAYER FABRICS uses their sustainability strategy as an ongoing commitment, not just a one-time statement. From Terratex fabrics with 100% recycled materials, to compostable materials from completely renewable resources, they continue to work to improve their environmental practices.
WATSON DESKING: the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA chooses one furniture maker each year to receive the Evergreen Award for exemplary environmental practices, and in 2005 Watson was the winner. It also participates in the LEED program.
WILSONART is working across its range to provide low-emitting products that protect the indoor environment. As part of this commitment, both their solid surface laminates and their PVA-based and water-based adhesives have achieved Greenguard certification.
Conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner is not only good for reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, but also helps the agency or company itself, by:
- reducing consumption of materials, thus lowering costs
- reducing costly waste management and disposal
- improving air quality and workplace environment
- lowering utility and energy costs
- enhancing the reputation and credentials of the agency
As an example of the use of green products and practices, the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 8 headquarters in Denver was designated and constructed in a more environmental and friendly way, thus achieving the LEED Gold status. Colorado's devotion to our environment and future are evident in the increasing number of LEED certified buildings throughout our state. The EPA building noted above is just 1 of 6 buildings certified LEED Gold in Denver. To see a detailed PDF on it, click on EPA Building.
The motto "reduce, reuse, and recycle" sums up the aims of producing less waste and emissions, both in business and at home. For a start on making a home audit, visit energystar.gov Home Energy Yardstick. For information on the EPA's WaterSense labelling for low water use products like toilets, visit epa.gov/watersense. For help in choosing the right windows for your climate, visit efficientwindows.org. For a directory listing state incentives for installing solar systems, visit dsireusa.org. To learn more about the Freecycle program for recycling your unwanted items, visit freecycle.org. For more information, and full details of Governor Bill Ritter's initiative on the greening of government, visit colorado.gov/energy/greening.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established in 1993 as a response to global deforestation. The Forest Stewardship Council has changed the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. FSC sets forth principles, criteria, and standards that span economic, social, and environmental concerns. The FSC standards represent the world's strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. The FSC chain of custody system (CoC) tracks FSC certified material through the production process - from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution. The CoC is kept "in tacked" when all material suppliers of wood products are FSC certified suppliers These lay out specific criteria for environmental safeguards and sustainable forestry practices. Visit their website at fscus.org.
SFI forest certification promotes responsible forestry practices. An SFI-certified program participant who owns or manages forestland is certified to SFI Requirements. Fiber content through production and manufacturing to the end product are tracked, and companies can make claims about how much of their product comes from certified lands, how much contains recycled content, and how much is non-certified/non-controversial forest content. Program participants must show that the raw material in their supply chain comes from legal and responsible sources, whether the forests are certified or not. To meet the certified sourcing requirements, primary producers must be third-party audited and certified to SFI Requirements.
level® is the multi-attribute, sustainability standard and third-party certification program, designed by the Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) for the commercial furniture industry. It has been created to deliver the most open and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. Taking into account a company's social actions, energy usage, material selection and human and ecosystem health impacts, level addresses how a product is sustainable from multiple perspectives. In establishing a standard by which products can be measured for their sustainability, BIFMA seeks to reduce confusion in the marketplace with the proliferation of environmental claims and creates a "level" playing field for all manufacturers.
Our greening efforts include more than the manufacture of environmentally labeled products. Many agencies and organizations are doing considerable research work to help come up with green solutions to the climate change crisis.
Each of us as individuals can also determine our impact on our environment. Reducing our carbon footprint is a central part of CCi's green policies. Learn more from the Natural Resources Defense Council at nrdc.org/globalwarming.