Green building in Michigan. Conscious of the environmental impact any manufacturing process can have, Great Lakes Granite and Marble has taken numerous steps to be as environmentally conscious as possible. All the water used in our production facility is captured in floor drains, filtered to remove waste particles and returned to a holding tank for reuse. 100% efficiency. The entire production shop’s monthly water usage is less than an average residence. All lights in our warehouse and production shop are controlled by motion detectors. No activity? No lights.
The stone industry takes being “green” extremely seriously. Natural stone is Mother Nature’s original green building material. It is neither bonded together by petroleum based resins nor created in a factory that is billowing pollution into the atmosphere. Natural stone flooring and countertops will not need to be replaced for a long time, are 100% recyclable, do not emit VOCs into your home and can be cleaned with simple dish detergent. After all, what can be greener than a product that comes directly from the earth?
Natural stone stands up to weathering and time better than any other building material, natural or man made. This has been proven through the ages. The Egyptian pyramids, the Parthenon or any ancient city offer lessons that demonstrate natural stone is the most sustainable building material available.
Use these tips to ensure your project fits into the green movement.
1. Establish the sustainable goals of the project early.
2. Consider and select natural stone early in the planning process.
3. Establish a long life cycle that includes durable materials.
4. Engage the project team in the entire process.
5. Consider stone in the context of the overall goals and objectives of the project.
6. Identify natural stone that will perform double duty or address multiple issues.
7. Identify and evaluate appropriate product testing information and standards.
8. Select and evaluate appropriate product finishes to meet multiple project goals.
What credits are available for using natural stone in my Green Building project?
Local Materials In New Construction 5.1 & 5.2
Local Materials in Homes 2.2
A major tenet within the green building rating systems is that of supporting “local” products and businesses. Regionally manufactured and extracted materials reduce environmental impacts by reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses during transportation, while supporting local economies. Fortunately for environmentally conscious consumers, there are stone quarry sites within 500 miles of nearly any building site in the United States and Canada.
Sustainable Sites (Solar Reflectance Index) 7.1 & 1.2
Many light-colored varieties of natural stone have been shown to lower a building’s or site’s “heat island” through their ability to reflect heat. Heat island refers to the concept of a building raising the average temperature of the area surrounding a building and site.