Eco-friendly restrooms

Nature sanctuary is green from all angles

Mitsubishi Electric HVAC

The California Academy of Sciences is nestled in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park — and is a sanctuary for all objects related to nature.

The headquarters — a multi-level, single structure filled with hundreds of exhibits and thousands of plants and animals — contains an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a four-story rainforest. In addition, there is a 3-D theater, a lecture hall, a Naturalist Center, two restaurants, a garden and aviary, a roof terrace and a store. The building also houses the Academy's science labs and administrative offices, including an extensive library and archive with more than 20 million specimens.

The academy's headquarters building is now the largest public LEED platinum-rated building in the world and also the world's greenest museum. How did the museum and scientific center design its public restrooms to be eco-friendly?

"It was our internal green team that came up with the idea of installing an automated hand dryer in the public restrooms," says Erin Riley, project manager for the academy. "We had made the decision to compost paper towels used in the staff facilities, but wanted something with a sleek design for guests of the academy. It was an add-on that wasn't suggested by architects, but by our own people."

The team tested Mitsubishi Electric HVAC's Jet Towel and one other brand.

"We found that the Jet Towel was quieter, sleeker in its design and its drying time was quicker than its competitor, not to mention the fact that the Jet Towel offers users a heated stream of air rather than a cold blast like they are used to," says Riley.

Two months after opening, the academy added Jet Towels to one of the hands-on attractions. The staff had noticed that a large amount of paper towels were being used per day at the Touch Tidepool, a pool where visitors can interact and touch live sea creatures such as starfish and sea anemones.

"We noticed how many paper towels we were going through and then we realized that by putting Jet Towel next to the exhibit, we would not only save money on the continual purchasing of paper towels, but also reduce the waste produced by the Academy each day," says Riley.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 156 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Launderable dust mops

Nexstep Commercial Products

New MaxiPlus Microfiber Launderable Dust Mops are 100 percent microfiber and feature a double-sewn "lock-stitch" edge. A slip-on slot pocket secures the dust mop to the frame. Quick-dry synthetic backing ensures the mop dries fast. The mop fits standard dust mop frames, eliminating the need to buy special frames.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 150 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Vacancy/Occupancy sensors

Orbit Industries/UMI

A new series of vacancy/occupancy sensors helps save energy in public buildings. The sensors automatically optimize the Auto-Off Time Delay to a minimum for safety. The devices use passive infrared sensor technology and have an LED indicator. They are 800W-rated for incandescent at 120VAC and 800VA-rated for fluorescent at 120VAC. Adjustable time delays can be set from 15 seconds to 30 minutes. Both models are offered in white, ivory or almond, and cover plates are included.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 151 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Recycling station

Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP)

The new Two Stream Glutton Recycling Station combines strength and durability into a fully integrated station that provides sortation and containment for up to two waste streams — making it easier to build a recycling program and encourage compliance. It includes two removable 23-gallon Slim Jim containers in one Glutton for a total capacity of 46 gallons. With three possible sortation openings to choose from (slot, square, circle) and optional color-coded symbols and word labels for visual cues, separating and recycling waste is easy, manageable and efficient.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 152 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Sustainable Design for Inspiring Minds

ECOsurfaces Commercial Flooring

Created with designers in mind, ECOshapes offer myriad choices and out-of-the-box options for floor creations that are anything but ordinary. They are available in three versatile shapes that work well together or alone: a diamond (45-degree angles); a 24-inch hollow frame; and a 12-inch square that can be used with the frame or the diamond.
Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 153 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Atlas Combines Respect for the Environment With Added Value

Atlas Paper Mills

Green Heritage brand of recycled tissue and towel products feature a value line of Green Seal-certified items. Green Heritage combines respect for the environment with exceptional value and quality without the premium price. The products are made from 100 percent recycled paper, are 100 percent chlorine-free, made in the United States and biodegradable.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 154 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.

Microfiber cloth

Kimberly-Clark Professional

WypAll Microfiber Cloths feature Microban Antimicrobial Product Protection. The cloths are an environmentally friendly, green cleaning option that can be used without chemicals. When dampened, the cloths remove up to 99 percent of bacteria from non-porous surfaces, helping to prevent cross-contamination between surfaces. The cloths are thick, heavy, durable and absorbent — lifting and trapping dirt, and holding up to eight times their weight in liquid.

Select the October 2009 issue RSN number 155 on AS&U's Product Information site for more information.