Maps is committed to building a new facility that is energy efficient and healthy for their staff and clients. Using solar lighting, translucent walls and extra insulation, Maps will significantly lower electricity and heating costs and create a bright, sun-lit space that buoys the spirit and helps those in the building to keep harmony with the cycle of the day.
One element of this project is Solar Tubes. These fixtures gather light from the roof and bring them into the office space, replacing electric lights during the day. As the sun goes down, built in electric lights take over, giving constant light when required. During the day, these Solar Tubes are capable of providing all of the necessary light for a room or hallway. (Solatubes have been donated!)
Another simple element that will be incorporated is the use of translucent wall panels. These will utilize all of the light coming through exterior windows and bring it into the hallways and interior spaces. These panels provide the privacy necessary for a therapist’s office, while allowing a warm glow of light to pass through and light the interior. This simple feature also allows Maps to minimize use of electricity during the day and helps create a warm, inviting climate.
Additional insulation is also critical for this project for two reasons. Reducing heat loss during the winter and reducing air conditioning in the summer are important energy savers. In addition, soundproofing is critical for the functioning of a mental health agency to help protect the privacy and comfort of our clients. Adding extra insulation to our walls accomplishes both.
New construction often poses risk to the health of employees and staff. Chemicals used in building materials and paints can be hazardous and can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Maps plans to minimize these risks by using construction materials and paints that have reduced or zero dangerous emissions. All spaces will be well ventilated, supporting the expulsion of any fumes created during the construction process. Maps’ staff spend hours each day in their offices. It is critical that this environment be a safe and healthy place to work.
In order to be a good custodian of the environment, Maps also plans to use materials that are easily recyclable and environmentally friendly. Maps is basing much of its planning and construction on the LEED Certification standards, established by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as the highest standards for green construction and operations. LEED construction tends to be more expensive initially, but has been proven to reduce long-term costs and improve health and safety.
Maps is seeking $40,000 for the materials and added design elements to create facilities that approach or meet LEED standards.
Not surprisingly, an inspection of the site where our new facility is being built in Keene revealed the presence of asbestos tiles in the floor, a common occurrence in an older building. They must be removed before new construction can begin. The proper removal of asbestos from a facility that is currently in use is a precise and professional process that requires experts. Removing the asbestos is essential and must be completed prior to any other construction beginning.
An expert estimate has placed the cost of safely removing and disposing of the asbestos tiles at $25,000