Green Features of the Visitor’s Center

The Visitors Center complex was built in 2006 and in the spirit of Louis Bromfield’s sustainable and conservation ideals, features many green energy, recycled and sustainable features. As you view the complex look for informational signs pointing out many of these features. Funding for the Malabar Farm Foundation and several grants made this complex possible as well as the many educational exhibits and installed energy systems.

Recycled Carpet and Padding

More than just recycled content, Antron® is committed to reducing our environmental impact throughout the life-cycle of carpet. It also meets the highest fiber performance standards for carpet durability in the industry while having a significant effect on reducing consumption of virgin raw materials. Antron Lumena® contains recycled content nylon. This fiber is 3rd party certified, as containing at least 5% recycled content. Carpet padding is 100% Recycled materials. Visit your local Carpet Store

Recycled Glass Ceramic Tile

The concept of using recycled glass in a ceramic tile was born in the late 1970’s and, through years of research, testing and product development, has become one of the premiere choices for commercial and residential installations; particularly in the green market. Terra Green Ceramics currently offers recycled glass tile with a wide range of colors to choose from and are manufactured with 58% recycled glass content, from airplane windshield and light bulb glass, the appearance and characteristics of each series is quite unique. This tile is used on the restroom walls.

Contact: TERRA GREEN CERAMICS, INC. 1650 Progress Drive, Richmond, IN 47374;Phone: (765) 935-4760; Fax: (765) 935-3971

Recycled Rubber Flooring by Nora Flooring, MA

The floor coverings in the entrance hall and exhibit area rubber flooring and are particularly economical and contain a high percentage of recycled material (up to 50%). The recycled material may consist of production scraps, installation scraps or old nora® floor coverings. The production scraps – such as die cut trim and sanding dust – from nora® floor coverings are reused in the production process to manufacture new products. They are granulated and become part of the raw material base of different Freudenberg products.

Contact: Freudenberg Building Systems, Inc.; 94Glenn Street; Lawrence, MA 01843 USA; PH (978)-686-0530

Recycled Plastic Signage (Ohio)

The outside building sign and other signs throughout the park are made from plastic lumber made from recycled plastic milk jugs. Recycled plastic lumber does not leach toxic chemicals into the soil or water and outlasts treated wood products. To reduce adverse effects in the environment many state agencies are exploring ways to reduce the use of copper-chromated arsenic (CCA): plastic lumber offers an excellent alternative to chemically treated wood. No Painting ,No Maintenance, Vandal Resistant, UV Stabilized Colors and Lasting Durability. Made in Ohio.

Contact: Plastic Lumber Company,115 West Bartges Street; Akron, Ohio 44311-1034; Ph. 800.886.8990

Recycled Ceiling Tiles (Ohio)

Armstrong recycles the tiles directly back into new ceilings, which contain as much as 79 percent recycled content. Besides positive environmental impacts and diversion from landfill, recycled tiles are a lower cost raw material than the virgin commodities Armstrong would otherwise use.

Contact: Armstrong World Industries; 2500 Columbia Ave. ; P.O. Box 3001;Lancaster, PA 17604; Ph. (717)397-0611

Fly Ash in Concrete (Ohio)

Fly ash is a fine, glass-like powder recovered from gases created by coal-fired electric power generation. U.S. power plants produce millions of tons of fly ash annually, which is usually dumped in landfills. Fly ash is an inexpensive replacement for portland cement used in concrete, while it actually improves strength, segregation, and ease of pumping of the concrete. Fly ash is also used as an ingredient in brick, block, paving, and structural fills. Because fly ash cement requires less water than portland cement, it is easier to use in cold weather. It can be formulated to produce various set times, cold weather resistances, strengths and strength gains, depending on the job. Because it uses less water, it is less likely to crack. An industrial by-product that is otherwise waste, fly ash is environmentally friendly because it is recycled and has low embodied energy.

Cement Fiber Board

Cement fiber board siding was first developed by James Hardie Industries in Australia over 100 years ago. The company discovered the process of its construction while researching building materials that could withstand the wear and tear associated with extreme climates. Cement fiber siding is extremely strong, and is resistant to fires, insects and rot. Cement fiber is highly moldable, meaning that it can appear in a variety of styles. In many cases, fiber cement boards are made with simulated wood grain. Expertly installed and backed by warranties that are unmatched anywhere in the industry, you may never need to concern yourself with the outside of your home again! No need to worry about insects, wind damage, warping, or other problems you might encounter with other types of siding. Cement fiber board is used on the center and the bird aviary building to reduce maintenance and increase durability. This also reduces the amount of timber used in the construction process thus conserving timber use.

Plastic Restroom Partitions

The partitions used in the restrooms are made from recycled plastic containers. These partitions are very durable, moisture proof and resist vandalism.

Recycled Paper Products

Many recycled paper products are used at the park. Toilet paper, paper towels, copy paper and printed brochures are made with recycled paper. White copy paper is recycled in our offices and newspaper is shredded and used for worm bedding. Worms are used to compost food wastes.

Native Landscape Plantings (Ohio)

Native plants are those that evolved naturally in North America. More specifically, native plants in a particular area are those that were growing naturally in the area before humans introduced plants from distant places. Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous and hardy, so can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require no irrigation or fertilization. They are resistant to most pests and diseases. Thus, native plants suit today’s interest in “low-maintenance” gardening and landscaping. Native plants provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies and other desirable wildlife. Many help to enrich the soil. Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. This improves water quality. Another dimension of native plants is their historical and cultural interest. Some plants played a significant role in Native American culture, or in the European exploration and settlement. Many species have reported value as food or medicine. Others have been used for cordage, textiles, dyestuffs, or similar domestic purposes. Native plants can provide children and adults with a tangible link to the past.

Glued Laminated Lumber

Glu-Lam are pieces of standard and MSR dimensional lumber stacked, glued and pressed together to produce a beam that can be utilized to carry a wide variety of loads. There are many sizes and types of Glu-Lam. Small pieces of lumber can be glued together to form large sized wood for a variety of larger projects thus reducing waste and using smaller timber. Glu-lams are a cost-competitive alternative when compared to common structural framing members. Did you know that Glu-Lam beams are fire-retardant? When Glu-Lams are charred from fire, their exterior protects the interior from a structural collapse. Steel beams melt and collapse under the same circumstances.

Harmony Low VOC Paint (Ohio)

Harmony is a complete system of low odor interior coatings that offer environmentally friendly features. The product’s low odor during application and drying is formulated without silica and contains zero VOCs.(volatile organic compounds)–are gases that are given off by traditional paint products that affect air quality. Made in Ohio. Visit your local Sherwin-Williams Paint Store.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling System

Water Furnace geothermal systems save up to 60 percent on our annual heating and cooling costs. Geothermal technology is friendlier to the environment, because: a) it uses the earth’s own free and renewable energy, b) no flame or gas is required, and c) it produces zero emissions, so it doesn’t pollute the air or contribute to global warming. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replacing an ordinary HVAC system with a geothermal system is the equivalent of planting 750 trees—benefiting the environment. The earth is a huge energy storage device that absorbs 47 percent of the sun’s energy—more than 500 times more energy than mankind needs every year—in the form of clean, renewable energy. Geothermal systems take this heat during the heating season at efficiencies that approach or exceed 400 percent, and return it during the cooling season. According to the GHPC, the monumental impact of the current use of geothermal heat pump technology is equivalent to taking more than 1,165,000 cars off the road.

Contact: Water Furnace International, Inc. | 9000 Conservation Way | Fort Wayne, IN 46809. Ph: 800-GEO-SAVE

Solar Photovoltaic Panels

Although Ohio is not known for its sunshine, some residents have decided to invest in solar energy systems. While the up front cost of a solar unit can be expensive, it produces energy without adding pollution to the environment and reduces the nation’s dependence on oil imports. Solar electricity can be created by using a photovoltaic (PV) system. The solar system includes a panel consisting of tightly woven cells that absorb sunlight. These cells are called photovoltaic cells. The sun’s rays hit the cells, which then releases electrons needed for energy creation. The electrons’ interaction with the cell creates power. In 1954, Bell Labs created the first solar cell capable of converting enough of the sun’s energy to power everyday electrical equipment.

Contact: RePower Solutions, Cleveland, OH

Wind Turbine

Wind turbines use wind movement to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. Utility-scale turbines range in size from 50 to 750 kilowatts. Single small turbines, below 50 kilowatts, are used for homes, telecommunications dishes, or water pumping. The U.S. is a leading producer of small wind turbines. In fact four U.S. manufacturers command about one-third of the global wind power market. The wind turbine at the visitors center operates some of the electrical systems in the buildings and acts as a backup power source during power outages.

Contact: RePOwer, Cleveland, OH

Stress Skin Panels

Wall construction is made from “foam-core” or “stress-skin” panels to enclose the building . The energy-saving benefits are significant because the panels wrap the frame with a tight thermal envelope protecting you and your home. Essentially, the panels consist of two layers of OSB (oriented strand board) sandwiched around rigid urethane insulation giving a R24 value. The insulation has pre-drilled holes to run wiring through both vertically and horizontally. This combination provides tremendous strength uniformly throughout the wall as well as a framed wall free from defects and imperfections of framing lumber. This allows the panels themselves to be used as the structural support for building. It’s worth noting this type of constructed homes were among the only structures that survived the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan in 1995. This type of panel construction uses a fraction of the wood in a conventionally framed house. If you are looking for an inexpensive, easy to build, strong and well-insulated building method, structural insulated panels are a great option.

Low Energy Double Pane Windows

Once the standard, single pane glass is usually available only as an option, whereas double pane insulated glass is the norm. Energy efficient windows are another way you can prevent solar heat from entering the home and save on electric bills. Window treatments such as shades, blinds and curtains help, but are less effective since they allow heat to enter the window. Besides, when they are closed to keep the sun out, they don’t let you see your beautiful landscape or other scenic view. Low E, double pane windows are used throughout the center reducing energy costs and letting natural light in and keeping elements out. Low solar heat gain rating means the windows reduce the amount of heat that enters through the glass and frame. Look for spectrally selective low E double pane windows for the most energy savings. A low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is the most important window property in warm climates. Select windows with a SHGC less than 0.40. Select a window with an air leakage rating (AL) of 0.30 or below (units are cfm/sq ft). Select windows with a U-factor lower than 0.75 and preferably lower than 0.60. This relates to the heat loss from windows and their insulating value and is more important in cold climates.

Rain Collection Barrel

Collecting rainwater for use during dry months in rain barrels or other depositories is an ancient and traditional practice as far back as 2,000 years ago. Harvesting rainwater with rain barrels for watering your landscaping, the rainwater can help to improve the health of your gardens, lawns, and trees. Rain is a naturally soft water and devoid of minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals. For this reason, plants respond very well to rainwater. With the rising price of municipal water and drought restrictions now facing much of the United States during the summer months, more and more homeowners are turning to the harvesting of rainwater to save money and protect this precious natural resource. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 2.5% of this supply is considered fresh water. The rest is found in the form of salt water in the oceans. Of the fresh water that exists, most is locked up in glaciers and ice caps. Water can also be found in the form of clouds and humidity in the soil. That leaves us 3/10 of 1 percent found in the form of lakes, rivers and streams. Changing our habits of water use can help to abate this growing problem of water shortages and pollution. Believe it or not, for every inch of rain that falls on a catchment area of 1,000 square feet, you can expect to collect approximately 600 gallons of rainwater. Ten inches of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot catchment area will generate about 6,000 gallons of rainwater!

Low Water Use Toilets (Ohio)

Mansfield has raised the bar by creating the industry’s first pressure-assist dual flush toilets, promoting improved water conservation, without compromising performance. Conservation is a hot industry topic all around the country, with water and sewer rates soaring. Over 30% of indoor water use is accounted for by toilets, this is the reason Mansfield focused on developing better solutions. A typical home uses an average of 350 gallons per day, or 127,500 gallons per year. By installing new EcoQuantum toilets, we can reduce daily toilet water consumption to about 3.8 gallons per person, significantly less than the 20.1 gallon average. Using EcoQuantum toilets can save an average of 4,500 gallon per room, per year! Through conservation efforts, businesses can better manage their resources and save money, while making a positive contribution to the environment – and that’s good! The key to EcoQuantum’s phenomenal performance is a new quiet flushing dual action pressure-assist system. It’s simple, push down for 1.0 gallons per flush (4.0 liters) and pull up for 1.6 gallons per flush (6.0 liters). This innovative dual flush technology can deliver up to 40% water savings over conventional 1.6 gpf toilets, offering the ultimate in water conservation without sacrificing performance. Made in Ohio.

Contact: Mansfield Plumbing Products; 150 East First Street Perrysville, OH 44864 Ph:(419) 938-5211 Fax: (419) 938-6234

Natural Window Lighting

Most people feel active and upbeat when they get lots of natural light during the sunny days of spring and summer. But the short, dark days of winter can have the opposite effect. When natural light is limited, many people gain weight, generally feel lethargic and moody. Access to natural daylight not only provides an economic form of lighting, it provides the building occupants with an external visual panorama which is generally perceived as improving the quality of the working environment. The White or near-white finish on the ceiling surface will help to increase the diffusion and penetration of daylight, especially in window-lit rooms. The Armstrong ceiling panels used in the center reflect 98% of the light.

Night Sky Protection

Astronomers and dark skies go together. Unfortunately, starry skies are being stolen away one light at a time by careless illumination practices. One good test of whether you have a “good sky” or not, is whether you can see the Milky Way. The purpose of the Night Sky Protection is to regulate outdoor night lighting fixtures to preserve and enhance the state’s dark sky while promoting safety, conserving energy and preserving the environment for astronomy. No outdoor recreational facility, whether public or private, shall be illuminated after 11:00 p.m. except for a national or international tournament or to conclude any recreational or sporting event or other activity conducted, which is in progress prior to 11:00 p.m. The centers new lighting fixtures comply with the Night Sky protection or unnecessary lights are turned off after 11pm. We have monthly star parties for those interested in learning and seeing more of our solar system.

Solar Powered Motion Sensor Sink Faucet

The restroom uses conservation solutions with the Solis™, an electronic, solar-powered faucet that operates via ambient lighting. The Solis faucet incorporates the latest advancements in solar-powered technology and leading-edge electronics to conserve water and energy. Its integrated power plant storage cell transforms light from any source into electrical energy. Batteries provide back-up energy and can last up to 10 years. This single-hole faucet comes standard with integral temperature control, a 0.5 gpm aerator to regulate water flow and an electronic sensor for “hands-free” operation that turns water on and off automatically. The Solis has no moving parts in the waterway, which contributes to its virtually maintenance-free operation.

Occupancy Sensors

Sensors are used in areas where electrical use is not needed continuously. Sensor switches save time and money. Since the early 1980’s, occupancy sensors have been employed in commercial office buildings to control lighting usage and reduce electrical costs. Using passive dual technology (PDT) occupancy sensors specifically designed for environments with obstructions. The PDT sensor combines passive infrared (PIR) technology with microphonics – ultra sensitive microphone components – allowing the sensor to see and hear the occupants of an area. The new PDT sensor used in combination with appropriate products from the full line of Sensor Switch PIR occupancy sensors provide a cost-effective method of controlling any lighting.

Contact: Sensor Switch, Inc.,900 Northrop Road, Wallinford, CT 06492 Ph: 1800 Passive

BioDiesel Fuel (Ohio)

Biodiesel is a liquid fuel that can replace regular diesel fuel. Biodiesel can be made from corn, soy and waste vegetable oil (such as used oil from deep fryers at restaurants). This waste oil can be difficult to dispose of. Making fuel out of it can put it to a good use, and at the same time, reduce disposal problems. Soy Biodiesel , made from Ohio soybeans is used to operate the five diesel tractors at the park. Biodiesel fuel is already available in Ohio. Regular diesel fuel particulates are carcinogenic (can cause cancer). Using biodiesel fuel, or blending it with regular diesel fuel, can reduce the production of these cancer-causing emissions. In other words, it’s healthier! Biodiesel is a renewable fuel. Biodiesel fuel is a good lubricant, which helps engines to last longer. It also has a high cetane rating, which improves engine operation.

Contact: Country Mark Co-Op, Ashland, Ohio

C8-Motion Sensor Towel Dispenser

Touchless hygiene systems such as faucets and paper-towel dispensers are healthier and save energy. Also touch-free products are also more accessible for seniors and people with disabilities. The motion sensor towel dispenser saved us about 60% in towel use and costs.