Where efficient energy abounds, along with trendy, sustainable floors
The main purpose of this building is to let design and building professionals see the latest “green” technologies in action. But when you enter, the floors might be the first thing to catch your attention.
The floors at greensource CINCINNATI, originally built in 1875, include linoleum, patterned concrete and reclaimed wood – all hot items on the west coast that are still being discovered in the Midwest.
“As one of more than 50 partners in the greensource project, we can take the designers we work with there for ideas or a better sense of what a whole room of a product on the floor feels like,” says Alexis Santel, business development manager for Buddy’s Flooring America.
Take one look into the greensource data center, and it also is clear that visitors get a better understanding of the energy-efficient heating, cooling, power and conservation technologies that are available today. Greensource CINCINNATI is a project of Monroe Mechanical, which renovated the building in 2008 to create a resource center that demonstrates sustainable technologies at work. The building opened in 2010 and hosted 3,500 visitors during its first year. But you would not know it from looking at the floors. The building’s owner reports that there have been no issues.
Because of an enthusiastic design consultant with a special interest in “green” flooring, Buddy’s Flooring America wound up supplying floors in five areas of greensource CINCINNATI, says Ez Housh, LEED AP and owner of greensource.
These include a room and stairwell of Johnsonite Harmonium – linoleum, which is made from natural ingredients, primarily linseed oil. Linoleum is well known for being indoor-air friendly, and for its natural antimicrobial and antistatic characteristics.
Buddy’s also supplied an Axminster wool stair runner in the main entryway, Resista carpet tiles in the data center and Shaw carpet in the building’s “hotel suite.” These carpets have CRI Green Label Plus indoor-air quality certification, and carpet tiles have an additional advantage in that replacing a damaged section only requires removal of a small piece of the carpet.
Hard surface flooring at greensource also includes hardwood flooring made from deconstructed barns in Kentucky.
“The floors are beautifully restored old barn siding,” says Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and president of Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy, which frequently holds its classes at greensource CINCINNATI. “You can see the rich texture of weathering and use in every step.”
To be considered “reclaimed” under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, the wood has to come from a disassembled structure. These attention-getting floors were supplied by Longwood Antique Flooring in Lexington, KY.
Also attention-getting are two concrete floors by Patterned Concrete of Cincinnati. One was made from existing concrete in the old building. The other was poured over radiant heat. Both give greensource CINCINNATI visitors a feel for what is trending in the residential homebuilding market on the northwest coast, though not the original intent.
“We were not necessarily interested in the trends as much as we were in choosing materials that complemented our mission, which was to show architects, engineers and building owners alternative means of flooring that could be stylish, functional and sustainable,” says Elizabeth Housh Reynolds, greensource spokeswoman. “First, we used as many of the existing materials as possible. Secondly, we chose flooring products that were made from reclaimed and sustainable materials.”©
Greensource CINCINNATI is accessible through its partners.
– Nancy Kibbee is editor at www.naturalinteriors.com