Environmentally sound and sustainable building principals are a cornerstone of our design for the new Forest Heights and North Bay Boys and Girls Clubs. The environmentally friendly or “green” concepts not only help our environment but also the owner’s maintenance costs and operating costs for the buildings. Outside the North Bay Boys and Girls Club Grasspave and Gravelpave are used in place of traditional concrete or asphalt to pave the drive and parking lot surrounding the building. These products provide a durable, substantial, and solid driving surface while allowing water runoff to percolate into the soil. Grasspave and Gravelpave greatly reduce the volume of water runoff and therefore greatly reduce the building owner’s and the local jurisdiction’s costs for catching and removing water runoff. This innovative approach is not only economically and environmentally sound but also aesthetically pleasing; providing grass in place of gray concrete or black asphalt.
Inside the clubs methods are used to decrease the operating cost of the buildings and provide natural lighting wherever possible. Over half of the buildings exteriors are composed of translucent insulating panels. These wall panels, known as Kalwall, allow natural light to fill the clubs while maintaining an insulating value greater than or equal to traditional wall systems. During the day there is no need for artificial lighting inside the clubs. The diffused daylight through the Kalwall panels provides lighting for all majors spaces. The clubs also use motion detectors throughout the facility to control and cut down on the use of artificial lighting. When people are not present in a room the artificial lighting is automatically shut off. Motion detector sensors cut down on unnecessary energy use and reduce the owner’s monthly power bill. The bottom line is not the only benefit to the owner, however, as natural lighting promotes a healthier environment and a greater sense of well being. These principals promote efficiency and sustainability, but, more importantly, they promote stronger, healthier communities.