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Dane County Habitat for Humanity receives green design honorable mention award


Habitat for Humanity of Dane County in Madison, Wis., recently received a “Lifecycle Building Challenge” honorable mention award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The organization was recognized for its cutting-edge green building ideas that reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings.

The Madison project explores options to divert the disposal of building materials with potential lead-paint hazards from landfills in a manner that is both environmentally responsible and addresses public health concerns. Under Wisconsin state law, all items with paint or other coatings produced before 1978 are presumed to present lead hazards unless testing proves otherwise. The proposal from the Wisconsin group would identify alternatives to landfills that allow reuse of materials with lead-based coatings and deal with concerns about lead poisoning. These ideas could serve as a national model for other businesses promoting reuse of building materials.

The “Lifecycle Building Challenge” is a partnership of EPA, the Building Materials Reuse Association, the American Institute of Architects and West Coast Green, which invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and reuse of building materials.

It is estimated that building renovation and demolition accounts for 91 percent of the construction debris generated each year in this country.

Lifecycle building maximizes material recovery to reverse the trend of disposing of large quantities of construction and demolition debris in landfills. Reusing building components also reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing and transporting materials.


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