Green Cabinets Washington DC
Green Cabinets Guide
As a rule, it's best to select the least toxic materials, which is not always as simple as it appears. In attempting to build in a truly green fashion, there will be trade-offs. At times, a more toxic material may be a better performer and less expensive. In general, the risk to occupants from a toxic building product or building assembly - whether synthetic or natural - is lower if the agent is not inhaled or touched.
Much of the standard cabinetry on the market today contains particleboard made with urea formaldehyde binder that emits formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals. Worse than new carpeting. most adhesives and binders for wood products contain high levels of formaldehyde than can off-gas for years.
To make the most of alternative materials and understanding the trade-offs of your decisions, we recommend following these steps:Ask the Right Questions Formulate a Design Plan Understand Indoor Air Quality & Resource Conservation Review our Green Cabinet Materials and Checklist Step 1: Ask the Right Questions
Before making any decisions, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions:
Cabinet UsesWhat will be stored in these cabinets? Are there oversized items that need to be accommodated? How deep, wide and tall should the cabinets be? Do you want to store any items on open shelving? Do any of the cabinets require special lighting?
UsersWhich cabinets should be accessible to children? Which cabinets should be child-proof? Should cabinets accommodate shorter people? Are there people with disabilities?
Layout of Existing CabinetryAre cabinets conveniently located to important activities (dishwashing, cooking etc.)? Do cabinets open awkwardly into walkways? Is there enough storage where it’s needed? Is there enough counter space where it’s needed?
Aesthetics of Existing CabinetryIf existing cabinets are not aesthetically appealing to you, why not? Could you change the cabinet hardware or refinish the surface to achieve your desired aesthetic? Could the existing cabinets be useful in a different room?
Look and Feel of New CabinetsDo the cabinets need to match a particular aesthetic? What “feel” do you want in the room? How can cabinets add to that “feel?”
Planning for the FutureWhat changes in family structure/occupancy do you anticipate? Does your cabinet design accommodate different users? Step 2: Formulate a Design Plan
Using your answers to the questions above, you should draft a few informal paragraphs to sum up what you want from your new cabinets. It may seem silly, but the act of writing down what you want can make all the difference in the world.
Your short write-up also makes a great gift for your designer, contractor, cabinet-maker or other professional. S/he will appreciate you being clear about what you want.Step 3: Understanding Indoor Air Quality & Resource Conservation
Green building is a tripod&nb...