Interior Design & Architecture
Studies have shown that indoor air quality can be greatly enhanced by the proper selection of interior elements. With this in mind, UMHHC strives to make a positive environmental impact in our approach to interior building design and architecture.
In addition to meeting all health and safety codes and specific patient/visitor requirements, our designs and products are selected for maximum durability and sustainability.
Here are some of our building enhancements that promote environmental sustainability:
- All new carpet, paint, flooring, adhesives and finishes contain either low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds).
VOCs are organic chemicals with low boiling points, allowing them to be vaporized easily. If inhaled, VOCs can rob your brain of oxygen. The severity of health effects associated with VOCs vary from compound to compound. To learn more, click here.
- Wallcovering contains no PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
PVC is one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials produced. PVC is a plastic that threatens environmental health from the second it’s created until its disposal. Even at that point, PVC still poses toxic exposure risks inside a landfill or incinerator. Over time, PVC exposure risks include asthma, lead poisoning and cancer.
- Vinyl wall protection/corner guards used in our facilities contain no PBT (persistent bioaccumulative toxins), are PVC free, recyclable and Cradle-to-Cradle certified.
PBT pollutants are toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and and pose risks to human health and ecosystems. The biggest concern about PBTs is that that they transfer easily among air, water and land, and span boundaries of programs, geography and generations.
Cradle to Cradle® Certification assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment as well as its design for future life cycles. This type of certification is a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not just efficient, but essentially waste free.
- New carpet and flooring is specified to contain a minimum amount of recycled content or is fully recyclable.
- Upholstery fabrics used on seating or cubicles contain a minimum amount of recycled content or are fully recyclable. Vinyl upholstery is specified to be PVC free.
- Whenever possible, furniture is made out of recycled content or is fully recyclable.
- UMHS prides itself in working with interior element manufacturers who use environmentally responsible techniques.
Before any hammer is swung, UMHHC commits itself to reusing as much of the proposed construction area as possible. For example, existing furniture and other items can often by reused or repurposed within the proposed new layout.
- All carpet removed is recycled.
- All ceiling tiles removed are recycled.
- All copper and wiring is recycled.
- All refrigerant is reclaimed on demolished HVAC equipment.
If items are no longer needed, they are posted on UMHS’s internal Mbay site. Mbay gives the UMHS community an opportunity to utilize free items that may otherwise be sold to the general public or end up in the landfill. If Mbay items in fair condition remain unwanted by UMHS staff, they are brought to Property Disposition to be sold to the general public.
During all construction projects UMHHC recycles as much general debris as possible.
Some of these recycled items include:
- Scrap metal and lead
- Paper and cardboard
- Batteries and fluorescent lamps per EPA regulations
- Old ceiling tiles
- Refrigerant from refrigeration equipment per EPA regulations
- Flooring is routinely recycled as it is removed and replaced