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News

Kitchen Renovation Keeps a Lid on Construction Waste

March 20, 2013

When the decision was made to relocate a kitchen to make space for two more offices in Vance Hall, Wharton's very active Green Team, led by two staff Eco-Reps, lobbied hard to have almost everything in the kitchen space reused or recycled. According to Associate Director of Sustainability, Wharton Operations, Rafael de Luna, the original third floor kitchen used by External Affairs was carefully deconstructed, preserving the wall and base cabinets, sink, faucet and counter top for re-use in the new location.  The pendant light fixtures were reused and occupancy sensors were added in both the kitchen and new offices.  Most of the appliances like the refrigerator, coffee machine and Quench water machine were also reused.  "The new kitchen floor is made of 50% recycled vinyl floor tiles and was installed using a solvent free zero VOC adhesive," said Mr. DeLuna.  "The wall primer and paint selections were low odor zero VOC paints - in both the kitchen and new offices."  He explained that because most of the materials were reused, minimal construction waste was generated from this project.  The waste that was generated was sent to a construction waste recycling facility in Philadelphia.  As part of the renovation project, the department also added a bottle filling station equipped with a digital counter.

Fact

Penn’s undergraduate major in Environmental Studies was the first in the country in 1972.

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