Reading: Sustainable School Architecture by Lisa Gelfand (Part 1)

Finishes, Equipment and Furnishings

Requires the contractor to:

Require practices to ensure healthy indoor air quality in final project.

Maximise use of durable products.

Maximise use of products that are easy to maintain and repair and that can be cleaned using nontoxic substances.

Maximise recycles content in materials, products, and systems.

Maximise use of reusable and recycling packaging.

Maximise use of products with low embodied energy (including energy used in production, manufacturing, and transportation).


Install carpet well away from known sources of moisture, such as sinks, drinking fountains or door to the outside.

Significantly more expensive on a fist cost basis linoleum is an all natural resilient flooring choice. Linoleum has been around a long time and has proven its durability.

Over time linoleum spreads out to close cracks rather than shrinking to open them up. It is made from renewable resources: linseed oil (pressed from the flax plant), pine resin, wood flour, cork powder, limestone dust, natural pigments and jute.

Wall Finishes

Most teachers would love it if every square inch of the wall surface were tackable.

Options includes washable fabric wrapped panels, systems where fabric is stretched across panels applied to the wall already.

Wheat board is made from a waste product available after each year’s wheat harvest.

Bales of wheat straw are milled into fine particles, sorted, dried, and then bound together with a formaldehyde free resin.

Rice straw is also being made in to board. Another rapidly renewable material is a board made out of bamboo.


Various counter materials are made of recycled glass, porcelain, and stone bound together by resins.

Countertops need tobe durable, stain resistant, water-resistant and workable.

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