The construction of our twin facilities in Somerset realized a two-fold objective: creating a nurturing and protective environment for the women we serve, and incorporating all of the features that earned us the title of "green" by working in conjunction with the Department of Community Affairs Green Homes program.
Solar panels (a photovoltaic system) reduce the Center's dependence on the electrical grid and lowered the Center's utility bills. Additionally, through the Department of Clean Energy, the Center actually sells back any energy that it doesn't use, further reducing the cost of energy to the Center substantially.
Dustborne allergens and their effects on asthma are reduced through our use of renewable hardwood flooring. The bamboo floors are made from rapidly renewable resources, and do not consist of petroleum or other harmful chemicals, making them friendly to the environment, our pregnant residents, and our babies and children.
By using formaldehyde-free/low-VOC millwork throughout the facilities, our residents and children are not exposed to off-gassing chemicals and their negative impact on indoor air quality.
The use of Hardie Plank siding instead of traditional vinyl siding provides greater durability and resistance to fire, protecting our pregnant residents, and our babies and children. Silica, a very plentiful substance, was used to enhance environmental benefits, as opposed to petroleum-based vinyl.
Our residents and staff are expected to recycle everything possible. It is good for the environment and it reduces disposal costs. Many resources are reused, such as program supplies. Cleaning products are all green, as are plastic bags and other household products.
In time, additional green components will be incorporated into the daily living at the houses, ensuring that the CGE's mothers-to-be, and their children, will have the healthiest environment in which to live, study, and play.
The overall goal of this program is to develop, implement, and sustain a Green Purchasing Program at Rutgers University and with organizations that share the University's green purchasing policy and priority. The program was designed with the environment, supply chain, purchasing, and waste-stream integration as one cohesive system-thinking concept.