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Sustainability and green

Abe’s Garden was designed using the LEED 2009 rating system for commercial interiors and is currently pending LEED Silver certification. As an ISO 14001 certified company, the project automatically achieved one LEED point by hiring Skanska as the contractor. Sustainable features of the project include the following:

Healthy indoor environment for residents

As a healthcare and residential facility, Abe’s Garden was designed to promote healthy indoor environments for residents. Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring systems and wood products were used in the building to promote good air quality. Controllable lighting supports residents' daily rhythm functions, including an abundance of natural light and lighting that minimize shadows or glare. Other features include: Energy Star® appliances, operable windows, controllable thermostats and access to a green roof over a portion of the addition.

Optimized energy performance

Energy performance was optimized at Abe’s garden with a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Sensitivity to the natural environment

The addition was built around two trees, each over 100 years in age. To protect them, Skanska hired an arborist to fertilize, trim and monitor their health throughout construction. At the bottom of the 35-foot slope on which the addition was built, there was a small stream with no existing buffer zone. Before construction began, we added a natural vegetation buffer zone to slow runoff, stabilize the shoreline from erosion and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Waste management during construction

The project had ambitious waste management objectives and diverted 77 percent of construction waste from landfills. The team held a preconstruction meeting with the waste contractor to identify major sources of construction waste that would be produced by the project and how landfill waste could be minimized. Comingled recycling is supported in Nashville and site waste was dumped into containers that were sorted offsite by a waste management company. The waste was then reported back to Skanska in detailed monthly reports. The Waste Management Plan was communicated to all subcontractors during the project orientation and the plan was regularly reviewed during subcontractor coordination meetings. 520 tons of construction waste, including concrete, metal, wood, drywall and plastics, was diverted from landfills in total. In addition, 73 percent of materials were regionally manufactured or harvested.