Last week we got an announcement that Artistic Tile, the large luxury tile store, has implemented several new green initiatives to lower their carbon footprint and set a new example for the tile industry. Some of the initiatives include recycling post-production scrap material, using 100% filtered rain water, and shipping products in recycled boxes with biodegradable bubble wrap.
Artistic Tile is most proud of their custom water filtration system, which filters 200 gallons per minute and was created in-house. Special drains and tubes were installed on the company warehouse roof to siphon rain water year-round into an outside tank, collecting as much as 1,000 gallons from one rain storm. Then the rain water is reintroduced into a series of tanks and pressurized pumps that clean the water immediately without the need for chemicals, chlorine, or bleaching agents. Implementing this system has enabled Artistic Tile to stop purchasing water from the city to run their custom-cutting program, which uses approximately 60,000 gallons of water per day on the diamond-blade saws.
The post-production waste gathered from their scrap material will be sent to a plant in South New Jersey to be ground into aggregate for concrete and used in a wide variety of construction projects, including railway beds.
The last of Artistic Tile's new green initiatives is to continue to promote their earth-friendly products, including LEED appropriate marble from the Wallace Creek quarry in Canada and the Danby quarry in Vermont, their Opera and Jazz glass collections (which are 100% recyclable), and most importantly, their natural stone tiles, which makes up the majority of their business. Here's what they say about it:
"Although there has not been an official statement from the Natural Stone Council or other related organizations declaring natural stone as 'green', there are six points that support natural stone as a viable option:
Reusable: Natural stone can be salvaged and repurposed should an existing building be renovated or raised for any reason. Natural stone has been reclaimed as long as it has been in use. The great buildings of the Roman Empire were 'mined' when they fell into disuse. The Colosseum and the structures of the Forum didn't just deteriorate; local residents went and removed bits and pieces to construct their own dwellings. The same happened in Athens at the Parthenon and in Egypt with the buildings of the Pharaohs. Today, natural stone continues to be recycled from existing buildings, including metropolitan centers like New York and Chicago, where stone is salvaged from demolished buildings and used to repair other buildings in the area that were constructed of the same or similar material.
Natural: Stone is just that; there are no VOCs with which to be concerned. The rocks (marble, limestone, granite, slate, onyx, etc.) have been harvested from their in-situ position in the earth, then cut and fabricated into products without alteration to the natural fabric of the material.
Energy Efficient: One aspect of green building is site location and utilization of the sun's rays. Natural stone has thermal mass and when installed in a building with a sunny exposure, absorbs the heat of the sun during the day and releases the heat at night, thereby reducing the use of artificial heating systems. Conversely, a light-colored stone used in exterior applications would reflect the sun's rays and reduce the heat island effects.
Low Maintenance: Natural stone is easily maintained without the use of harsh chemicals. Sweeping, vacuuming, and damp-mopping are sufficient for day-to-day cleaning and mild, pH neutral cleaners when needed.
Indoor Environment: Natural stone does not harbor allergens (dust mites, mold, mildew, bacteria, etc.) and therefore does not negatively impact indoor air quality.
Durability: Natural stone can last indefinitely and doesn't need to be replaced due to wear and tear as other surfaces might. Where other floor/wall products would be irreparably damaged by water, natural stone can be dried and cleaned and need not be thrown away as carpet and other coverings would be. This durability results in a favorable life-cycle cost."
Images: Artistic Tile