Global Aluminum Manufacturer Joins in Launch of Green Products Innovation Institute

Alcoa, an early adopter of Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) certification for its Kawneer architectural aluminum products, joined in the launch of the Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII), which took place yesterday at Google's campus in Mountain View, California.

The GPII is a nonprofit organization founded on the C2C program and principles defined by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered the opening remarks at the inauguration of the Institute, which will be based in San Francisco.

C2C certification gives global manufacturers across industries a way to verify and market their products' sustainability attributes and demonstrate environmental leadership. It takes into account five criteria across the creation of a product: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship and social responsibility.

Today's event marked the establishment of a new organization devoted to the C2C framework. MBDC, (McDonough, Braungart Design Chemistry), a consultancy organization, transformed industry by creating a design paradigm in 2005 in which materials are perpetually circulated in closed loops, which maximizes material values without damaging the ecosystem. Alcoa's Kawneer business grasped the environmentally-intelligent design concept for several of its architectural aluminum building products and was on hand at the event to support the launch of the new Institute.

"Sustainability is at the heart of Kawneer's product line, which is made up of aluminum, one of the earth's most recyclable metals. C2C provides an important framework for selecting materials that are environmentally responsible. Several Kawneer products that are C2C certified are manufactured at our Visalia, California, plant using a renewable energy source - solar power," said Eddie Bugg, Director, Sustainable Solutions for Kawneer.

Kawneer's Visalia plant features a 588,000-watt, roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar-power system. In addition, more than 200 solar light tubes were installed to provide further daylighting and reduce energy cost.

The following Kawneer products, which have been C2C certified Silver since 2008, maximize energy savings, while reducing energy demand:

  • InLighten Light Shelf reflects sunlight deep into the interior of a building by bouncing natural light up to the ceiling. Composed of an extruded aluminum chassis system and lightweight Aluminum Composite Material panel surfaces, the InLighten Light Shelf is installed as an extension to the curtain wall. The assembled light shelf elements reduce requirements for perimeter artificial lighting and conserving electrical energy costs.
  • Kawneer's 1600 SunShade can assist in achieving maximum daylighting while minimizing direct sunlight penetration and solar heat gain. 1600 SunShade provides a variety of texture and design elements, which can be combined multiple ways for greater aesthetic versatility. It is pre-engineered and easily assembled, helping save installation time and money.
  • 1600 Wall System1 and 1600 Wall System2 provide reliability with versatile features. Both are stick-fabricated, pressure glazed curtain walls for low-to-mid-rise applications and designed to be used independently or as an integrated system to provide visual impact for almost any type of building.

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