Chem 119/124: Green Building Final Projects

Starting in January 2004, the Chemistry 119/124 classes began to examine how the knowledge of chemistry can assist one's understanding of the issues that intersect with the construction or remodeling of a structure.  We explored some of the environmental impact of buildings on the earth.  As their final project for the course, groups of students selected topics to research related to the environmental impact of materials designed for use in the interiors of a building.  Each project culminated in a public oral poster presentation and a written report that resulted in a product or material recommendation based on the research conducted (if possible). 

As a class, it is our aim to provide information to the college decision-makers and all interested parties so that the various on-campus building projects become more sustainable and the campus becomes a "greener" space.  In the future you - students, faculty and staff - may be a building owner or become involved in building/remodeling projects in your community.  Knowledge and insight gained about the nature of chemistry and the impact of buildings on the earth will assist your own decision-making.


Students used the Environmental Impact Questionnaire (EIQ) provided in the Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide as an organizational tool in which to investigate the suitability of materials for the construction and renovation of facilities on the St. Olaf College campus.  An EIQ provides a vehicle for people to discover and then specify the characteristics of products/materials to be used in a building/renovation project.  Issues in the EIQ are organized under three primary categories:  resource management, toxicity, and performance. 

Students frequently commented about the difficulty in obtaining some of the information in the EIQ.  In some instances the companies manufacturing the product did not know or declined to share the requested information.  In other cases company representatives or other agents selling the materials were unaware of the availability of such information.  As a result, some of the students reports will be incomplete due to lack of available information, but this should not be touted as a failure.  We can learn much from missing information and pose questions for the future.

The reports and supplementary materials are in Adobe PDF file format.  You will need a pdf viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, to view the files.

Group Reports

January 2004
Amanda Bertilson, Emily Jodock,
Colleen Windler and Karissa Swanson
Carpet Report

EIQs:  Interface,
Milliken, Shaw
Carpet Adhesives
Mike Kyllo, Ben Hanson
and Justin Smith
Carpet Adhesives Report
Appendices E-H MSDS
Concrete Sealants
Daniel Schramm, Amanda Shamp
and Derek Zumbach
Concrete Sealant Report
Concrete Sealant EIQs
Concrete Sealant MSDSs
Paints, Interior Latex (Wall)
Mary Beth Bolin, Peter Haugen
and Devlin Shaughnessy
Interior Latex Paint Report

EPA Latex VOC Testing
MSDSs: Davis HiLite, Pratt-Lambert Accolade
Glidden Ultra-Hide, GenPaintCo. HP 3000,
Safecoat 1412, Old Fashioned Milk Paint

January 2005
Alyssa Anderson, Toshi Tanaka and
Anning Yung
BioBoard Report

Environ EIQ_MSDS
Woodstalk EIQ and MSDS
PrimBoard EIQ
Lime Mortar
Trevor Gillis, Hai Quach and
Jonathan Thornton
Lime Mortar Report
Lime Mortars MSDSs
Portland Cement MSDS
Portland-Masonry Type N MSDS
Lime Paint
Jamie Mathews, Stephanie Nevilles and
Joshua Rundell
Lime Paint Report
Adicolor MSDS
LeDecor MSDS
Lime Paint user recommendations
Tile, Floor
Austin Bentley, Kevin Kubista, Sarah
Kepple Johnson, and Doug Stone
Tile floor Report

Ceramic EIQ      Cork EIQ
Rubber EIQ        Slate EIQ
Windows, Exterior
Jay DeCoux, Madison McCaulley and
Jaime McDermott
Windows Report
LowE coating EIQ
Argon MSDS, AluminumOxide MSDS

January 2006
Lab Casework I
Stephanie Anderson, Margot Dedrick
Jen Ester and Amanda Pederson
Kewaunee & Collegedale Report

Kewaunne Stains Finishes_MSDS
Kewaunee Standard EIQ Kewaunee Earthline EIQ
Collegedale EIQ
Section 12345Apdx 12345
Lab Casework II
Dan Braun, Michael Dow and
Isaac Hanson
Fisher Hamilton
Diversified Woodcrafters Report
Lab Tops
Sean Casey, Tyler Hauger,
D.B. Mitchell and Mark Johnson
Lab Tops Report
Trespa MSDS
Trespa ChemResist
Epoxy Resin Tech Document
Ceramic Floor Tile
Nathan Hofstad, Sara Lundberg
and Angela Weber
Ceramic Tile Report

Crossville EIQ      Terra Green EIQ
Fritz Terr. EIQ
Windows, Fritted
Katie Dobie, Corinne Thomas and
Blake Wergeland
Fritted Windows Report
Restroom Partitions
Bridget Goodwin, Anna Pesicka
and Laura Oliver
Restroom Partitions Report

Yemm & Hart EIQ
Green Roof
Amanda Rubasch, Rosie Harris
and Chloe Stull-Lane
Green Roof Report

Appendices Apdx A
Apdxs B to O
Apdxs P to BB
Apdxs CC to XX

Updated 8 February 2006
by Paul T. Jackson