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New Domestic Violence Center - “Greenest” in Virginia

April 22, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and the Commonwealth's first "green" domestic violence shelter, in Charlottesville, is being honored. Four years in the making, the new location for The Shelter for Help in Emergency recently opened its doors to provide aid to women and children.

From the use of locally-harvested wood floors, to the rain water collected on the roof to water plants and flush toilets, the decision to "go green" made perfect sense to the shelter's executive director, Cartie Lominack.

"It just makes for a better environment, both internally for the people who are there, and externally, for the community and for our environment."

The project cost $3 million, and Lominack says that she and board members were questioned about the expensive price of "going green."

"We recognize that it's more outlay of cash up front, but we also know the benefits are long-lasting. Looking toward the future is something the board and the staff took on and made a commitment to."

The builders used sustainable and recycled products inside and out. Lominack says the shelter's goal of reducing waste by 75 percent has been achieved. The shelter recently earned Gold LEED status (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and is the only one of its kind in Virginia.




Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA