Not so Green Sunset Idea House TIC

Commercial Real Estate Agent with Intero Real Estate Services


While everyone’s all abuzz about the Sunset Idea House, we thought that we would comment on the Greenness of the attached TIC. True the bargain priced $1,089,000 two-bedroom TIC has received a lot of interest because of the Mission location, and its Green attributes. Sure, the new owner will undoubtedly pay close to nothing to PG & E with the wind turbine system as well as the solar and rain catchment system. Our shock and dismay came after we entered the upstairs during the recent Build It Green Home Tour. What are those Ikea built in cabinets doing in this Green house? First, from an esthetic standpoint we certainly would not want to pay six figures and have Ikea cabinets. Ugggh. But on a more serious note these Ikea cabinets contain some nasty materials.

We have a little problem with the Lumicor coating. Lumicor contains polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Manufacturing PMMA involves highly toxic substances which require careful storage, handling, and disposal. It can also produce toxic fumes. Also, this acrylic plastic cannot be easily recycled. It is considered a group 7 plastic among recycled plastics and most communities will not recycle it.

Lumicor claims to be Green and states that, “Modeling estimates for Lumiclear indicate that predicted exposure concentration results will likely meet the allowable GreenGuard criteria for all pollutants.” However look at the GreenGuard site and you will find no Lumicor listing.

As for the Ikea shelves these little beauties also contain Polypropylene, a little chemical creation brought to you by ExxonMobil Chemical. Who's Idea was it to add these gems to the Idea House?


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Lumicor Spokesperson

Response from Lumicor - Our process takes a post manufactured sheet of acrylic (PMMA) and puts it through a safe, non-toxic laminated process. Lumicor meets all federal, state, and local environmental laws, including laws governing air emissions, waste water treatment, and solid waste disposal/treatment.

Lumicor is in Environmental Statutory Compliance with the following agencies:

  • EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) - All applicable standards for (plastic) manufacturing facilities
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Agency) - All applicable standards for (plastic) manufacturing facilities
  • WISHA (Washington Industrial Safety and Health Agency) - All applicable standards for (plastic) manufacturing facilities
  • PSCAA (Puget Sound Clean Air Act) -Regulation I; Section 9.08
  • L&I (Labor and Industries) - All applicable standards for (plastic) manufacturing facilities

The Greenguard statement is exactly that "Modeling estimates".  We have not spent the money to have this material "Certified" by Greenguard.  But our material suppliers have.

In regards to the recycling comment, yes most communities will not recycle Lumicor, which is why we have set up recycling points such as the collection bins at Calsak and at our material suppliers.

Oct 13, 2007 11:54 PM #1
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Keith Rockmael

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