Glass comprises 85% of the total product content of countertops in the Sports & Recreation Center, resulting in an extremely durable and attractive surface, thanks to the big pieces of glass that appear in many of the surfaces. As many as 1,000 recycled bottles are used to make one 5 x 9 ft. panel of glass countertop. The remaining 15% of material consists of a binder mixture of pigment, cement, and additives. Conversely, most manufactured countertop materials on the market use a synthetic, petroleum-based resin binder.
The countertops provide a distinctive green signature for LEED projects. Only local, recycled, and unprocessed glass is used in their manufacture. They are made from 100% postconsumer recycled glass obtained directly from local curbside recycling programs and include other glass sources such as windows, windshields, laboratory glass, stained glass, and traffic lights—all from within the United States. The recycled glass is then processed by color and glass type; once sorted, it is crushed and packaged for companies to purchase for reuse.
The countertops are comparable in strength, scratch resistance, thermal resistance, durability, and care and maintenance to granite. One key difference between granite and the countertops is that because they are made entirely in the U.S. and are composed of over 85% recycled material, it is one of the most environmentally friendly surface materials on the market. The countertops also produce no off-gassing or VOCs (volatile organic compounds).