published Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Sports Barn stands on green agenda: bamboo floor


by Tamara Best

What: Bamboo flooring

* Company: Sports Barn in Hixson

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    Staff Photo by Danielle Moore/Chattanooga Times Free Press Yoga teacher Becky Dempsey and general manager David Brock check out the newly installed bamboo flooring at the Sports Barn on Hamill Road in Hixson. Mr. Brock said bamboo emits fewer toxins and is eco-friendly.

* How is it green: “One of the beneficial parts of bamboo comes with how fast the trees grow. They replenish themselves and don’t emit any toxins in the air,” said Matt Dickson of Club Outfitters, which specializes in interior finishes for the health and fitness industry. Bamboo can be harvested in three years, as opposed to trees which can take more than 100 years, and requires fewer pesticides to treat it, said David Brock, general manager of Sports Barn. Bamboo is also recognized as a LEED-certified material. Mr. Dickson said bamboo is a first step in bringing a green element into flooring.

* When: Just recently

* Why do it this way? It’s aesthetically beautiful and environmentally friendly, Mr. Brock said.

* Plans for expanding in the future? “Trying to find equipment that uses less or no electricity,” Mr. Brock said, is a priority for future talks with equipment suppliers, with the fitness complex currently looking at electricity-free treadmills.

* Any suggestions for others considering green initiatives? If you have a lot of square footage, consider energy alternatives for lighting to reduce electricity bills. Before considering any program, Mr. Brock advises companies to think about whether the measure is cost effective. He also advises companies to consider the length of time it will take to see a return on investment.

* Is this an essential part of the business and why? “We’re open to be anything that is green that is out there,” Mr. Brock said. “We’re really just trying to be a good corporate citizen.”

— Compiled by staff writer Tamara Best, tbest@timesfreepress.com

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