Mississauga, Ontario-based AyA Kitchens and Baths recently introduced EVO, a no-added urea formaldehyde cabinet box option that surpasses the company's particleboard product in environmental benefits.

EVO cabinet boxes are finished with low hazardous air pollutants, or HAPS, and have a UV-cured topcoat finish. This reduces damage to the environment and also reduces allergens in the air, says AyA showroom designer Margaret Macdonald. Customers can select EVO for the company's kitchen product lines, such as its Churchill line or products within its Contemporary or Vintage lines. EVO uses 100 percent recycled wood products with lower emissions than its particleboard, which had the lowest emissions available when it was originally released.

"Throughout its business practices, AyA Kitchens is continually striving to surpass environmental and health standards and help their customers create healthier environments, whether renovating a home or building LEED certified developments," says AyA Kitchens president David Marcus.

Nothing goes to waste

EVO is the latest element in the company's Green Design 2.0 initiative, which is intended to minimize the company's impact on the environment, Macdonald says. First, there are the production standards of the company. Nothing goes to waste, Macdonald says. Stains are reused between projects. Doors or other products that are damaged or painted incorrectly during production are either reused for other projects or handed off to other work teams.

"We (offer) more of a full package than our competitors," Macdonald says. "We are extremely conscious of the environment (in our practices)."

AyA is also involved with Habitat for Humanity, Macdonald says. EVO has achieved certification by the Forestry Stewardship Council along with other products the company offers. EVO is eligible for LEED points with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System in the categories of indoor environmental quality, materials and resources: recycled content material, responsible forest management, and materials manufactured within project region.

"The whole market is going into a new direction we've never seen before," Macdonald says of environmentally conscious manufacturing and products. "There's never been this strong of a demand for it and such an awareness in the marketplace."

Customers who are concerned about the aesthetic appearance of the environmentally friendly EVO cabinetry need not be worried. The upgrade to EVO comes with a woodgrain melamine interior, Macdonald says. Customers can also choose the type of door, from a slab door for an urban look or a solid wood door. The EVO upgrade comes with about a $30 to $40 increase in price per cabinet box, Macdonald says.

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