ALPHARETTA, GA –The Refinishing Touch, a world leader in on-site environmentally safe and sustainable furniture refinishing, re-upholstering and armoire modification for private and public organizations, has completed the first phase of a large-scale wall unit modification project at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is the company’s first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) project to be carried out at the University level.

“Eastern Mennonite University is committed to providing excellence in housing to our students and we have made a conscious effort to adopt sustainable practices throughout our facilities.”

The Refinishing Touch has drawn on its 30 years of experience to conduct the refurbishment of built-in wall units within the university’s Elmwood residence hall, which houses 88 students. The second phase of the project is scheduled to be completed this summer at the university’s Maplewood residence hall, which houses 86 students and is one of the oldest buildings on campus. In total, the project will see the refinishing and remanufacturing of 75 wall units, each comprising wardrobe, drawers, mirror frame, and sliding doors.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The Refinishing Touch used LEED-approved finishes on the project in order to adhere to all LEED specifications. The project was completed on-site where non-toxic lacquers with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were used, which guarantees indoor air quality and safety. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, and concentration of many VOCs are consistently higher indoor than outdoors. To date The Refinishing Touch has refurbished 2.5 million rooms of furniture, saving the equivalent of approximately 7.5 million trees from being sent to landfills.

EMU joins a growing number of universities embarking on a mission to ‘Go Green” throughout the entire campus. The university has undertaken green initiatives in the past around energy usage and efficiency, but is currently taking a major step forward. In 2009, EMU opened Cedarwood Hall, its new energy-efficient dormitory and the university’s first LEED certified building.

Eldon Kurtz, director of physical plants at Eastern Mennonite University, said: “Eastern Mennonite University is committed to providing excellence in housing to our students and we have made a conscious effort to adopt sustainable practices throughout our facilities.”

“EMU recognizes the environmental impact and benefits of refinishing as a terrific option opposed to purchasing new furniture. Thanks to The Refinishing Touch, the project was completed quickly and economically, and has resulted in beautifully refurbished wall units in the Elmwood residence hall. The operations technicians helped to engineer a conversion of the wardrobe from sliding doors to hinged. The units are now more functional than when originally built and our students are pleased with the results,” Kurtz concluded.

Mario Insenga, founder and CEO of The Refinishing Touch, added: “We are honored to be taking part in our first LEED university project at Eastern Mennonite University. The school was looking for a partner capable of bringing its housing facilities into the 21st century using environmentally-friendly and non-toxic processes, and completing the work on-time with minimal disruption to its faculty, staff and students. We’re very happy with the results and look forward to returning to campus this summer to finish the work at Maplewood Hall.”

About The Refinishing Touch

The Refinishing Touch is a world leader in on?site environmentally safe and sustainable furniture refinishing, re-upholstering, armoire modification, and EPA and OSHA TV recycling for private and public organizations. Through its Touch Textiles division, it provides eco-friendly indoor and outdoor fabrics that complement its portfolio of materials, such as granite and quartz, as well as a range of furniture hardware fixtures in a range of finishes to offer a one-stop service to its clients.
To date, the company has transformed over 1.5 million rooms of furniture, preventing the equivalent of approximately two million hardwood trees from being sent to landfill.

With clients in the government, hospitality and university sectors, The Refinishing Touch enables environmental and sustainability best practices while reducing spending by up to 80%. Long term clients include: The White House, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, US Department of Justice, US Congress, US Department of Defense, US Military and Coast Guard, Hyatt, Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton, IHG and Starwood plus a number of top universities. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia.

The Refinishing Touch has been recognized by the US General Services Administration with its Evergreen Award for innovative environmentally friendly practices.

About Eastern Mennonite University

Eastern Mennonite University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate and masters degrees. The university is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

On campus, in our community and around the world, EMU offers an outstanding Christian liberal arts education. Here, professors know your name and challenge you to grow in your faith, to broaden your worldview through time spent in another culture, and to work side-by-side to reach new academic heights.

Nearly 20,000 EMU grads are serving and leading all over the world right now, on service and mission assignments and in grad schools and careers that make a difference. 88% of EMU grads find work in their field of study within a year of graduation.

Whether you’re at our beautiful campus in Harrisonburg, Va., or at our thriving site in Lancaster, Pa., you’ll notice the hospitality, the community that is so important to EMU.

SOURCE: The Refinishing Touch

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