The term “Sustainable flooring” covers a wide variety of flooring options from carpeting and area rugs to bamboo and wood, cork, rubber, and vinyl composite tiles. There are many sustainable options that are readily available. What is challenging is to find one that is beautiful, to understand why it is categorized as sustainable, and to make the correct decision for the interior for which it is intended to be used.
So many standards are available to help in the decision making that it can be a little overwhelming. The labeling which governs the choices in sustainable flooring need not seem daunting, but should become a useful tool to help all of us involved in the decision making process.
The photo below is from FLOR, inspired modular floorcovering. http://www.flor.com. Flor squares are made using recycled and renewable content. Most FLOR styles meet or exceed the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus standards for low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Low VOCs are important because of their harmful impact on indoor air quality. I love that they are so versatile and allow unlimited creativity in design: casual, modern, functional!
Bamboo flooring is commonly known to be a sustainable choice for flooring because of its rapid regeneration qualities. As a designer specifying bamboo however, it is important to make sure that it is manufactured with low-emitting sealers, stains, and that the harvesting methods used are environmentally preferable. I love that bamboo has such a “clean” look to it, but it is also so important that it be suitable for the space it is intended to be used in. That is why third-party certifications have become so important in the industry; they help to assure that we are bringing quality products into the healthy indoor environments that we design.
The impact of flooring products on indoor air quality is a top environmental concern among design professionals, green builders, and the LEED for home certification process. It is important to do some research before purchasing a flooring product that claims to be sustainable. I offer the following websites to help in that quest:
I invite your questions and comments.
photo at right courtesy of the internet.. Reclaimed wood floors.
Posted in Eco-friendly flooring, Sustainable Furnishings | Tagged eco-friendly interior design, FLOR, green interior design, healthy interior environments, sustainable interior design, sustainable materials in interior design, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | Leave a Comment »
Recycled fabrics. Organic fabrics. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic. Greenguard. Oeko-tex Standard. Cradle to Cradle Certified…
What does it all mean?
If you are concerned with making your home and working environment eco-friendly (or I love the term “future-friendly”) I’m including an overview here to give you some valuable information pertaining to fabrics. At PBID, we specialize in greening your interior spaces as an important part of our interior design service.
Recycled fabrics are often produced from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled polyester (even plastic bottles), petroleum byproducts, recycled cotton, recycled silk, and soybean husks
Organic fabrics are produced without toxic chemicals during all stages of the production process from fiber to fabric yardage.
It’s worth it to check out the websites for these certification groups, as they are full of valuable information:
- http://www.greenguard.org “The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving human health and quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. In keeping with that mission, GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a free resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments.” You will see this listed on many products from fabrics, to manufactured window shades, to products used in schools and hospitals.
||Confidence in textiles – this has been the motto of the independent test institutes of the International Oeko-Tex® Associationsince 1992, with their tests for harmful substances according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 for textile products of all types which pose no risk whatsoever to health.For companies in the textile and clothing industry, the Oeko-Tex® criteria catalogue provides for the very first time a uniform, scientifically founded evaluation standard for the human ecological safety of textiles, against the background of the globalised and extremely fragmented nature of the textile manufacturing chain.The Oeko-Tex® label indicates to interested end users the additional benefits of tested safety for skin-friendly clothing and other textiles. In this way, the test label provides an important decision-making tool when purchasing textiles.Confidence in textiles – an international synonym for responsible textile production – from the raw material to the finished product on the shop shelves. For industry and retailers throughout the textile manufacturing chain just as well as for users of fashionable, functional, colourful textiles.
- http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm “Remaking the way we make things.” McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry MBDC, employs eco-effective strategies that promote the reuse of products at the end of their life, eliminating product waste. A Cradle to Cradle Certified product has been evaluated for its human health, environmental health, life cycle attributes, renewable energy, water stewardship and social responsibility.
To gain in-depth knowledge of organic fabrics, I highly recommend spending some time on the oecotextiles.com website.
“O Ecotextiles wants to change the way textiles are made by proving that it’s possible to produce luxurious, sensuous fabrics in ways that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable.” This website offers beautiful organic fabrics with an explanation of the hows and whys regarding organic textiles.
nature photography by PBID Interior Design.
Lots to think about…better choices mean healthier environments in which to live and work.
Posted in Eco friendly fabrics, Eco friendly fabrics for interiors, Healthy Home / Green Design, Organic fabrics, Style Hints | Tagged Cradle-to-cradle certification, eco-friendly interior design, future friendly design, green interior design, Greenguard, healthy indoor environment, healthy interior environments, indoor air quality, O Ecotextiles, Oeko-tex standard, organic fabrics, sustainable materials in interior design, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | 3 Comments »
In the cold winter temperatures, a home can lose as much as 40% of its heat through the windows. Giving serious thought to your window covering choices can help decrease heat loss as well as heat gain. I’ve had many years of designing pretty windows as an interior designer, but here are my top 3 picks to make your windows beautiful and energy efficient at the same time:
- In this photo to the right, Maxwell fabric company has featured a full drapery panel in this cozy room setting. A lined drapery will always insulate against the cold as well as block out direct sun on a brutally hot day. The heavier the fabric, the more protection you will have against the window, but remember also that a lining (sateen, blackout, or thermal) needs to be part of the design.
- Wood Shutters are one of the highest rated window coverings in terms of energy efficiency. Solid wood acts as thermal barrier when properly installed and the louvers are closed up tight, but very pretty and architectural when the louvers are open.
- Hunter Douglas Duette Architella, with its patented honeycomb within a honeycomb construction has a very high R-value rating, providing superior energy savings in both warm and cold climates.
Posted in Energy Efficient Window Coverings, Healthy Home / Green Design, Sustainable Residential Design | Tagged eco-friendly interior design, eco-friendly window coverings, energy efficiency, energy efficient draperies, energy efficient window coverings, Hunter Douglas Duette shades, shutters, sustainable interior design, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | 1 Comment »
“It is your choice as a business owner to make your office an environment based on “green” principles.” This is the reason behind PBID’s offering of a Sustainable Office Package, which provides custom tailored plans for sustainable furnishings and suggested improvements for the environmental quality of your office and lobby space.
http://www.pbid-interiordesign.com (Design Package 5)
When you purchase our sustainable office custom design package, you’ll be asked to give thoughtful consideration to your sustainable goals for your office space. This will allow us to guide you toward providing a healthy environment in which to work and attract clients. Research has shown that design and a well-planned interior can encourage desired behaviors, enhance performance and promote a sense of well being for its occupants.
- Take some time to define your firm’s commitment to go green. This commitment involves all of the office staff in terms of how the office is run, what supplies are used daily, recycling and reuse, energy conservation, eliminating use of anything toxic, and reducing solid waste.
- Then take your commitment to the next level by providing for the environmental quality of the space, paying attention to the furnishings, surfaces, and indoor air quality.
- Take a look at your goals, and then let us take it from there! You will receive a comprehensive design that will streamline the greening process, allowing you more time to focus on what you do best: running your business.
Additional thoughts toward making your office sustainable:
- Sustainable furnishings: Reuse what you can and if you must purchase new, look to manufacturers that use FSC certified woods, reclaimed woods, recycled materials, and sustainable manufacturing processes.
- Sustainable fabrics: Many companies, including the green fabric shown above use recycled fibers, organic fibers, organic dyes, and use sustainable practices in the processing of their fabrics.
- Functional space planning: Addresses current needs and future needs, durability and long life.
- Feng Shui principles: Good and abundant energy flow is a must!
- Indoor Air Quality: Several factors go into this category
attention must be paid to factors involving the building itself as well as finishes that are used.
- Lighting: Maximize natural lighting and energy efficient light fixtures and bulbs
- Water-efficient equipment usage
- Local Products: Avoid items that have to be shipped long distances.
- Business Image and client experience
All images posted are from manufacture’s websites.
Posted in Sustainable Office | Tagged eco-friendly interior design, green interior design, green office design, healthy interior environments, sustainable interior design, sustainable materials in interior design, sustainable office furnishings, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | 1 Comment »
Designing an efficient kitchen that is not only beautiful but also eco-friendly and functional, is a designer’s challenge and this designer’s dream project. All of these things must go together and be given equal weight while in the midst of the planning process. The desired result: a kitchen that functions well and meets the needs of the family.
In part 3 of Sustainable Kitchens, I’m going to break down the functionality priorities as best I can. (Please be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Sustainable Kitchens series at pbid.wordpress.com, for additional info.)
First of all, it’s important that the client and designer establish the client’s needs.
- Who does most of the cooking? One cook, or multiple cooks?
- What are the priorities? For example convenience, storage, professional quality appliances, open shelving, task lighting, overhead lighting, multiple work stations, area for recycling and compost waste, and the list goes on and on.
- How important is incorporating sustainability into the overall plan?
- What’s the budget?
- What can be reused?
- How can the space best incorporate a multi-use plan? How important is multi-use for this kitchen plan? Where does the family eat? Do the kids do homework there? Do you need to include an area for computer? Wine storage? Hobby space? Collection?
- How can we scale down? In other words, fit all of these needs into the existing space?
- Ease of maintenance
Then, take a look at the client’s wish list.
- Pantry space
- pot racks
- spice racks
- drawers, cabinets, open shelving
- Energy Star appliances
- recycled glass tiles and sustainable counter top
- island workspace with room for counter stools
- Vision / Style
Once these things are determined through consultations and a survey of the space, the designer goes to work to develop the plan and fine tune the client’s goals into a functional kitchen, while being mindful of sustainability and educating the client with each recommendation.
A sustainable kitchen’s priority is function first, as that will sustain its useful life for many years.
Photos used were sourced from Pinterest or manufacturer’s websites, and this designer’s drafting table.
Posted in Sustainable Furnishings, Sustainable Kitchens, Sustainable Residential Design | Tagged custom interior design plans, eco-friendly interior design, eco-friendly remodeling, green interior design, green remodeling, healthy indoor environment, healthy interior environments, ReGreen, sustainable interior design, sustainable materials in interior design, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | Leave a Comment »
Selecting the surfaces, finishes and “visuals” for the kitchen are definitely the most fun part of a kitchen remodel. Keeping them within an eco-friendly framework is not a difficult task at all, especially if you have a clear vision of what you want or if you are working with an interior designer or kitchen designer.
In part 2 of my sustainable kitchen series, I have compiled some guidelines to help you achieve your sustainable design goals for your kitchen remodel with regard to surface selections. The choices keep increasing, as manufacturers become more aware of this niche in the marketplace and continue to improve their triple bottom line (people, planet, profit).
- Flooring: Reclaimed wood, natural cork, bamboo, FSC certified wood, brick, concrete, salvaging existing floor
Concrete, Ice stone (as shown in photo), Vetrazzo (recycled glass counter tops), FSC certified butcher block, salvaged metals such as stainless steel, engineered stone (stone / resin composite)
Glass and recycled glass tiles,
FSC certified woods, MDF, and reclaimed /re-purposed cabinetry and shelving
Stainless steel, copper, zinc, salvaged metals and metals made of recycled content
- Recycled Materials: reclaimed wood beams,
(in addition to other recycled items previously mentioned).
- Repurposed furnishings:
Unique antique pieces used for center islands and pot racks.
Repurposed fixtures, recycled glass fixtures, LED fixtures and flourescent bulbs in can lighting
- Paint: Zero VOC Wallcoverings: Wallpapers made of recycled content
Shown: Bamboo flooring, reclaimed wood flooring, and open kitchen; photo sourced from Pinterest to show the beauty of reclaimed beams and antique stools.
Posted in Style It!, Sustainable Furnishings, Sustainable Kitchens, Sustainable Residential Design | Tagged creative re-purposing, eco-friendly interior design, eco-friendly remodeling, green interior design, green remodeling, healthy indoor environment, healthy interior environments, ReGreen, sustainable interior design, sustainable materials in interior design, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | 3 Comments »
This is the first in a 3 part series on how to design a kitchen that incorporates green principles in terms of the mechanics, surfaces, design aesthetic and function.
I am a strong proponent of REGREEN, which is a certificate design program sponsored by ASID and the USGBC. Through the REGREEN guidelines, all of the major elements of sustainable residential renovations are addressed and total design integration is the cornerstone. This three part blog is intended to give helpful information to anyone who is considering a kitchen remodel and is focused on incorporating sustainable decisions. As an interior designer, I admit that great remodeling design is my passion!
Things to consider when redesigning a kitchen while being mindful of precious resources:
- Maximize natural light with large windows (use climate appropriate high-performance windows)
- Be mindful of strategically placed florescent lighting and LED lighting
- Consider using fixtures made of recycled glass or vintage / re-purposed and refurbished fixtures
- Provide adaptable lighting for multiuse spaces
- Provide appropriate indoor lighting controls
- Water Efficiency:
- Install low-water-use kitchen faucet
- Install on-demand hot water recirculation system as well as high efficiency water heater
- Stay within existing footprint but consider re-configuring adjoining spaces to increase kitchen size and function without increasing the total footprint of the house.
- Right-size for your family’s needs.
- Install undersink water filtration system
- Consider solar water heating
- Insulate all accessible hot-water pipes
- Consider Gray-water system ( but first, check legality of this in your area)
- Install high-efficiency HVAC equipment
- Use all Energy-Star appliances
- Plan for Convenient Recycling and Composting
This photo taken from Pinterest and has been selected for the natural lighting that floods the room. Top photo is one from a current work-in-progress kitchen remodel by PBID.
Part 2 in this series will feature surfaces and materials.
Part 3 in this series will address function.
Posted in Healthy Home / Green Design, Sustainable Kitchens, Sustainable Residential Design | Tagged eco-friendly interior design, eco-friendly remodeling, green interior design, green remodeling, healthy indoor environment, healthy interior environments, houzz.com, indoor air quality, low VOC, ReGreen, www.pbid-interiordesign.com | Leave a Comment »