The prevalence of sustainable design projects has increased multi-fold, report Lucinda Jennings, ASID, and Victoria Schomer, ASID, members of the American Society of Interior Designers, Washington, DC.
This increase is due in part to the efforts of architects, engineers,
designers, contractors and developers who have been educated through
programs developed by professional organizations and federal, state
and local government agencies.
With this significant professional move toward specifying and building
healthy buildings and interiors that offer superior indoor air quality
and energy efficiency, it should be no surprise that sustainable
design is considered to be the fastest growing segment of the design
industry (see page 19).
Residential designers have the opportunity to design, re-design
or re-furnish homes with environmentally friendly products and materials
that can actually have a healthy impact on clients and the planet.
Jennings and Schomer offer a few basic sustainable design practices
for residential designers to consider as they incorporate sustainability
into their work.
STEPS TO GREATER SUSTAINABILITY
• Make an ecologically sound choice
of wood from a supplier who can verify through a chain of custody
that the original trees came from a sustainable forest managed
under guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council.
• Specify paint and other finishing materials that have
documented levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or chemical
emitting materials, that are the lowest levels possible, and
the rate of their dissipation is as fast as possible. Specify
paints and finishes that do not contain formaldehyde, a known
• Specify sustainable fabrics that support the use of
materials from rapidly renewable, post-consumer or post-industrial
• Use rapidly renewable flooring products such as bamboo
or linoleum to help reduce the amount of land and resources
dedicated to producing construction materials.
• Specify energy-efficient appliances such as dishwashers
and refrigerators with the EnergyStar™ rating.
• Design around standard product sizes to reduce material
• Consider the recyclability of all materials used to
redirect their next “life” away from landfills.
Source: American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)