Every day more and more emphasis is being placed on sustainable buildings. If you are an interior designer, you must understand at least the bare basics of the five key elements of sustainable interior design. This is one challenge that many interior designers have yet to meet, but it is vital to understand these concepts, or you will lose business to a more progressive team of designers. Not only will you stay competitive in the field, but you will be doing something to preserve the environment we have been killing for far too long now. Here is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Energy Efficient Design
Energy efficiency is an absolute must in green design. While so much emphasis is placed on manufacturing and vehicle emissions, it is now widely held that buildings are, in fact, responsible for a huge share in greenhouse gasses due to unmitigated energy consumption. Not only are heating and lighting important factors, but the actual living space can be designed to be energy efficient as well. Such things as airtight windows and doors and ceiling heights can make a huge difference in energy usage, so it is important to learn all you can about the actual architectural design elements that make for an energy-efficient building.
Low Environmental Impact
Next on the list would be the materials used in interior design. Recycled materials are becoming more plentiful as time goes on, but the one thing you should look for is that they are LEED-certified materials. Such things as recycled rejected toilets, glass, and stone can top the list of certified materials, according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This is a global organization that sets the standards for green building, and if the materials you use in your design are LEED-certified, you know you are meeting the highest of standards.
Here again, the strategic use of recycled materials is a vital step in reducing waste. Instead of using products such as wood, which is leading to the destruction of many global forests, some builders are opting for synthetic and recycled materials. Even wood can be recycled and used as particle boards, so try to avoid using materials that are depleting our natural resources.
Another key factor in a sustainable building is that it meets a longer lifespan. Every time something is tossed away to the landfills, that’s something else that needs to be replaced. Landfills are past their limits in most areas of the world, and it’s sad because many of those products were manufactured with a specifically short lifespan in mind. To sell more products, manufacturers made items to break down at faster intervals. It was a way to increase profits, but at what cost to the environment?
Most people spend the bulk of their time indoors, and so healthy environments are essential in today’s green interior design. Any way an interior designer can create an atmosphere relatively pollution-free, the home or commercial building will have better air quality for healthier living. Perhaps it began with the concern over asbestos and led in the middle part of the last century. Still, now building materials are sought, which don’t give off toxic gases and are not prone to emitting particles into the air we breathe.
It’s time that more interior designers looked to the future with a determination to design spaces free from pollutants and crafted with environmentally friendly materials. Green building is the way of the future, and if you want to stay competitive in today’s world, you need a future-focused design. As it has been said, “Go green or just go!”