Sustainability Is Hot
Like other design fields, the interior layout is inextricably tied to changing styles–what’s hot and not. Whether the Ultimate Sustainable Interior design goal is renovation, decoration, or architectural detailing, all interior designers must remain abreast of current trends.
In the design business, the fastest-growing segment is incorporating sustainable or “green” interior design. From using rainwater collection to supplement wastewater requirements to using sustainable materials like bamboo, innovation is high for designing a sustainable area.
Focus on Sustainability
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) considers that sustainability should be a critical part of every designer’s plan, from energy efficiency to reducing environmental effects. Interior design colleges now integrate sustainable design into their program to prepare tomorrow’s professionals.
Six Tips for Environmentally Friendly Interior Design
If you’re an ambitious interior designer, you will learn numerous ways to have a green approach:
1. Maximize the efficient utilization of space.
Smartly used interior spaces can manage the size of a building–and, as a result, the use of building materials and other resources–to a minimum. Micro-housing improvements, or “apodments,” work as a single solution in cities with rapidly growing populations. They are 300-square feet or less and feature built-in amenities like a microwave and refrigerator. Some developments are LEED-certified.
2. Use energy-wise design and construction materials.
Interior designers may work with doors and windows that optimize energy efficiency and wood floors from rapidly renewable sources such as bamboo, water-saving bathrooms, and other environmentally responsible materials.
3. Use materials produced in a socially responsible way.
Use products and furniture from sources that support safe manufacturing processes and social business practices. If possible, use local sources!
4. Reduce waste by using recycled or reclaimed materials.
Fortunately, classic and vintage décor is an alternative for interior designers. Decorative items and furniture can be repurposed, refinished, or refurbished to provide them new life. For the truly environmentally aware, tiles, rugs, fabrics, even countertops and sinks can be created from recycled materials.
5. Plan for energy-efficient lighting.
Smart interior design can incorporate windows and skylights to maximize the utilization of daytime and decrease artificial light. When artificial lighting is required, LEDs, halogens, and compact fluorescent light bulbs save energy and last longer.
6. Use non-toxic and non-polluting products.
An increasing number of safe and chemical-free products are available, from hypoallergenic, organic paint to fibers and woods that have not been treated with pesticides.
By including sustainable practices into your interior design philosophy, you will do your part to promote energy efficiency and responsibility.
5 Principles of Sustainable Interior Design
Society is becoming more and more aware of the importance of environmentally responsible construction and interior design. Because of this, a growing number of clients try to incorporate sustainability principles into their interiors. Interior designers have a significant influence on the sustainability of an environment because they’re the ones deciding which products and materials will be utilized and how ecologically people will have the ability to interact with their surrounding spaces.
By following these sustainable interior design fundamentals, designers reduce our society’s negative environmental effect and build a better, more sustainable future.
1. Design for energy efficiency
Energy consumption is among those significant contributors to climate change. Buildings are responsible for a substantial share of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions due to energy consumption. Interior designers and architects can do a lot to increase the energy efficiency of a building, mainly by lessening the amount of energy required for lighting, heating, running appliances, etc., and by supplying renewable energy, non-carbon-based energy into the building.
Lighting and heating would be the two most vital elements interior designers have an impact over. As most of the building’s heat escapes via windows, the installed windows must be of top quality and provide excellent insulation. Curtains and drapes keep both the sun’s warmth and cold air outside. Window blinds, coverings, and shades enable residents to control the building’s temperature in an energy-efficient manner of opening and shutting them as required.
Carpets are the best thermal insulators; based on estimations, a rug retains up to 10 percent of a room’s warmth.
To save energy spent on light, a lot could be accomplished just by picking the perfect colors. Lighter colors reveal more light, while rooms with darker walls and furnishing require more artificial lighting. Utilizing reflective surfaces increases the quantity of light in space by bouncing it around, decreasing artificial lighting dependence.
Installing home automation and so-called `’green gadgets” makes it feasible to remotely control lighting and heating systems. This also helps occupants and residents use the building’s energy more efficiently and economically.
2. Select for low environmental impact
From a sustainability perspective, it is essential to pick products and materials with the lowest ecological effect. Organic substances (e.g., timber, wool, natural rock ) seems the obvious option, but we should not forget that natural resources will need to be treated sensibly. Choose quickly renewable materials (like fast-growing bamboo) and extracted in an environmentally responsible manner. There are labels, standards, and certificates that provide credible information regarding the products’ source and enable you to identify eco-friendly products. By way of instance, an FSC label on wood products ensures that the wood used in the product was harvested sustainably.
The environmental effect of materials and products has to be assessed during their entire life cycle — from extraction, manufacturing, processing, and transportation, all of the way to how they’re discarded after use. Standardized labels and tools help designers understand, compare, and evaluate a product’s environmental effects in different life cycle phases, like the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
3. Incorporate waste reduction in design
Interior designers have lots of power in their hands when it comes to waste removal, and at the same time, a hefty obligation to act sustainably. The world’s precious resources are limited, so the mindset of shedding products as soon as they go out of fashion and replacing them with trendy is no more justifiable.
Fortunately, the world of design is becoming more and more aware of the need for sustainable thinking. It is undergoing an increasing interest in sustainable trends, like upcycling, recycling, and repurposing. Rather than shedding `’old-fashioned” items while they’re still practical, designers can (and should) develop creative ways to give them a new life.
Another way where interior designers can help lessen the depletion of natural resources (and divert waste from landfills) is by choosing synthetic materials which were created from recycled waste or can be renewed/recycled at the end of the life cycle — when they’re spent, or individuals grow tired of them.
With this cradle-to-cradle strategy, waste becomes the raw material for new products, and a circular loop of production is formed, efficiently reducing or even eliminating waste.
4. Design for endurance and longevity
To prevent materials and products from getting discarding too frequently, interior designers need to think about the lifespan of any material they intend to use, particularly for those components that experience plenty of wear and tear (such as floors ). The objective of designing for longevity is to look at timeless and durable spaces and suppress the desire to change the whole design every year. The perfect way to achieve timelessness is to choose quality over quantity, classics over stylish, and simplicity/functionality over embellishments.
However, in the years, people grow and change, and they need surrounding spaces to develop together and reflect those changes. In anticipation of this, interior designers need to consider the flexibility of spaces — how well they can adapt to match the changing needs of individuals using them. Designing flexible spaces is one of the secrets to longevity. When it is easy to replace or accommodate individual elements of a room, there’s no need to demolish and renovate it completely.
Innovation has brought many choices for flexible design: walls which may be altered to make more spaces when kids get bigger and want their rooms, flexible and portable furniture which may be re-assembled to match the requirements of their modern, flexible office, modular flooring which enables personalization and easy replacement of individual bits, etc.
Easy maintenance is an essential part of designing for longevity; when spaces are tough to maintain, routine changes are unavoidable and result in more resource consumption and waste production.
The use of flexible elements in the interior makes the interior easier to maintain. For example, with modular carpets, you can replace only the worn-out pieces rather than the entire carpet, which efficiently keep waste from landfills.
Maintenance of spaces with a great deal of easy-to-clean surfaces and materials requires fewer cleaning products, which are often harmful to the environment. Therefore, investing in components that are sturdy, durable, and easy to clean or replace means that fewer renovations will be required; and, consequently, less waste will be generated. Saving money that would go toward cleanup and maintenance cost is another benefit.
5. Create for healthy surroundings
Folks spend most of their time indoors, in schools, offices, at home, etc. Though we’ve saved it for last, thinking about an environment’s health should be at the peak of the interior designer’s priority list. There are many factors to consider when designing healthy spaces, like the quality of the air, heating, lighting, acoustics, and ventilation.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is among the five largest environmental threats to public health. Indoor air pollution is the result of merchandise and materials with high levels of toxic emissions. By way of instance, furniture or equipment treated with dangerous chemicals releases harmful toxins in the atmosphere. Designers should look for materials with reduced VOC (volatile organic chemicals ) and other air pollutants.
To improve indoor air quality, it is essential that the air in a room can frequently circulate and stay fresh. Plants act as natural air filters, and — contrary to common beliefs –so do rugs. Carpets enhance air quality by trapping the dust particles in the atmosphere and holding them.
With routine, sustainable carpet cleaning, the area environment remains healthy and free of allergens and germs within dust particles. Carpets are also excellent sound insulators. They help decrease noise by absorbing noise vibrations — an essential advantage to residents and occupants’ well-being.
Exposure to natural light is another valuable aspect of both physical and mental health. This is particularly relevant for offices, as natural light reduces stress and increases productivity. Being surrounded by nature (or ones that mimic nature) generally has a calming effect. Biophilic design is a sort of design that recognizes this need to incorporate natural elements into our buildings and interiors and aims to re-establish the connection between nature and humans.
We hope that these design tips and principles will shortly become paramount to style in general. Architects and interior designers are the founders of the spaces we live in and should always be guided by sustainable and biophilic approaches — to help treat the environment and ourselves in the best way possible.