Book is Good Starting Point for Those Interested in Sustainable Interior Design

10/12/2012 By Glenn Hasek

Architects, designers and anyone else interested in the construction, renovation and design of interior lodging spaces should read “Sustainability in Interior Design,” a book recently released by Siân Moxon. Moxon is an Associate at the architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles in London. She teaches sustainable design at London’s South Bank University and the Royal College of Art. The book is published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd., London.

Sustainability in Interior Design is separated into four chapters that guide interior designers through the sustainable design process. The first chapter, “Context,” introduces the principal environmental issues, and explores how today’s interior designer can learn from historic examples of sustainable design. The second chapter, “A Sustainable Approach,” suggests how to go about designing to achieve sustainable results. The third chapter, “Key Issues to Understand,” explains how to select energy and water systems, materials, and construction methods to limit an interior’s environmental impact. The fourth chapter, “Putting Sustainability into Practice,” presents a selection of exemplary recent interiors from around the world.

In so many ways, the choices a designer makes can influence the sustainability of a building space. A building’s carbon footprint, the volume of waste generated, its indoor air quality, its water footprint, its end-of-life recyclability—all of these things are impacted. On a grander scale, the materials a designer specifies can contribute to unsustainable situations—deforestation, resource depletion, or loss of biodiversity, for example—or, on the flip side, strengthen sustainable ecosystems. When you work with a designer to design a new space, how much time do you spend pondering the environmental ripple effect of the buying decisions that will be made?

Sustainable Design a ‘Responsibility’

Moxon contends designers have a responsibility to make choices that help solve rather than increase environmental problems. “It is paramount that emerging interior designers take responsibility for the situation and help effect change through their work by reconsidering how they design,” she says. “As the established mainstream of the interior design profession is not responding adequately, it falls to developing designers to set standards for the future.”

Moxon says a book like hers is needed because most books on sustainable design focus on architecture and not sustainable interior design. “The task of incorporating sustainability into interior design is at least as difficult as incorporating it into architecture,” she says.

In her book Moxon provides a specification checklist for designers to ensure that all the environmental impacts associated with a material are considered throughout its life cycle. Here is that list of questions that Moxon says designers should be able to answer “yes” to most of the time:

1. Is the material needed?
2. Is it reused or reclaimed?
3. Is it sourced and processed near the site?
4. Is it from a renewable source?
5. Does it have low embodied energy and water?
6. Does its production have low environmental impact?
7. Does it have recycled content?
8. Does it have minimal or recyclable packaging?
9. Is it nontoxic and low-emitting during installation and use?
10. Does it improve the building’s performance?
11. Do its application, treatment, and finishes have low environmental impact?
12. Does it require little maintenance or cleaning and by nontoxic methods?
13. Can it be reused or recycled at the end of the project?
 
Moxon concludes that sustainable design “is about meeting people’s needs today while considering those of future generations.”

Be sure to read her book and let me know what you think. Those interested in receiving more information about the book can write to enquiries@laurenceking.com. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

GLN Adds Hotel Sustainability Solutions as Directory Partner

Green Lodging News welcomes Hotel Sustainability Solutions as a Product & Service Directory partner. The company is a leader in the development of sustainability programs, which are customized for full service, boutique, resort and limited service hospitality properties. Hotel Sustainability Solutions’ program merges sound hospitality business practices with the application of products, systems and technologies to achieve sustainability leadership; resulting in increased net cash flow, added asset value, and increased market share. Hotel Sustainability Solutions is currently working with the Hilton Concord in Concord, Calif. The hotel is managed and owned by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Call (412) 445-4237, e-mail chuck@hotelsustainabilityinc.com, or go to www.hotelsustainabilityinc.com for more information.

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