Interior designers can gain a competitive advantage in the green growth economy. With millions of eco-retrofits to the UK’s domestic and commercial property, the opportunities for interior design will be massive. However, green business planning will be required in order to succeed under Green Deal and the low carbon revolution.
Undoubtedly, there are many environmentally aware interior designers already. But how many know that to get on the supply chains for Green Deal or in deed for any of the major chains, including local authorities and other statutory bodies, there will be a requirement to have green credentials in place? Green washing will not be acceptable.
For those few who still use traditional products, it is important to remember that every interior design can balance sustainable materials with excellent design. It is possible for every element of a design to be sustainable, fair trade, and carbon friendly. Commercial and residential environmentally conscious interior designers are the market leaders in their industry and in the low carbon markets.
So who are Green Interior Designers?
Green interior designers have taken several factors into consideration:
They have strong environmental values and factor in the design of, for example, heat, light, renewables and ways that lessen impact on the environment. Recycling is their priority and recycled products and materials are always used. Non-renewable or wasteful products are never used.
What is Green Design?
Green Design is also "sustainable design" and "eco-design". This means there is a commitment to all aspects of the environment, including social, economic and ecological aspects and consequences of design. The green growth economy will necessitate all commercial and residential designers to work more collaboratively with architects and planners and form green consortia. This will ensure that green interior design uses only the materials and products that are sustainable.
When sourcing furniture as part of interior design, it is important to consider green cabinetmakers that use bamboo, palm and non-toxic finishes. The more traditional type of cabinets still contains toxins such as adhesives, additives, and volatile organic compounds.
With regard to wood flooring – consider the type of wood, and where the tree was sourced. Wood flooring is still very popular but most installations are not sustainable and come from old trees or from rain forests. Alternatives are bamboo, natural linoleum or cork floors.
My article explains the need for painting and decorating contractors to use products that do not contain hazardous components in paints and thinners. Interior designers should only sub-contract to environmentally aware painting and decorating contractors. This may also save on cost as eco-friendly paints can cost less than traditional paints and do not poison the atmosphere.
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