Friday, April 17, 2009

Walk & Talk Green in Your Design Practice

Part Two

by Sharon Burns, ASID, CID
Art Consultants + Design

Here are the final five guidelines to put into your design practice:

6. Find green vendors. Find products and manufacturers that meet your green guidelines. Consider smaller firms and custom manufacturers who are traditional builders. Don’t forget to consider antiques and collectibles, as by using already-made items, you are recycling and eliminating a manufacturing process.

7. Start the process early. Attempt to be involved as early on in the project as possible so that you can broach the subject of sustainability at the onset, hopefully in the schematic design phase. Address the subject with the client, the architect, and the contractor.

8. A little education goes a long way. Green education can take many forms, from talking to clients about green solutions, to discussing green solutions with team members, to asking environmental consultants to conduct seminars with your contractors so that their tradespersons might learn new, healthier and better ways of doing things.

9. Build a network of collaborators. As you begin to work with an eye for sustainability, you will identify those architects, contractors, and others who are also interested in caring for the environment.

10. Share your solutions. Too often eco-friendly practices and information remain imbedded with individuals and offices rather than shared with peers and colleagues. Create an archive of green solutions that can be used intra- and inter-office, so that both interior designers and the profession can progress.