Creating beautiful spaces that are environmentally friendly and help provide a healthy space for inhabitants is a vital component of architecture and interior design.
Inspiring, innovative interior aesthetics and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive. Follow these five tips to select sustainable interior pieces for any interior space.
1. Specify pieces that emit low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to help improve Indoor Air Quality. Look for floor coverings that are certified by CRI Green Label Plus, which test carpet, cushions, and adhesives to help specifiers identify products with very low VOC emissions.
Products that are SMaRT certified are required to be PVC free. According to SMaRT, the certification is the world's leading sustainable product standard and label approved by credit by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program globally, the Canada Green Building Council, and the Australia and New Zealand Green Building Councils.
2. Use Health Product Declarations (HPDs) to make accurate comparisons of the components of building products. These documents provide clear transparency into what is used to create a product, and will denote components in the case that any are harmful to human health.
3. Reference Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to make accurate comparisons of the environmental impact of a product over the product's entire life cycle. EPDs act like a Nutrition Label for building products and include environmental concerns.
4. Look for Declare transparency labels, which reviews product components against a strict list of hazardous or "Red List" materials. The labels name products as either declared, Red List compliant, or Red List free. According to Eco-Building Pulse, Red List chemicals and components include asbestos, cadmium, chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene, chlorofluorocarbons, chloroprene (neoprene), formaldehyde (added), and a known carcinogen, halogenated flame retardants, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, lead (added), mercury, petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides, phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and wood treatments containing creosote, arsenic, or pentachlorophenol.
5. Look for ethical product manufacturers who are environmental stewards and take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint. The sustainability of a product is more than the individual product itself. It encompasses a company's manufacturing practices, environmental policies, and ethical standards as well as the environmental and health aspects of the components, longevity, and renewability of the products themselves.
To learn more about Milliken's efforts to be an environmentally friendly manufacturer of sustainable floor coverings, visit our website.