Thursday, February 4, 2016
posted by Kate
The first word that comes to mind when thinking about sustainable design in 2016 is versatility. As a firm we specialize in sustainable design, yet our interiors aren’t stereotypically “green”. Our resource rooms are chocked full of locally sourced products, green textiles, recycled glass tiles, and reclaimed wood yet you would never know unless you read all the labels. Green manufactured products look just as good as traditionally manufactured products and often times, they outperform. We use green products in historic renovations as well as new construction because of the range of options and their versatility to fit any design style, from eclectic to artisan to modern. We love the ability to create gorgeous spaces that also happen to be green!
Being a sustainable designer means wearing many hats. You are a researcher, always seeking new products in a rapidly changing industry that give the right look yet are manufactured responsibly. You are an engineer, combining products to increase efficiency and create innovative solutions. You are an educator, taking your research and innovations to work collaboratively with contractors, and clients. Lastly, you are a psychologist, working within the built environment to create beautiful, healthy, positive spaces.
We see sustainable design as an evolving understanding of practices and techniques we can use to better serve our clients and the environment. To us, it is staggering that in 2015 the built environment continued to account for 30-40% of human impact on the planet. While our work is specifically interior design, we see ourselves as part of the equation that can limit the effect our interiors have on the environment. We strongly support historic preservation and historic remodels and completely adore whole house renovations that push us to reconfigure the floor plan to work for today’s modern family, while working within the original footprint of the home. To us, preserving and enhancing what is already there makes sense.
BHD’s mission is to help our client’s balance their homes overall environmental friendliness and efficiency with visually pleasing designs. Some might ask how will my project be influenced if I work with a sustainable design firm. Will it cost more? Will my project get LEED certification? Will it be 100% organic? Will my project look “sustainable”? All these questions get to the heart of what it means to be a sustainable designer and an experienced sustainable designer can help answer all these questions for you.
In 2016, sustainable design is no longer a small niche market. Every year we see more and more companies switch their manufacturing techniques from the traditional heat / burn / treat method to green chemistry. There is more transparency for how products are made, with some companies offering anything from full Life Cycle Analysis, Green Guard Certified. or percent recycled content. Designers, builders, contractors, and architects work in tandem to create integrated systems for the home that ensure the house is energy efficient and low-impact.
Interior design can have a substantial impact on the health of your home and the overall longevity of the planet. As designers we recognize the direct correlation between green house gases, the heat island effect, and climate change. We also know the importance of removing toxins from interior environments and the importance of restoring the connection between the natural world and interiors. We are proud of our commitment to bringing elements of sustainable design to all our clients. Call us when you are ready to get started on your own project!