LEED a View From the Office

By Mark Miller

Originally Posted in Office Furniture & Design Magazine Oct/Nov 2008 Edition

Could green be the new black? In commercial office buildings, things seem to be heading that way. As businesses seek to minimize their environmental footprint, create a healthier workplace for their employees and lower their operating costs, the office furniture industry is working to meet these new performance demands. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, has become the national standard by which a building and its commercial interiors are evaluated. While office furniture dealers will occasionally be involved in projects involving the standards for LEED for New Construction (NC), dealers are more likely to interact with customers interested in achieving certification under the LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI) rating system. LEED-CI has some additional furniture and furnishing-specific credits and provides office tenants the opportunity to make sustainable choices even if they don’t control the entire building.

Click here for the entire article: http://www.ofdmag.com/inFocusArticle.asp?id=2206&type=itex

Sustainable Furniture Council plans to revise standards

Orignally Posted on Heath E. Combs — Furniture Today, 7/29/2008


LAS VEGAS — The Sustainable Furniture Council plans to issue a revised set of standards this year and will focus on green product education efforts, officials with the organization said at its general meeting here Monday.

The SFC also is updating its Web site with a searchable database for green companies, said Executive Director Susan Inglis. The move is in response to the mass of inquiries it receives asking who makes green products.

As of this month, the SFC has 261 members. The organization, which rates product eco-friendliness, has certified five members to Silver Exemplary status and five others are seeking certification.

Education will continue as a focus this year, Inglis said.

At the general meeting, SFC member Holly Barbo of retailer Barbo Furniture in Bellingham, Wash., showed a video the company released titled, “It Can Be Easy Being Green,” which discusses furniture manufacturing.

The SFC is working on an educational package that stores can use to teach consumers, said Michael Hennessey, an SFC education committee member and CEO of Salt Lake City retailer C.G. Sparks. There is gap is between consumers’ enthusiasm about green and their understanding of basics such as what is renewable and what is recyclable, he said.

“I think there’s a commonality to the questions. People don’t know their foams are made of oil. They understand the concept but the not the finer points,” Hennessey said.

Lessons From WALL-E and AL

Originally Posted on www.interiordesign.net

July 21st 2008

One of best movies of the summer hasn’t a bit of traditional dialogue in it for the first 40 minutes yet its multiple messages are perfectly communicated.

WALL-E, from Pixar and Disney, is set on a derelict post-apocalyptic Earth that has been over-burdened with smog, heat and trash. A little robot and his cockroach sidekick are seemingly the only survivors while the humans have relocated to a sterile, Disney-esque space station. Love – between two machines – and a lone seedling eventually save civilization.

(Apologies if I’ve spoiled the ending but I find it hard to believe there’s anyone who doesn’t know going in that this tale will end happily. See: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, etc., etc.)

The-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it doomsday scenario is lovingly embellished with artifacts collected by Wall-E from our ruined civilization – a Rubix Cube, Zippo lighter, Christmas lights and, most charmingly, a snippet of tape from Hello Dolly – that he enjoys and so do we. It’s a poignant pleasure however, a reminder of all we have to lose.

The day after I saw WALL-E, Al Gore delivered his speech at Constitution Hall in Washington on renewable energy. See a highlights video or read the full text  in which Mr. Gore succinctly defined the problem  – “We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet.” Then he did what no politician has had the courage to do since JFK called upon the ingenuity and perseverance of our nation to land a man on the moon in 10 years.

Mr. Gore’s challenge is equally clear – a transition to 100% renewable clean electricity within 10 years. It’s doable, Gore insists. “The sun and the wind and geothermal are not going to run out, and we don’t have to export them from the Persian Gulf, and they are not increasing in price.”

It will take every bit of inventiveness and dedication that we, as a nation, can muster – from each one of us.
Wall-E did it. So can we.

Posted by Penny Bonda on July 21, 2008 |