What is Green Interior Design?
Green or eco-friendly interior design incorporates smart design, technology, construction and maintenance elements to significantly lessens the negative impact of the home, improving indoor air quality, reducing environmental impact furniture purchases have on home, and ultimately improving the health of the people who live inside.
Did you Know about Indoor Air Quality?
The Environmental Protection Agency has ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers and estimates most Americans spend about 90% of time indoors, where the quality of indoor air can be two to five times (and even up to 100 times) more polluted than the worst outside air. There has been an alarming increase in the number of children with severe allergies and asthma. The amount of children and young adults with severe allergies and asthma continues to climb every year. This has been linked to increasingly poor indoor air quality.
Falling Water Interior Designs Is LEED® Certified
Joanie McGrath is a LEED® Accredited Professional. (Leadership Energy Environmental Design). LEED® members have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building techniques, the LEED® Green Building Rating System and the certification process. The LEED® AP program is administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which was established with the support of USGBC to allow for objective, balanced management of the credentialing program.
Green Design Basics & Making the Right Choices
No matter your location or living situation, the opportunities for living a greener life at home are limited only by your imagination. By paying closer attention to the products you bring into the home, you can improve your indoor air quality and the health of your family.
What Are VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)?
These are carbon compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions, causing harmful off-gases to vaporize at normal room temperatures, and, potentially causing long term harmful health effects.
Interior Paint Decisions
Choose zero or low VOC paints for your home. Benjamin Moore’s Natura line, or Farrow and Ball are my favorite choices.
Wood Furniture & Cabinetry
Furniture and cabinetry made from solid wood such as bamboo, teak, maple, walnut and oak may require less adhesives and chemicals that have off-gassing characteristics that may affect indoor air quality. Furniture with the FSC seal of approval (Forest Stewardship Council) have successfully completed audits to ensure proper use of certified woods.
Upholstery, Carpet, and Rugs
Buy Organic and choose materials made from wool, cotton, linen, silk and forget the furniture, carpet and rugs made from products that can harm the environment. Natural fibers are obtained from nature such as plants, animals and minerals while synthetic ones are man-made fibers created by chemical processes. To keep the furniture an in good condition, manufacturers often require the use of potentially dangerous chemicals that can get into the air, such as flame retardant materials. The chemicals in these flame retardants have been linked to a wide range of health problems such as impaired fertility and IQ and developmental problems in children. Organic furniture is produced in a way that does not require all of these additives to make it look nice or to preserve it. Because this furniture is designed to last, buying organic furniture reduces waste. Also, organic manufacturers make an effort to reduce the use of other materials to store and keep the furniture safe, such as bubble wrap and Styrofoam.