Sustainability. A hot topic of the moment right? And rightly so!
As professionals working in the design and building industry, we have a huge impact on sustainability of our environment. We are the people specifying materials and products for the spaces that surround us, therefore we determine how ecologically people interact with them. For this reason, sustainability should be an essential part of our approach in designing new spaces and we want to give you some tips on how you can begin to contribute to a more sustainable future…
1. Use non-toxic and non-polluting products. With an increasing variety of safe and chemical-free products now readily available on the market, you can choose from organic, hypoallergenic paint to materials and finishes that haven't been treated with pesticides and are kinder to our environment. Look out for labels, standards and certifications that give credible information about a products origin, to help you identify the most eco-friendly options.
2. Use energy-wise construction and design materials. Work with environmentally responsible materials that maximise energy efficiency, come from rapidly renewable sources, and save on water. Consider the lifespan of a material when specifying and create timeless spaces that will stand the test of time, without the need to be re-decorated/re-furbished every few years. Utilising products which are made from recycled waste is also a great way to help reduce the need for natural resources, minimising or eventually eliminating waste all together (we hope)!
3. Plan for energy-efficient lighting. By incorporating windows and skylights to maximise the use of daylight and minimise artificial light, you will help contribute to a more eco-friendly space. Where artificial lighting is needed, LED, halogen and compact fluorescent light bulbs save energy and last longer too.
4. Maximise the efficient use of space. Designing efficiently by creating multi-functional spaces can help keep the size of a building - and, therefore, the use of construction materials and other resources - to a minimum. Go minimal. Choose quality over quantity and avoid specifying products that don't serve a functional purpose within the space.
5. Reduce waste. Do this by using reclaimed or recycled materials and design for longevity. Furniture and decorative items can be re-purposed, re-finished or otherwise re-furbished to give them a new lease of life; rather than disposing of out-dated items and starting over. Create durable and adaptable spaces that stand the test of time, using as many of your existing resources as possible.
We hope that by considering these sustainable design principles, it will set you on the right foot to do your part in promoting sustainable interior design. We are the creators of the spaces we live in and should always demonstrate responsibility and be guided by design approaches that help take care of the environment and ourselves.
If you fancy learning more about how you can further contribute to making our planet a more cared for place, why not attend our next meet-up over in Manchester on November 28th 2019?! We'll be talking all things 'sustainability' with a prestigious guest speaker and we'll be highlighting some of our favourite sustainable interior and home-ware brands too! Tickets are selling fast - go and get yours now!