Workplace Design Principles

A starting point for an evidenced-based design process

Important Environmental Considerations- when selecting materials January 29, 2009

Identifying the Origin of a Material helps you gain valuable background knowledge and help to know what to expect during the selection process, if it’s a renew-able resource, and projected lead times.   


“Safety in use can encompass indoor air quality and emissions as well as chemical optimization to assess for human and environmental health.” Dose it emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) or does it have a low level of VOC emissions?


Product life Cycle should be a consideration as well as if the manufacture offers a take-back program.  What will happen to it at the end of life cycle is it biodegradable or recyclable, or will it end up in a landfill? 



  environmental design
  extreme performance

Low Emitting, Alternative To PVC, Useful Life, Reutilization



  environmental design
(C2C Gold certified)

Part of “the new Climatex® Lifecycle™ upholsteries (also C2C Gold) utilize new technological advancements to creating a fabrics with a luxurious hand and superior draping qualities”

  environmental design

(polyester resin panels)

60.00% PETG

Useful Life, Reutilization, Green Guard, Recycled Content, Low Emitting Reclamation Program

Posted By Kate Blanchfield





IEQ v. IAQ (Indoor Environmental Quality v. Indoor Air Quality)

Filed under: ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES,Indoor Air Quality,Interior Finish Materials — ia2studio @ 8:38 pm
Tags: ,

The term indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and indoor air quality (IEQ) are often confused.  The basic difference between the two is that IEQ refers to the environment that exists inside a building such as the concentration of CO2 gases, the thermal conditions, moisture and dampness (Kumar 2002).  Whereas IAQ is strictly, “a function of the interaction of contaminant sources and the effectiveness of ventilation utilized to dilute and remove air contaminants”(Bearg 2008). 

Major interior design decisions that impact indoor air quality may include:

·          Using a solid surface flooring instead of carpet

o    Carpets can capture and retain dust, dander and other particulate air contaminants

·         Antimicrobial coatings for surface disinfection

o    Can reduce contaminates in the air

·         Dehumidifiers

o    Control mold-growth and airborne allergens


Bearg, D. W. (2008). Measuring IAQ Parameters. Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering. 80(8), 24-8.

Posted by Bret


V.O.C.s in Workplace Design: Environmental Issues January 28, 2009

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are harmful chemicals that are released into the air through invisible vapors.  Many typical interior materials and products that most people do not typically consider a threat are due to the amounts of VOCs they release on a daily basis.  VOCs decrease the indoor air quality and are a common cause for many illnesses.  It is important for designers to control the air in interior environments, it is nearly impossible to control exterior air conditions.  A few common interior material containing VOCs are paint, carpeting, and glues or adhesives.  All three of these materials do have alternatives with low VOC amounts.  Many manufacturers are now providing low VOC paints, and low VOC adhesive carpet and floorings. 

Posted By: Nicole Calhoun

Sources of common VOCs:

“Common VOCs and VOC Sources.” Volatile Organic Compounds. 27 Jan 2009 <;.

Low VOC Paints:

“Dow Biocides.” Dow. The Dow Chemical Company . 27 Jan 2009 <;.

Low VOC adhesives:

“Adhesives”.  Green Floors. 27 Jan 2009


Flooring for Wheelchairs: Rolling Resistance Test Findings January 22, 2009

Filed under: Interior Finish Materials,Uncategorized — ia2studio @ 8:23 pm

In the field study in the rehabilitation center, tiles and tarpaulin had the lowest rolling resistance, while high piled carpet had the highest values. It is concluded that the wheelchair pushing method described in this study is usable for the determination that there are (relative) differences in rolling resistance of different floor materials if performed under standardized conditions and procedures…

Geurts , C. and LHV van der Woude. “Measurement of wheelchair rolling resistance with a handle bar push technique .” Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 27. 6 November 2003. 249-58. 22 Jan 2009

Posted By: Kate Blanchfield