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Sustainable Design is in the Details  

 In today’s business landscape, environmentally designed workspaces are quickly becoming the norm as younger generations step into more managerial roles and begin to transform the business environment to align with their personal ideologies. And what’s often a top priority for our next generation of executives? You’ve got it – green initiatives.

For interior designers, project managers or business leaders looking to stay ahead of the curve and help grow their brand, reputation and bottom line through sustainability, here are some simple tips to consider:

 Integrate Sustainable Wood

 The Australian Government has implemented a Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Australian Forest Standard (AFS) to ensure true sustainable forest management practices to protect the 400,000 hectares of Australian forests.

When considering wood based furniture like desking or common room tables, opting for FSC or AFS certified products ensures you are sourcing your design solutions from a sustainably managed forest. Now that’s a breath of fresh air!

Choose Furniture Solutions with Low VOC Foam

What are VOCs? Good question! Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a family of harmful which can be released into indoor air from a number of sources, including workplace furniture (flame retardants and formaldehyde being quite common). While some VOCs are more toxic than others, the health risks associated will depend on the levels you are exposed to, the length of time you are exposed, and your individual sensitivity to toxicity.

Considering the fact that the workplace has become a second home to employees and executive’s alike, introducing low VOC furniture into your workspace will be an instrumental step towards driving a greener and healthier work environment.

Martindale Count

The Martindale test is a measure of the durability of a fabric. The tests are undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses – whether this be to ensure longevity for your home or small-business or commercial furniture solutions. The test is also known as the ‘rub test’ and essentially tests for abrasion resistance.

Essentially, the Martindale test involves rubbing a piece of worsted wool cloth in a circular motion on a flat mounted fabric sample. The number of cycles the test fabric can withstand before showing a change in appearance (such as thread breakage or pilling) is its abrasion rating. At the beginning of the test checks are made every 1,000 cycles, and if no wear is apparent, the fabric is put through another 1,000 rub cycle, and so forth. Here is a basic breakdown of what the Martindale count means in terms of the durability of your furniture solutions:

  • Light use: 6000 – 9000 double rubs
  • Medium use: 9000 – 30,000 double rubs
  • Heavy use: 30,000+ double rubs

Depending on your design needs, a high Martindale count can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact and getting the most out of your budget.

Whether you are own and operate a small business, or manage a major enterprise operation – supporting green initiatives is easier than you think. All it takes is a little information, and a firm commitment to growing a healthier planet, by building a sustainable workplace.

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