Energy Efficient- All equipment and appliances should be as efficient
When specifying appliances it is important to determine which will be the most
effective for a specific use. The creative application of equipment such as
computers, telephone automation systems, PC networks, and copiers reduces space
requirements and increases efficiency by limiting the need for paper flow or personal
meetings. Before purchasing any electrical equipment or appliances, look for their
energy efficiency ratings and estimated annual operating costs.
Natural or Recycled- It will be difficult to locate appliances
that have been created with natural materials, however attempts should be made to recycle
or reuse appliances that have already been used.
Raw Materials Acquisition- Recyclability and recycling of materials is
essential and provisions should be made for the reuse of all products by the
Raw Materials Processing and Manufacturing- Avoid using
appliances that require high amount of embodied energy to build and create a potential
environmental desecration through the chemical production, and transportation of
them. Criteria for materials should be set to conserve resources. Questions
such as: Is it needed? Is there a substitute with lower mass and/or lower embodied
Product Distribution- Use appliances that have been manufactured
locally in an "sustaining" manner, to avoid environmental impacts of
transportation. It reduces the embodied energy use because materials do not need to
be transported over long distances; it helps support local economies; it ensures
climatically appropriate solutions for that region; and it expresses the culture of the
No / Low Emissions- Look for products that do not pollute
the air inside the building, or at least produce less pollution than conventional
products. Toxicity of materials should be carefully reviewed to protect indoor air
quality and the employees from suffering from off-gassing effects. Consult all MSDS
sheets in order to determine presence of harmful chemicals in products, paying particular
attention to exposure limits and known medical hazards.
Disposal & Renewability- Attempts should be made to use recyclable
or biodegradable appliances.
-Consult IAQ Spec List for manufacturers and product test results
Air Quality Sciences, Inc. Atlanta, GA
-Consult MSDS sheets for all materials
Case Studies to Research:
The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
Primer on Sustainable Building
Rocky Mountain Institute
The Green Pages: The Contract Interior Designer's Guide to Environmentally
Responsible Products and Materials.
Kim Nadel, C.I.D. & Andrew Fuston, Co-Authors, 399 4th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215.
Interior Concerns Resource Guide by
Victoria Schomer 131 W. Blithedale, Mill Valley, CA 94941.
Oikos: Green Building Source
Global Environmental Options
Environlink's Internet Green Marketplace
Energy Efficient Environments, Inc.
Real Goods Trading Company: Real Goods Catalog
University, December, 1998