Biophilic Design – A Pathway to WELL Certification

David Gerson

I had the pleasure to visit ASID’s new HQ, the first space to receive both the WELL Platinum and LEED Platinum certifications. Becoming the first space to receive both the WELL Platinum and LEED Platinum certifications makes it truly one of a kind. ASID and Perkins+Will partnered to create an exceptional space that speaks to who they are and what they value. They wanted to be on the cutting edge of modern workspace design, but also create a space that was restorative to their people with minimal negative impact to the environment.

From the moment you walk in and are greeted by the virtual assistant at the front door, you know you are walking into the future. The new ASID National Headquarters was built as a living lab dedicated to creating a premier workspace for its employees, but also to study the effects of some of the key elements of that space that address human health and well-being.

ASID HQ

Evidence-based design strategies were applied to create a space that is pleasing to the human eye, but also scientifically proven to address a wide range of issues, from cardiovascular health to sustainable agriculture.

One of the requirements for achieving WELL certification for building interiors is the incorporation of biophilic design. The WELL Building Standard aspires to “create an interior environment that nurtures the human-nature connection.”

WELL’s Biophilia Precondition (#88) deals with “Nature Incorporation.” The first major infusion of biophilic design is present even before you enter the glass front doors. The striking Net Effect carpet has a color and pattern that resembles the ocean. Beyond the aesthetics, the carpet is also created with 100 percent recycled nylon, which is partially made from fishing nets recovered from environmentally-sensitive coastal communities in Asia and Africa through the Net-Works program.

ASID HQ

The vegetated plant ledge, which extends throughout the space, simply and efficiently brings greenery through almost every workspace in the office. The ledge provides the same benefits as a green wall, but is much easier to maintain. From the front conference room to the meeting space in the back corner, plants brighten employees’ day, while also cleaning the air they breathe.

ASID HQ

ASID HQ

Some other notable biophilic elements used in this space include a magnified pattern of dragonfly wings on the interior glass to provide some visual privacy, a unique design detail and a subtle biomorphic pattern to the space. Abstract water patterns on the conference room walls also provide beauty, vibrant colors and a connection to nature.

ASID HQ

I am thrilled to see ASID leading their constituency to embrace WELL, LEED and the rising movement towards evidence-based design strategies.

Biophilia is inherent to us as human beings, and biophilic design provides a framework for us to build exceptional spaces enabling us to thrive and do our best possible work.

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Climate Optimism in the Face of Political Change

Jay Gould

Today, Interface’s CEO Jay Gould shared a message with all global Interface employees encouraging Climate Optimism. We’ve decided to share that message with you here on the blog in the hopes that it will also inspire you, our blog readers, to continue to remain optimistic that together we can create a climate fit for life.

A Message from Jay Gould to All Interface Employees:
Climate Optimism in the Face of Political Change

Today, I’m writing to express my continued belief in Climate Optimism and our mission to create a climate fit for life. Despite today’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord, I believe the world has awoken to the very real threat of climate change. And, Interface has an important role to play in this new movement.

Candidly, I’m disappointed with the United States’ position, and we, as Interface, encouraged the Administration to stay in the Paris Accord. However, we know from our journey over the past 23 years that life-changing movements do not require governmental policies or mandates. Now we must shine our light that business can operate in a way that reverses global warming.

Climate experts believe we can reverse global warming. In a recent survey, 95% of climate experts from around the world think our mission, Climate Take Back, is possible and provided examples of where and how this is already happening. Interface must be the voice of optimism to unleash human ingenuity in finding meaningful solutions.

95% of climate experts

Last week in London, Interface unveiled a first-of-its-kind prototype “carbon negative” carpet tile. Our “Proof Positive” carpet tile demonstrates how our material usage and manufacturing practices store more carbon dioxide than if it had not been manufactured. While still in prototype phase, this product indicates what is possible with Climate Take Back.

For nearly 25 years, Interface has pioneered the sustainability movement. Well, we need to step up once again, because now doing no harm is simply not enough. Please engage in our new mission, Climate Take Back. Become the voice of Climate Optimism in your community and in your work.

Jay

Jay Gould
CEO
Interface, Inc.

Posted in Category Sustainability | Leave a comment

CARE Names Interface Recycler of the Year 2016

Interface

At Interface, we understand that our carpet’s journey does not end once manufacturing and installation is complete. Ever since our Founder Ray Anderson adopted his bold vision for recycling and sustainability in 1994, we’ve been leading the charge to stem the large amounts of waste historically created by our industry. It’s this vision, along with our ReEntry program, that resulted in Interface being named the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) 2016 Recycler of the Year.

While many companies have made sustainability a part of their business, at Interface, it’s woven into the fabric of our company and everything we do. With the development of our ReEntry program back in 1994, Interface was the first manufacturer to implement a process for the clean separation of carpet fiber from backing on modular carpet tiles.

ReEntry

According to CARE Chairman of the Board Brendan McSheehy, “There are the few that take leadership roles in promoting recycling and disposal avoidance. Beyond this, there are even fewer that hold to that leadership through thick and thin – and in the face of several years of reduced oil and virgin polymer pricing, Interface’s continued commitment has never been more challenging or more worthy of recognition as CARE Recycler of the Year.”

Since 1995, Interface has reclaimed more than 309 million pounds of carpet. As part of our ReEntry program, we reclaim used carpet, which is collected at our LaGrange, Georgia facility and is then converted into new products. Our recycling initiatives continue to grow, keeping valuable materials out of the landfill while supporting our goal to end our dependence on oil and produce products from 100 percent recycled or rapidly renewable materials.

More About CARE
Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a voluntary, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the landfill diversion, reuse and recycling of waste carpet, through market-based solutions that benefit the economy as well as the environment.   Since 2002, CARE has diverted more than 4.6 billion pounds of carpet from landfills in the United States and promoted the use and development of products containing materials derived from carpet. CARE members include independent carpet recyclers, carpet manufacturers, dealers, retailers and suppliers and non-governmental organizations. For more information about CARE, visit carpetrecovery.org.

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Digging Deeper on Climate Take Back

Erin Meezan

On the April 6 ISSP webinar we participated in with Rick Ridgeway, of Patagonia, and John Tran, of Unilever, we spoke a little about our latest ambitious sustainability mission, Climate Take Back, which aims to move to do more than no harm and actually work toward reversing global warming.

One of the questions we received from audience members on the webinar was in regards to the main challenges we’re currently facing in implementing Climate Take Back. For one, this bold new mission will require us to build a framework and a map where none exists to achieve our goals. So, we’re relying on climate leaders and others to help us understand the path forward. We’ve created a framework that we think provides a good start.

Climate Take Back

  1. Live Zero: Continue our efforts towards having no negative impact on the Earth. We plan to take only what can be replaced.
  2. Love Carbon: Start using carbon as a resource. We plan to have products that capture carbon and processes that sequester carbon.
  3. Let Nature Cool: Support our biosphere’s ability to regulate the climate. We plan to convert our facilities to act like positive members of their local bio-economies.
  4. Lead Industrial Re-revolution: Transform industry into a force for climate progress. In today’s political arena, industry can lead the way. We plan to demonstrate that doing the right thing creates superior value.

Now, we have to build out the strategy to achieve these four key areas and define how we’ll measure progress.

We also know that to achieve our goal of creating a climate fit for life, we will need to not only make changes in our business, we will need to encourage, engage and equip other businesses and institutions to adopt a similar mission. This is perhaps the larger challenge. We must mobilize other companies to create a climate fit for life. The encouraging news is that other corporations have similar bold ambitions on climate (i.e. H&M’s H&M Climate Positive), and we believe we can collaborate with this growing number of organizations.

whatisbeautifulthinking-2-350x575

In order for us to achieve our mission of creating a climate fit for life, we need other businesses to join. We’re still in the early stages for creating a tactical plan, but we welcome feedback on our four key strategies listed above. We’ll share more insights and launch an online network for Climate Take Back collaboration in the coming months.

To stay up to date on our progress and join the cause, sign up here.

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A Love Letter to Nature

Interface

Dear Nature,

We didn’t always love you the way we do now. In fact for our first 21 years, we didn’t even realize how intrinsically we were connected to you. We didn’t know that our every action affects you. But then we were awakened, and we fell so deeply in love with you that others called us crazy. And our love for you transformed every aspect of ourselves – how we operate, how we make decisions – even our purpose. After all, how can a business be successful if it is harming you, the source of our life support system?

clouds in nature

Nature, do you remember the first time we came seeking your inspiration? We put aside our brash belief that we could solve every problem by ourselves, and we asked for your guidance. Admiring the beautiful and chaotic floors of your forests and meadows, we let go of our need to make every tile identical, and we embraced the untapped power of diversity. The world loved your innovative solution too.

Now here we are, decades into our love affair, and we are still learning from you—how your patterns can heal us, how your models can guide us. And we believe that reconnecting with our love for you will not only lead us to more circular systems, but also help us become healthier and more productive too. How amazing to learn that spending time with you, or in spaces designed to be evocative of you, may result in reduced stress levels, faster healing rates, and improved cognitive functioning!

room with nature light

We are finally learning from your generosity and asking ourselves what it would mean for us to be generous too. How could we contribute to spaces that facilitate wellbeing? How could our factories replenish your ecosystems? We are striving to be more like you and know we need your guidance now more than ever.

With love,
Interface

Posted in Category Biomimicry, Biophilic Design, Culture & Play | Leave a comment