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Sustainable Interior Design – Why Are Buildings Going Green?

All industries are aware of their social responsibility towards improving their environment. The manufacturing and construction sectors have joined in the quest for sustainability, following in the footsteps of the healthcare and food & beverage industries.

Numerous innovative eco-friendly technologies have taken the construction industry by storm.

Notably, the construction industry has seen a surge in smart glass usage not only because they are stylish, offer incredible privacy solutions, and are versatile, but primarily because of their sustainability.

With the insatiable need for the well-being of future generations, sustainable interior design is inevitable, and everyone’s rooting for it.

So, what is sustainable interior design? 

What Does Sustainable Interior Design Mean?

This is the process of adopting design practices that safeguard the environment, improving quality of life and overall individual well-being. 

Sustainable interior design starts with manufacturing companies taking a holistic approach to produce less harmful building and construction materials, among other things.

Manufacturing eco-friendly building materials, encouraging safe disposal of waste, recycling, and leveraging production processes that lessen pollution are some of the best practices the construction and manufacturing industry uses to preserve the environment. 

But it does not end here.

The community at large also has an integral part to play in the quest for sustainability. Individuals, especially homeowners, have a duty to create a safer world, and it starts with going green!

What exactly is going green?

Going green is taking deliberate responsible actions to be environmentally friendly. It is a conscious decision to adopt a responsible way of life by avoiding acts that harm the environment.

In this case, a green interior design is that which enhances energy efficiency, conserves resources, and promotes good health.

It means, for instance, choosing a smart film instead of tinting your windows when undertaking a home construction or remodeling project. It is also picking durable, energy-efficient home appliances, and using recyclable construction materials.

A natural and versatile building promoting sustainability. Source: switchonyourcreativity
A versatile and energy efficient building promotes sustainability. Source: switchonyourcreativity

5 Key Concepts of Sustainable Interior Design

Achieving a sustainable interior design is based on five key concepts, namely:

1. Minimizing Wastage

According to the EPA, Americans dispose of 12.2 million tons of furniture waste, of which 80% ends up in landfills. Landfills are notorious for producing greenhouse gases harmful to humans, animals, and the environment.

Minimizing waste during construction or renovations is an excellent way to accomplish a sustainable interior design.

That means following interior design trends that allow for recycling and the use of eco-friendly building materials. It is also of paramount importance for manufacturers to conduct life cycle assessments and only produce sustainable building materials.  

Besides, effectively using space is another superb way of going green. It keeps a room’s space to the minimum, reducing the number of building materials needed for the project.

Furniture waste awaiting collection. Source: rts
Furniture waste takes up a lot of landfill space. Source: rts

2. Energy Efficiency

High-energy consumption produces pollutants that are detrimental to us and the environment. Considering that buildings need a lot of energy, adopting an energy-efficient home or workplace is an excellent way to achieve a sustainable interior design. 

Windows are a must-have in residential and commercial buildings as they provide ventilation.

However, heat also escapes through them. In green interior design, architects and interior designers need to develop insulation strategies that promote energy efficiency. 

For instance, instead of installing a regular glass window, energy-saving smart glass offers thermal insulation benefits that significantly lower energy consumption.

Additionally, it brings in more natural light, minimizing the use of artificial lighting fixtures that consume energy.

3. Longevity

We live in a world where we are keen to hop on the next great modern interior design trend. Unfortunately, the desire to keep up with trends and move on to something ‘better’ has caused the longevity of our spaces to take a back seat. 

Prioritizing the durability of building materials is a crucial aspect of sustainable interior design.

It is a significant first step to minimize how frequently we dispose of appliances and other building materials. What designers need to do is create lasting spaces by using materials with proven durability.

Smart glass technology is one such innovative solution that will keep building owners content for years to come. It is a timeless application that offers unmatched flexibility and a host of functional benefits.

Such solutions that adapt to a building’s changing needs go a long way to suppress the need for renovations in the near future.

4. Versatility

The sustainability of an interior design also highly depends on the versatility of the materials and space.

So, how well do we use them?

Take the double glazed tempered smart glass, for example. This smart glass solution is ideal for various architectural projects.

It can be used to improve a room’s insulation and provide soundproofing benefits. As much as it allows natural light to seep into a room, its smart technology allows privacy at will with the flick of a button. 

What’s more, it has numerous applications, including windows, doors, skylights, outdoor fixtures, building facades, and many more.

A versatile workspace that is easily transformable. Source envirotechoffice
A versatile workspace is easily transformable. Source envirotechoffice

5. Natural 

Using non-toxic construction materials and purchasing eco-friendly decor pieces are vital. They go a long way in creating a natural space that promotes a healthier living and working environment. 

Leveraging daylighting architecture is one of the practices that aim to create an indoor environment with natural light. Installing large smart windows and adding skylights is one of the best ways to illuminate your indoor pace naturally.

Doing so also allows proper ventilation and minimizes the need for artificial lighting, which boosts energy efficiency.

Why Is Sustainability So Important and Why Are Buildings Going Green?

The number of green buildings is significantly increasing, and for good reasons. Here are some of the motivating factors that push for sustainable interior design. 

1. Health

The choice of building materials is crucial, as some of them produce volatile organic compounds (VOC). Some VOC sources include paint, wood preservatives, and furnishings. 

These hazardous emissions are detrimental to indoor air quality, which leads to adverse health conditions.

Some of the common health problems that result from inhaling VOCs include headaches, nausea, and irritation to the eyes, ears, and throat.

Over time, people might experience liver and kidney problems, cancer, as well as damage to the central nervous system.

However, by utilizing eco-friendly building materials, inhabitants remain safe from these toxins with both short-term and long-term repercussions.

A healthy working environment. Source: Medium
A healthy working environment is of utmost importance. Source: Medium

2. Environmental Impact

Did you know that greenhouse gases are at a record high and that buildings are responsible for 30% of these emissions?

Well, now you do!

Greenhouse gases have various effects on our environment, including extreme weather conditions and increased wildfires.

The current global warming effect has caused glaciers to melt, increased drought and precipitation, which is affecting humans and wildlife alike. It has also caused a strain on the use of shared resources like water and energy.

Using interior design sustainable materials helps reduce our carbon footprint. In addition, it slows down the increase in temperatures, minimizes the risk of extreme weather events like hurricanes, protects shared resources, and prevents ocean acidification—all of which work towards improving our overall well-being.

Greenhouse gases polluting the environment. Source: npr
Greenhouse gases pollute the environment. Source: npr

3. Future Generations

Living unsustainably comes with unfavourable consequences. The rate at which the climate is changing is alarming, and it is already affecting our quality of life.

So, what happens when these irresponsible trends continue for decades?

It is our duty to safeguard mother earth for not only our sake but that of future generations.

Otherwise, these unpleasant results of ignoring sustainability will only worsen and have more severe repercussions.

Adopting a sustainable interior design is one of the ways to protect our environment for younger generations. It is through producing durable building materials, conserving electricity, and using materials with fewer chemicals that we can ensure a better world.

As such, future generations can enjoy the myriad of benefits of going green.

The future generation. Source: lookoutmag
The future generation requires the resources of today. Source: lookoutmag 

4. Modern Architecture

Consumers are making a conscious decision to safeguard the environment. They want to lead a waste-free, energy-efficient, and healthier lifestyle.

Such a shift in purchasing behavior has encouraged more and more brands to adapt to sustainable living in order to appeal to this new breed of consumers.  

Sustainable living is a trend that has seeped into many industries, including healthcare, foods, and beverages, and now in building and construction.

Buildings going green is one way the industry is embracing an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

For instance, sustainable office interior design creates an eco-friendly workplace that boosts employee productivity. It also minimizes the need for frequent office expansions that produce additional waste and cause downtimes. 

Such perks are one of the reasons architects are keen on sustainability. As such, it has become a key aspect of modern architecture.

A sustainable modern building. Source: mymove
Modern architecture considers sustainability. Source: mymove

5. Increases Market Value

Various moving parts increase a home’s market value and going green sits atop.

Aspiring homeowners are on the lookout for homes that provide a comfortable living. Therefore, smart and energy-efficient homes will quickly pique the interest of buyers.

For instance, thanks to their insulation properties, lighting capabilities, and aesthetic appeal, buildings with a smart glass roof or smart glass skylights will have a better market price.

A highly-valued building. Source: loveproperty
Many highly valued buildings are sustainable. Source: loveproperty

Sustainability and Smart Glass in Interior Design Malaysia

Smart glass is a technology that accelerates environmental durability. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, its double glazing property offers privacy on demand.

But this is just the beginning.

A smart glass window is also energy efficient – one of the reasons why it is a sought-after application in commercial buildings. You can easily control the amount of light and heat entering a room, which notably reduces energy consumption.

Smart glass works on two primary principles. First, it will block out heat during the summer to avoid the unnecessary use of cooling aids.

During the colder seasons, it will minimize heat loss through the windows, decreasing the use of heating appliances.

These factors alone allow brands to be more environmentally compliant and to witness a decrease in energy costs. For these reasons, the number of construction experts using smart glass for building facades is steadily increasing.

Bottomline

Sustainable interior design is no longer a trend but a must-have for building owners.

Smart glass, in particular, is a sustainable application that allows you to promote a better environment while improving a space’s energy efficiency and offering privacy. As a result, it is an ideal smart glass Malaysia choice for commercial and residential spaces.

Contact Chiefway for more information.

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