The Relevance of Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring to Green Interior Design

Green interior design gained official recognition in 1998 when the US Green Building Council set up Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to accredit green interior designers and to give clear guidelines on how homes, offices and other buildings can be made more environmentally friendly. LEED has developed 5 metrics for green interior design. Reclaimed hardwood flooring has relevance to at least three of these metrics.

The five stated purposes of green interior design are:

  • Reducing carbon emissions
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Conserving water
  • Improving indoor air quality
  • Carefully using natural resources and being mindful of their impact

Reclaimed hardwood flooring is made from hardwood that has been rescued and recycled. It comes from a diverse range of sources from landfill sites to waste from refurbishment jobs to the bottom of lakes and rivers. Often hardwood is taken from disused barns, forgotten fencing and abandoned mineshafts. Man’s economic activity has left us with an abundance of materials that can be recycled and unwanted hardwood is a great place to start. Using waste items to make flooring is not only a good example of sustainable flooring; it is also a great example of carefully using natural resources and thus has importance to the fifth stated metric of green interior design.

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Tags: green interior design, metrics, reducing carbon emissions, natural resources

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