Now in its 10th year the United States Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards define a building’s energy efficiency and, as importantly, low-impact and nontoxic construction guidelines. The project checklist for indoor environmental quality under the new construction and major renovation category can total up to 16 points toward the 40 to 49 points needed for basic LEED Certification. The highest rating, Platinum, requires 80 to 110 points among the total of 8 checklists in the category.
A complimentary classification is the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s Indoor Air Quality Certification. Their indoor air quality standards are among the most stringent in the world and are based on available standards and guidelines from national and international public health agencies.
This post looks at these certifications in relation to demountable wall systems and modular office furniture systems
Daylight, acoustic performance and the use of low-emitting materials are awarded 7 of the 16 points on the LEED indoor environmental quality checklist. GREENGUARD certification calls for products that contain no toxic materials or that release dangerous gases into the air (i.e. no off gassing).
How Demountable Glass and Dividing Walls Qualify
Demountable glass walls are unsurpassed as a means of extending the reach of outside light deep into the workplace, thus helping to score LEED points. Also noteworthy, natural lighting is recognized as a contributing to workers’ better health, reducing the feeling of isolation, and improving productivity. When properly placed in the workplace demountable glass walls can make many if not all interior workspaces a “window office” with a view to the outside world. ALUR demountable ½” tempered glass walls also contribute to acoustic performance or sound management and privacy due to their 36 STC (sound transmission class) rating. This means normal conversations cannot be understood through the glass.
Acoustic performance is further supported by ALUR demountable dividing walls, which are 3.5 inches thick and carry an impressive 42 STC rating. These walls are used to define the boundaries and function of private offices and conference rooms, and can be seamlessly integrated with ALUR glass walls. Horizontal configurations support office furniture elements as well as AV screens, tackboards, whiteboards, and paper management bins and shelves. Vertical configurations are used for applications including separating workstations, constructing conference areas and finishing off a run of individual offices.
Glass and the anodized aluminum framing used to construct and support ALUR walls are emission free materials. Dividing wall panels are also available with low emitting materials to reduce off gassing. These properties contribute to both LEED and GREENGARD certification.
Office Furniture Systems
The ALUR Wall System is designed to compliment office furniture systems by the major brands as well as MAI’s own brand of high quality office furniture. Products include workstations, private office furniture, and free-standing tables for conference rooms and collaboration areas. These products are GREENGUARD certified and further contribute to LEED points.
Other Contributors to LEED and GEENGUARD Certification
Modular office components may qualify for points under several classifications found in the LEED checklist for commercial interiors. Examples include:
- Resource reuse for non-structural components designed to facilitate moves, adds and changes (MACs) as business needs evolve. Components that are no longer needed can be stored for use later or sold to other users.
- Construction Waste Management: This LEED Materials Resource category is satisfied by bulk packaging and alternatives to traditional corrugated and Styrofoam materials. Cartonless techniques and minimal packaging for truckload orders are other eco-friendly shipping practices.
- Resource reuse in furnishings and fixtures: Wherever possible recycled materials are used in the construction of rugged steel and aluminum structural components. Fabrics are available in recycled materials that are free of heavy metals such as antimony, chlorine and PBT thermoplastic so they can be safely and perpetually recycled and re-manufactured in a closed loop system. 100% post consumer PET Is used for acoustical panels. In short, all components are fully recyclable at the end of their useful life.
- EPA requirements include worksurface substrates manufactured from non-wood agricultural fiber, the use of water- or bio-based glues, and using non-toxic dyes and recycled materials in tiles and panels. Further environmental and cost-saving benefits accrue because panels and other components are colored using powder coating techniques rather than spray painting.
- “Cradle to cradle” processes focusing on manufacturing products out of parts that can be recycled several times and produced using the least environmentally harmful methods.
Unsurpassed Quality, Sophisticated Design, Environmentally Friendly
ALUR demountable glass and dividing walls together with a broad range of office furniture options provide businesses, building owners and landlords with outstanding opportunities to create offices that are both environmentally friendly and beautiful. Office ambiance is becoming increasingly important to recruit and retain environmentally conscious and highly qualified personnel critical to supporting technologically intensive businesses, and to attracting customers.
Contact Mark Bassil for more information on how demountable glass and dividing walls, and selecting environmentally friendly office furniture helps your facility or business achieve LEED and GREENGUARD certifications.