How Systems Furniture Contributes to LEED Certification
The U.S. Green Building Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.
The Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system is a third party certification program and
the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
"Business owners moving into new facilities or remodeling existing facilities can take proactive steps to achieving the coveted LEED designation," says Mark Bassil, vice president and co-founder of systems furniture manufacturer MAiSPACE, based in Mt. Olive, NJ. "One way to gain points is to move into a LEED certified building or one offering characteristics that qualify for points. A step more under the business owner's control is specifying eco-friendly office furnishings."
As described by the USGBC, LEED for Commercial Interiors is the green benchmark for the tenant improvement market. It is the recognized system for certifying
high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental
footprint. LEED for Commercial Interiors gives the power to make sustainable choices to tenants and designers, who do not always have control over whole
According to Bassil, sleek, sophisticated modular office interiors from MAiSPACE may qualify for points under several classifications found in the LEED checklist for commercial interiors. Examples include:
- Resource reuse in non-structural components: Stackable panel systems, furniture, storage, seating and work surface products are designed to facilitate
moves, adds and changes (MACs) as business needs evolve. Components that no longer are required including the MAiSPACE plug and play voice, data and power
cabling can be stored for use later or sold to other users.
- Construction Waste Management: MAiSPACE reduces packaging refuse by offering 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 MAiSPACE uses recycled materials in the construction of its rugged steel and aluminum
structural components. Fabrics are available in recycled polyesters that are free of heavy metals (such as antimony), chlorine and PBTs so they can be
safely and perpetually recycled and re-manufactured in a closed loop system. PET Is used for padding in snap-off panels. In short, all components are
fully recyclable at the end of their useful life.
- Low emitting materials: MAiSPACE is GREENGUARD® Certified to meet emission standards for indoor air quality. The company subscribes to EPA requirements
that work surface substrates are manufactured from non-wood agricultural fiber, that water- or bio-based glues be used, and that manufacturers use 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.
- Daylight and views: Sliding glass doors and stackable clear, frosted or patterned glass panels let in natural light.
The GREENGUARD® Environmental Institute
"As noted, we are authorized to display the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified mark on our modular office furniture system products," Bassil says "This indicates that a GREENGUARD Environmental Institute-approved laboratory has tested and evaluated representative components of our products as well as complete products. Certification means that our products meet GREENGUARD Emission Standards for indoor air quality."
MAiSPACE has always incorporated green office guidelines and eco-friendly materials and processes used to manufacture its line of modular office furniture systems. "In addition to our GREENGUARD certification, we follow a 'cradle to cradle' process that focuses on manufacturing products out of parts that can be recycled several times and produced using the least environmentally harmful methods," Bassil says.
Affordable Green in High Style
Nowhere will you find more beautifully styled, ergonomically correct, technology packed and ruggedly constructed office furniture systems at price points as attractive as in the MAiSPACE line. Cold rolled steel framing supports snap-on, snap-off tiles and houses a plug-and play voice, data and power cabling system that sets the industry standard in terms of installation ease and handling subsequent office floor plan reconfigurations. An extensive variety of colors and textures in trim and tile choices satisfies the most discriminating interior designer. Tables, work surfaces, seating and storage units are other components of the product line.
"We always look to improve our purchasing, design, production, shipping and installation activities with the aim of further protecting the environment," Bassil says. "But our environmental stewardship does not impact the cost of our products to our customers, and indeed in some instances contributes to reduced costs. Along with our approach to designing and manufacturing modular office furniture systems it enables us to offer our products at price points average 40% below some of the best known names in the industry. This means our environmentally friendly solutions are available and ready to move in starting at $12 to $15 per square foot independent of the number of units ordered."