The commitment to a sustainable, green lifestyle involves many aspects of a person’s life, including energy consumption, water use, and the types of foods you eat and how you prepare them. As more clients of Design Solution, Inc. move to reduce their environmental impact, we’ve adapted to offer sustainable kitchen design and sustainable bathroom design to support their lifestyle through practical, beautiful and green design.
What Makes a Kitchen or Bathroom Design Sustainable?
Sustainable or green design in kitchens and bathrooms can have a tremendous impact on your overall environmental impact. Because the kitchen typically uses the most energy of any room in the house, designing with conservation in mind here will drastically reduce your home’s use of resources.
- Energy Conservation – Use Energy Star rated appliances and choose the most energy efficient fuel source when possible. Minimize the need for air conditioning and heat in the room.
- Natural Lighting – Make use of windows and skylights to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Studies have shown that natural daylight improves our mood and productivity.
- Water Conservation – Water-saving plumbing fixtures such as low flow showerheads or dual flushing toilets can cut your water usage dramatically. Using inline hot water systems that heat water as needed, rather than keeping a continuously-heated storage tank, can cut energy use.
- Indoor Air Quality – Avoid using products and materials that put out that noxious gas or chemicals. Good ventilation, proper heating and air conditioning and acoustical comfort are priorities.
- Functionality & Aesthetic Timelessness – When your new design is classic and timeless in both form and function, it will last considerably longer before you feel the need to update.
Sustainable Products and Materials in Kitchen and Bathroom Design
In addition to designing for sustainability, it’s important to use materials and products in the design that are manufactured using environmentally-friendly practices. Standards for sustainability can range from government regulations to industry guidelines to third-party certification.
Green Kitchen Cabinets & Countertops
All of our cabinet lines subscribe to green practices and use environmentally-friendly materials. For the most green and sustainable cabinets, choose wood from companies following the Forest Stewardship Council requirements, and wood species with quick re-growth and agrifiber boards. For countertops, consider countertops made from recycled materials like glass tiles, or choose a sustainable wood countertop.
Attributes of Green or Sustainable Products
The more green or sustainable attributes from the list below, the greener or more sustainable the product.
- Promotes good indoor air quality.
- Durable and has low maintenance requirements
- Incorporates recycled content (post-consumer or post-industrial)
- Salvaged from existing or demolished buildings and is being reused
- Made from natural and renewable resources
- Has low ’embodied energy’ (energy required to produce and transport the materials)
- Can be readily recycled
- Is biodegradable
- Obtained from local resources and manufacturers
- For wood or bio-based products, employs “sustainable harvesting” practices
- Can be easily reused in whole or parts
- Does not contain highly toxic compounds and its production does not result in highly toxic byproducts.
For sustainable kitchen and bathroom design for clients in Ellicott City, Crownsville and throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, Design Solutions, Inc. is available to discuss your needs. We also provide sustainable design consulting from our second location in Cumberland and Western Maryland.