Metropolis Climate Toolkit for Interior Design

STUDIOS Helps Build Metropolis Magazine's Climate Toolkit for Interior Design

DATESeptember 03, 2021

How can the interior design industry make the best decisions to avert climate crisis and contribute to the wellbeing of generations to come? STUDIOS joined Metropolis Magazine and AEC sustainability leaders to help create the Climate Toolkit for Interior Design, a resource for creating low carbon spaces:

The toolkit is the result of Metropolis’ 2021 Sustainability Hackathon, including 12 topic-specific workshops with innovative design firms, clients, manufacturers, and professional organizations. Participants included: Justin Glover, AIA and Jay Austin from STUDIOS, FX Collaborative, Hastings, HOK, LMN Architects, LPA, MSR Design, Perkins & Will, Smith Group, Snohetta, SOM, WRNS Studio, ZGF, Facebook, Ford, LinkedIn, DPR Construction, CBRE, ASID, BIFMA, Cosentino, Designtex, Interface, Keilhauer, Signify, Universal Fibers, Dell Technologies, Material Bank, and the Carbon Leadership Forum.

The group did a deep dive into how our industry can address the climate crisis through interior design. One of the primary topics was embodied carbon, which is associated with creating, shipping, installing, and disposing of products. The workshops focused on how embodied carbon is playing an increasingly larger role as the operation of buildings decarbonizes over time due to electrification and an increasingly cleaner grid. Participants looked at how working with responsible products, materials, and manufacturers can impact carbon reduction in the atmosphere.

Product life cycles were also discussed as a significant part of interior refresh projects. The group considered the frequency of renovations in the industry, typically occurring every 3-10 years. New materials come in, and old materials go out--often to landfill. As a result, the toolkit focuses on how altering the cumulative effect of multiple renovations over time can impact carbon emissions. It offers strategies for planning responsibly for a project’s next life, assuming that all designs will be deconstructed in the future.

The toolkit offers information on carbon-neutral and carbon-negative products for interior designers. It also includes strategies on a range of subjects, including how to learn the language of carbon, how to tackle your next project, and how to talk with clients about decarbonization, to name a few. The “get help” section includes a list of resources that will be updated over time as new resources become available or existing ones are expanded.

The overall goal of this pioneering free online toolkit is to form partnerships and community around the challenge of climate change, as we all continue to learn and improve our individual practices. Coordinating our efforts as an industry can make a significant difference in how the building sector reduces global emissions and global warming. At STUDIOS, we are committed to doing our part for the planet, and for the next generations to come.