The Bloom Awards

April 3, 2009

How do you know if a product is truly green? The 2009 Bloom Awards honors products that embody both aesthetics and environmental responsibility.

How do you know if a product is truly green? This question has been “blooming” everywhere since interest in sustainable design has taken root firmly in the architecture and design fields. The problem is that it’s not an easy question to answer, as products tend to have many shades of green and—depending on who you ask—may not be “green” at all.

First Place Winners

FLOORING: ReFresh Fiber by Universal Fibers

TEXTILES: Black & White by Momentum Group

LIGHTING: LED Advantus by Visa Lighting

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS: EcoTop by Klip Biotechnologies

FURNITURE: Synapse Chair by Teknion

Honorable Mention

FURNITURE: Greenplay by Skyline Design

Recognizing the need to provide designers with resources to help them identify and specify green products, Interiors & Sources magazine, in partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), introduced the 2009 Bloom Awards, an annual awards program honoring products that embody both aesthetics and environmental responsibility. A distinguished panel of judges—including Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, ASID, CID, LEED AP, and partner at Studio 2030; Elaine Aye, IIDA, ASID, LEED AP and principal of Green Building Services Inc.; and Tim Schelfe, ASID, principal of Schelfe and Associates—reviewed dozens of entries in each of five categories (Furniture, Flooring, Lighting, Textiles, and Innovative Materials) against stringent criteria, including:

  • the extent to which the product is environmentally innovative and aesthetically pleasing;
  • how the product promotes sustainability, including, but not limited to, energy savings, recycled content, recyclability, Life Cycle Assessments, and end-of-life management;
  • materials selection within the manufacturing process (such as substitution of hazardous and toxic chemicals for those that are less harmful);
  • resource efficiency within the manufacturing process (particularly water and energy use);
  • recycling and waste management within the manufacturing process;
  • recycling and waste management after the product has completed its life-cycle.

“The opportunity to view so many Bloom product entries was inspiring and encouraging,” said Schoessler Lynn. “There are no more excuses that environmentally friendly products are not available—they are here! And I suspect many more are in the making.”

“Manufacturers carry a huge responsibility to address their product design as it relates to the triple bottom line, [people, planet, profit],” explained Aye. “The manufacturing of materials and products addresses many issues, from resource extraction, the manufacturing processes itself, shipping, installation, durability, and end-of-life issues. It is refreshing and encouraging to see that manufacturers and product designers are beginning to address these necessary steps in the design of their products as it relates to sustainability.”

We hope more products like these continue to blossom in the commercial interiors market.

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