Tag Archives: Sustainability

2nd Annual NetZero Energy Building Conference


Join Mohawk Group at the Net Zero Energy Building Conference on Friday, August 21st from 8:30am to noon at the Southern California Edison Energy Education Center. This event is presented by Verdical Group and supported by the SoCal Gas Company.

Kelsey Myatt, Industry IIDA
Mohawk Group

California Carpet Culture

Behind our shiny Los Angeles locale, Bentley is a brand firmly rooted in our environmental California culture. We are proud to operate in a state with a strong stance on environmental stewardship, and among California’s constituents, businesses, and communities, there is an overall consensus to do the right thing for people and the planet. The state of California has the most rigorous sustainable manufacturing standards in the nation, practices we as a company whole-heartedly embrace.


Since 1994, Bentley has been measuring, evaluating, and optimizing our manufacturing process and resource metrics at our facility. The life cycle approach we take to evaluating our sustainability performance has demonstrated that 80% or more of the impacts our products have on the environmental stem from the production stage. With this insight, we focus our attention on the manufacturing processes and selection of input materials, because you can’t make green product in a brown environment. If you can make the manufacturing process cleaner and more efficient, you can make carpet green all the way around.

To put this philosophy into action, we re-certified our manufacturing plant last year to LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations Maintenance at the Gold level. To date, Bentley’s facility is the industry’s only LEED-certified carpet manufacturing plant.


Moreover, we are looking more closely at the materials we source and utilizing components from companies that are demonstrating environmental consciousness. For example, we continue to use Antron® Lumena™ type 6,6 nylon, a certified environmentally preferable fiber. We are also pleased to have vendors like Styron who have a focus on renewable energy. Continuing to identify ways to produce product more sustainably is leading our goal products that cause zero-impact.

Our sustainability efforts also include ensuring our customers understand and feel confident about the material health of our products. We are proud to continue to offer tile and broadloom that are free of PVC and other chemicals of concern found in material red lists. This was one of the key reasons we underwent Cradle to Cradle certification in 2013. The intent of this certification, coupled with our sustainable manufacturing philosophies as a California company, lends itself to the continual optimization of the material health and reutilization of our products.


As members of a materials-intensive industry, Bentley’s goal is to ensure that each facet of the environment we touch continues to grow and thrive, while our company grows and thrives within it. To see us live in action, we invite IIDA SoCal designers to visit us in City of Industry to tour our mill. For more information or to schedule a tour for your firm, visit us on the web at www.BentleyMills.com or call 800.423.4709.

Cameron Grimsley

Interview with Pam Neiman, IIDA, CID, President IIDA So Cal

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting newly installed IIDA Southern California Chapter President Pam Neiman, IIDA, CID and principal of Neiman Studio.  I asked Pam questions to discover her point of view about business and our industry, her vision and goals for IIDA during her watch, and what it is about her own work she finds most satisfying. What I discovered is that Pam’s vision for our organization closely parallels her values and experience in business in very significant ways.

Q: What is the underlying theme you’d like to see throughout IIDA programming in the coming year?

A: “We’re a part of a dynamic International organization, and we have the opportunity to tailor our programs to the needs and interests of our local members.”  Pam states SoCal’s mission: “IIDA is the voice of interior design. We serve our members, our profession and the public through education, advocacy, and outreach”. By focusing on professional member engagement and taking a participatory leadership role, Pam believes that design leaders have the opportunity to tap into their own passion for our business, and use it to inspire their partners and designers to become more involved by both attending and participating in the leadership and planning of events with colleagues, vendors and other industry professionals.

Pam believes that when leaders (whether in business or within the IIDA itself) become involved, mentor and inspire others to collaborate and find creative solutions to the issues we commonly face, then we “connect the dots” and create a momentum that is for the good of all in our community.

Q: How does professional collaboration play out in your own career? Let’s use the project you’re most proud of as an example.

A: The Caltech Jorgenson Laboratory; this was a renovation project where the research and scientists are solving the world’s energy problems. It involved creating a state-of-the-art laboratory and workspace for two new centers of sustainability research:

*The Resnick Institute for Science, Energy, and Sustainability, whose mission is the address challenges related to the creation and conservation of energy.

*The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Innovation Hub that seeks to invent a highly efficient photovoltaic panel.

What Pam says she found most meaningful about the projects was the effectiveness of the Design Build Team. They forged a collaborative working relationship to build the client’s vision, and make it a reality. The result was the exciting transformation of the original fortress-like space into a vibrant workplace for the researchers and scientists. It was also an award winning LEED project that combined design, sustainability, interiors, architecture and business excellence.

Q: What are the trends you see emerging or gaining prominence in our business?

A: There are really two kinds of trends that I’d like to discuss. The first kind of trends are business trends, the second are design trends.

I work with higher education, healthcare and government sectors mainly.  I see ever-increasingly sophisticated clients in terms of who they choose to hire to lead their project work. I see more complex approaches such as Design Build, Integrated Project Delivery and General Contractors taking the lead when building a team of professionals to deliver the required services. It’s all about building strategic partnerships with the client’s best interest at heart.

Some key industries that I see trending in Southern California include Transportation, with projects at LAX, the new Metro stations and the Ports of LA and Long Beach leading the way with interesting design projects.

Downtown LA is another key geographic area where business is booming, and our industry has embraced the area. The “Silicon Beach” start-ups in the High Tech market have produced another key area of LA.

Branding is a key Design Trend. It is critical for such clients as Hospitals and Universities as they are facing increasing competition for students/patients, staff professionals and community support; that last one is key as facilities within the institutions are often income producing or community serving spaces. New, integrated signage, FF&E and refresh projects are often effective ways that clients can streamline their marketing effort to create a positive image with the public.

Wellness by design and evidence-based design is another trend. Research, innovation and getting measurable outcomes are more important than ever with highly competitive segments of the market and high profile clients.

Design can impact the bottom line for many clients. The institution’s ability to attract and retain top talent or the best students, professors, doctors, nurses, administrators etc. is at stake, so offering an innovative and integrated working or learning environment can make a big difference, so the functionality and aesthetics of any facility matter even more today than ever before.

The type of environment favored by some of the new High Tech companies, sales organizations, start-ups, brain-trusts and advertising agencies are leading the way with innovative, flexible, collaborative spaces where creativity flourishes. I like to think of as “incubators” where seasoned business management and sales professionals can interact with maverick entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to create new products and fresh ways to go to market. They have influenced so much of how facilities today are being designed with a wide variety of niche work and social areas that are perfect for casual collaboration or intensive private enterprise, indoors and out.

Q: Final thoughts

A: Leadership is all about being the catalyst for change; being the change agent and leading the way for others by inspiring them to grow and change is key to our success as an industry organization but also in our own businesses. Whether design firm principals employ tribal or bottom-up strategies, they can both be effective.

Building quality projects, relationships and communities is in everyone’s best interest!

Susan Steinlauf, Industry IIDA
United Interiors

It's About the Net Effect

As a Detroit native, I have been accustomed to a season of heavy snow and often single digit cold weather. So as my journey with Interface has led me to Los Angeles, it didn’t take long for me to appreciate this year round forecast of bliss. Once a daydreamer of moments to visit the beach and listen to the whispering waves of the ocean, I now can have a conversation with this side of nature at any moment.

So when Interface first mentioned the launch of our Net Effect™ collection it was a poignant reminder that the years I have shared with this company really does go beyond selling a beautiful product, but we must share the experience of the story behind it. David Oakey, our exclusive product designer, realized that most of the time when we talk about sustainability, we mean the land and the problems that fossil fuels have caused, yet we lack to consider that the oceans are equally important.

Beyond being designed to honor the ocean in an aesthetic reference, Net Effect also honors the ocean in a unique and tangible way through a project called Net-Works. Net-Works provides a source of income for small fishing villages in the Philippines while cleaning up the beaches and waters of discarded fishing nets that threaten their livelihood. The collected nets are sold and converted to yarn for our Interface carpet tile.

The beautiful design of the Net Effect One collection describes the precise moment when the sea foams into the shore. Each pattern also has a life of its own as it floods the floor with movement and color. The Net Effect Two collection captures the fluidity of water even in linear patterns with expanding and contracting rhythms.

Whether I’m on the beach or on the floor of the Interface showroom, the ocean truly brings about a Net Effect.

Kenn Rickman, Industry IIDA

Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare + Sustainability? Sounds like a great theme for a future event.

There’s endless talk about ‘green this’ and ‘green that’, being sustainable, not to mention reusing, recycling, down-cycling, repurposing; forsooth! Learning about sustainability can be confusing, even daunting. It can lead one into eco-paralysis; on the surface it all seems too much. Actually, it’s all about…nothing.

In non-technical uses, the word nothing denotes a thing lacking importance, interest, value, relevance or significance – defined as ‘no thing’.

Now in our seventh year of doing, it’s through sheer determination, the generosity of many, and the business decisions of innovative leaders in industry – manufacturing, real estate, architecture and design – that we’re able to continue our good work.

“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible,’” so wisely observed by Audrey Hepburn. Our mission and vision are dedicated to building an asset network of surplus that provides an encore to be shared with those in our community, providing well-being and a variety of jobs that strengthen public services as diverse as local fire and police stations, senior citizen centers, public radio stations and homeless shelters.

We are educating through action, with a focus on raising awareness about ‘nothing’ going to landfill without first being given simple consideration as a thing.

If we pledge to a future where no thing will go to landfill without first being considered for use by others, then nothing lacks importance, interest, value, relevance or significance – nothing can make a difference in the world and does every day, thanks to all those who understand our passion for making much ado about nothing.

Rose Tourje, Founder

Aligning Social Sustainability Events in L.A. and O.C.

Environmental awareness, education and action are important in making sustainability attainable. As a leading manufacturer of commercial carpet, Bentley Prince Street is a company that has environmental education and awareness built into its culture and supports organizations that, through their work, are moving toward a more sustainable future within reach for all. ANEW is one such organization that practices this through their Social Sustainability® program, which is uniting social responsibility with environmental sustainability.

Bentley Prince Street will host two upcoming “Aligning Social Sustainability” events, one in L.A. and another in Orange County, which will bring the concept of Social Sustainability to life, aligning personal wellness, community, industry and environment. The events will celebrate the commitment and generosity of leaders from the architecture and design, manufacturing, real estate and construction industries, who have already done so much to advance the work of ANEW and the practice of Social Sustainability. Both events will also feature the premier of a new short documentary “ANEW doing what’s right with what’s left®” and provide opportunities for all attendees to learn how they can join ANEW in strengthening communities by giving back and diverting from landfills.

ANEW was founded by Rose Tourje, a prominent commercial interior designer who shifted her career focus toward “doing what’s right with what’s left” after realizing that great improvements could be made in surplus liquidation practices. ANEW helps companies develop strategies to match surplus office furniture, equipment and architectural materials from corporate facilities and warehouses to non-profit charitable organizations, public agencies and underserved communities worldwide. Though ANEW is comprised of only a handful of dedicated professionals, it successfully diverts over one million pounds of construction and demolition material from landfill on average every year.

Anyone interested in positive change and enjoying an event filled with sustainability, cinema, local food and organic spirits, is encouraged to RSVP by emailing RSVP@bentleyps.com, or by calling 800.423.4709 ext. 2577.

Anthony Minite, President
Bentley Prince Street


Los Angeles: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 5pm – 8pm

Smog Shoppe, a LEED Platinum venue

2651 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034


Orange County: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 5pm – 8pm

Orange County Museum of Art

850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660


12 Inspirations for 2012

Happy 2012!

It’s a new year – take a new approach – try on a new attitude and send a card or letter instead of an email or text!

12 Inspirations for 2012 to stimulate ideas and conversation!

1. The new Black – Tangerine … try it out.

2. Read Glimmer by Warren Berger – design ideas that come from thinking possibility. Bruce Mau shares 10 design principles that will enable you to look at creative problem solving! Begin anywhere – jump fences, ask stupid questions, embrace constraints …

3. Go to Palm Springs… Modernism Week (Feb. 16th – 26th). Experience the mecca of Mid Century Modernism and the landmarks of Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, John Lautner, William Cody and Donald Wexler. Don’t forget the world class art at the Palm Springs Art Museum, and near and dear to my heart, spa and retail therapy is abundant!  (visitpalmsprings.com   psmuseum.org   the-spring.com)

4. Experience pure visual and sensual beauty and shop for a cause – Urban Zen off of Santa Monica Blvd in the heart of West Hollywood is an amazing collection of artifacts, jewlery, clothing, home and fashion accessories. Donna Karen has created a life style environment with a commitment to preservation of the artisan – honoring culture and sustainability. 9045 Nemo Street – just north of Santa Monica Blvd. east of Doheny (urbanzen.com).

5. Graffiti goes inside! The Silk Trading Co. 360 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles is featuring a collaboration of artist Mike Saijo and textile master Hayashi Sensei… Street Style meets English Literature Décor.

6. Celebrate Art in LA 1945-1980 with more than 60 museums and galleries that are part of Pacific Standard Time (PST) – initiated by the Getty Foundation. PST represents modern art exhibitions through April 2012 (pacificstandardtime.org).

7. Shop for fun! Tools of the Imagination – Jac Zagoory Designs (www.jzpen.com)

8. Rough it but make sure it is Rough Luxe Design. Faraheh Media, a curated collection of commercial and residential projects (Hennessey + Ingalls Book Store @ 214 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica).

9. Brunch like you are in the South of France! St. Tropez by way of NYC… Bagatelle comes to LA from NYC Meatpacking District – DJ and Brioche french toast…  music and dancing in the afternoon @ 755 North La Cienaga Blvd. (bistrobagatelle.com).

10. Green Wines – Conscious Wine – online wine shop.  Not only are the wines made from organically grown grapes, but they also pursue sustainable practices ad 4% of the sales go to a charity of the shopper’s choice (www.consciouswine.com). A couple of recommendations:  Willamette Valley – Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 and Napa Valley – Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2008

11. Remember Valentine’s Day!

12. Take a LEAP of faith.  BELIEVE in yourself. LAUGH and ENJOY a slice of chocolate cake!  The “Best Cake Artist” is right here in LA at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Enjoy 2012!

Barbara Cooper,  Industry IIDA
Pivot Interiors