We are proud to have been part of a recent office renovation project in the office space of Perkins+Will, a premiere architectural firm in Chicago. Through Pepper Construction, our work included cleaning and restoring existing slate flooring with earth-friendly products. The slate was then color-enhanced and sealed with a low-VOC, water-based sealer. This project was awarded a LEED Platinum CI certification last month (link), and is one of four Platinum CI certifications in Chicago (link)
The “CI” in the LEED certification stands for Commercial Interiors. It’s a way to recognize the work of Interior Designers who strive to make an interior space as green as possible. In the words from the LEED CI site, “Commercial Interiors gives the power to make sustainable choices to tenants and designers, who do not always have control over whole building operations.” (link) In the case of an interior renovation project, Sungloss Marble Company contributes effectively to the maintaining/preserving of existing non-structural material (…which, as you guessed, is part of the LEED requirements). In some cases, by choosing restoration, untold environmental impacts of quarrying stone (water use and shipping) are spared. Not to mention the savings of restoration over purchasing new material. On top of that, Sungloss’ use of low-VOC sealers adds little to the environment during the restoration process.
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds are chemicals that easily evaporate, and are defined as irritants indoors, or harmful to the atmosphere if released outside. They contribute to “sick building syndrome,” which is why we have phased out the use of the ‘old school’ sealers. Two decades ago when Sungloss was just getting started, the sealers on the market were notorious for their extreme smell, and making everyone who used them feel ill if exposed for too long. Thank goodness for the excellent, newer designed sealers on the professional market today. General info on VOC’s is found on Wikipedia (link)
We want to thank the partners (Pepper Construction, and Perkins+Will) that involved Sungloss Marble in the renovation project, and wish them and all applicable Interior Design teams success in future LEED CI projects.