Though this section of the site is most often dedicate to some of the more staid and tecnical parts of the design world, this entry will be a bit different. One of the designers in our local scene, Megan Capo of Streetsense, put together a very nice blog post on some of the materials she thought noteworthy from her trip to the Hospitality Design show in Las Vegas. For those of us, who love the unique, it is well worth a look. Megan's blog is linked here.
The world of "Sustainable Design" is so broad that it seems the most products can make a claim to having some attribute that fall under its rubric. However, with the effective marketing strategies that focus on the positive, the design community sometimes faces a Wizard of Oz scenario in which we are enouraged "not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain;" namely the ingredients used to make a product.
An example might be a product can claim to be "PVC-Free." While perhaps this is laudable in comparison to other products in the category; they might not be telling you of other harmful materials contained within the product. As with the consumer demand for greater transparency on food labeling, the design community has been asking for this information, and there are a growing number of resources to help.
For many years design professionals have had to consider the Coefficient of Friction when specfying tile, particulalry for "wet" environments, including bathrooms, lobby areas, etc. Those of you who have dealt with this enough times will remember that the commonly accepted, though technically not required, COF was 0.6. What this author did not know was that the COF being referred to was the SCOF, or rather the Static Coefficient of Friction, which tested the resistance when the testing surfaces began the test stationary and then the "foot" surface was moved to evaluate slip resistance (the test was the ASTM C1028). Effective January 2014 the Tile Council of North American (TCNA), has called for a new test, the DCOF AcuTest to be used to evaluate tile. The "D" in the DCOF refers to "Dyanamic" and reflects an adjustment in the testing methodology for which the the "foot" surface will make contact with the surface being tested when the "foot" is already in motion. The new number that we will all have to become accustomed to for "wet" environments is a DCOF AcuTest value of 0.42.