Ever since its inception in 1998, green interior design has gone from strength to strength. It is now a discipline that has caught the attention of many local councils in the USA and Europe because of its ability to reduce costs and carbon emissions.
There are 5 stated paradigms which green interior design seeks to address. They are:
- Reducing carbon emissions
- Conserving water
- Improving indoor air quality
- Improving energy efficiency
- Carefully considering natural resources and their impacts
Reclaimed hardwood flooring is a great example of the last stated paradigm. It is a great example of recycling a valuable resource that had formerly been regarded as waste. Reclaimed hardwood comes from a wide variety of sources including landfills, lake beds, mine shafts, disused barns, waste of refurbished houses and city skips. This valuable resource is kiln dried and cut into flooring planks. With the vast amount of waste that current modern living produces reclaimed hardwood flooring makes great sense from the point of view of green interior design.
Secondly, because antique hardwood flooring (reclaimed hardwood that was used as flooring previously) can be bought in many cities in the US and Europe it is possible to buy sustainable flooring that has not been transported thousands of miles to the point of sale and installation. Reclaiming hardwood can be done locally to reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Furthermore, turning reclaimed hardwood into flooring is lower in carbon output than other industrial processes used to make flooring.
Finally, reclaimed hardwood flooring is relevant to the stated aim of improving indoor air quality because it is an allergen free flooring. The hard surfaces give no quarter to dust mites whose excrement causes allergic rhinitis. Antique hardwood flooring is also free of VOCs because the dangerous VOCs in the flooring adhesive have long since off-gassed.
Thus, from just this brief overview of reclaimed hardwood flooring it is easy to see the relevance of reclaimed hardwood flooring to green interior design.