Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sunbrella Awanings get Greenguard Certified

In the January issue of Sign Builder Illustrated, Sunbrella announced that their sling, awning and marine fabrics from Glen Raven have received the Greenguard Environmental Institutes Children and School certification for low emitting materials.

For more information about Sunbrella awning fabrics

For more information about Greenguard certified products

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Design Evolution with Naomi Pearson

Introducing... A radioshow about designers evolving and adapting to address the environmental impact of their work.The show will feature green strategies from fields such as Environmental Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Print Design, Architecture, Landscape Design, Branding, Packaging, and Fashion.This is a pilot series of 13 weekly shows. You can also find the show schedule on the host page or facebook page.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
Find out what Greenwashing is, how it can backfire, and how some truly innovative green companies have established authenticity.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NovAcryl ECR Radio Commercial

Nova Polymers is a sponsor of the Design Evolution Radio Show on The Green Talk Network. The commercial below airs this Saturday on Design Evolutions first broadcast. More details will follow.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Smile Plastics

Recycling Center - CLICK HERE to view

Smile Plastics in Shrewsbury, England manufactures sheet materials made from a variety of recycled products. They started in 1994 manufacturing sheet materials made from recycled plastics bottles. Their capabilities have grown to included recycling more rigid materials like plastic piping and refrigerator linings. Recently Smile Plastics has added new products lines which use CD cases and replaced cell phones.

These materials can be used for many purposes including signage. Below are links to the photo gallery of Smile Plastic website which showcase many different projects that have incorporated their materials.

View Sample Projects

Museum of London Signage CLICK HERE
Award Plaques CLICK HERE
School Doorway Signage CLICK HERE
Outdoor Signage CLICK HERE
Recycling Center CLICK HERE

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Green Audit

Environmental awareness continues to grow in all aspects of business. A key factor in building and designing environmentally conscious signage deals with aligning strategy and methodology with the materials used to meet the specific needs of a project. When taking a closer look at the fundamentals behind sign systems, we find that the parameters differ from the green rating systems that are commonly used today. Systems such as the LEED rating system work for buildings but do not necessarily meet the needs of signage. Although most of the core principals remain consistent, the methodology behind the design can be very different.

There are six areas of focus related to signage and EGD; Longevity, Air Quality, Waste Management and Disposibility, Recyclability, Energy Efficiency and Education.

The big picture behind the green audit for signage stems from the idea that not all things are created equal. Longevity tends to be the first question asked relating to signage and EGD projects. Longevity is related to the location and the expected life of the project. Once the longevity question is addressed, the issues surrounding the other five areas of focus fall into place.

Building and designing a healthcare facility is going to require a different environmental strategy than building a trade show exhibit or a museum exhibit or a complete airport package. All six areas of focus are important but each has a different role depending on the particular project. Once you are able to answer a few basic questions, the path to which strategies, methodologies and materials are needed present themselves.

The intent of creating a category for Audit Scenarios is to highlight specific scenarios and attempt to give insight into the strategies and methodologies behind each. There will be many posts relating to this subject which will discuss specific approaches.

This is an area that will require an open mind and hopefully a good deal of participation from everyone. If you have a thought on a specific materials or project scenarios, please feel free to share.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

ECOLOGIC - Recyclable Banner Material

On January 10th 2009 I met with Josh Propp at Value Vinyls in Orlando, FL. Josh was introducing a new product called ECOLOGIC which is a new 100% recyclable PVC-free banner material that was just introduced by Value Vinyls. ECOLOGIC is made with a polypropylene base fabric which is coated with ThermoPlastic Olefin (TPO). The material is compatible with UV and Solvent Inks and has a two year outdoor warranty.

ECOLOGIC is a Resin Code 7 material and can be recycled printed or unprinted. ECOLOGIC is the first material of it's kind! CLICK HERE for more information on Value Vinyls.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

12 Simple Green ROI Calculators

Ckeck out the link posted on SustainableCoin. This has also been posted by USGC's group members on LinkedIn.

12 Simple Green ROI Calculators

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

3form's Donor Wall Portfolio

Below are a few photos taken from the Portfolio section of 3form's website.The examples shown here are of creative Donor Walls using 3form's unique, environmentally conscious materials.

Moran Eye Center Donor Wall

Application: Donor Wall
Industry: Healthcare
Designer: Infinite Scale / FFKR
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA

Hopkins HS

PROJECT INFO: Standard Tiles. Standard Frame
Application: Donor Wall
Industry: Corporate
Designer: Sara Olm
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Monday, January 12, 2009

Green Presentation in Orlando

This past weekend Fast Signs had a national meeting in Orlando, FL which included an expo for their preferred vendors. Nova Polymers was invited to give a presentation Green Sign Systems and ADA Signage.

There were two specific things I was interested in as I made my way to Orlando - three if you count the weather on the golf course.

The first thought I had was whether or not the audience I was presenting to would be interested in talking about environmentally conscious signage and relating it to the trends that are occurring in the building industry. To my surprise there was a fairly positive reception. Approximately 50% of the audience said that their customers had been asking about greener signs.

The second thought was how many vendors would be promoting green products, energy efficiency and other environmental related things. The were two companies that were promoting green. Hanson Sign Company was showing their green electric sign cabinets that are illuminated with LEDs that are significantly more energy efficient than competitive cabinets with fluorescent bulbs. Value Vinyls was promoting a new banner material called EcoLogic which is 100% recyclable.

Overall, a typical sign expo. The positive thing is that these events are starting to include presentations with environmental content and leading vendors are promoting their green products, even if the industry isn't screaming for it yet.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Green Looking New Year

Today is January 5th and marks the beginning of a new year. We can all agree that the there is a high level of uncertainty due to the economy as we head into the new year. The current economic state is fueling the importance of environmental issues such as energy reduction, manufacturing and distribution efficiencies along with the development of new lean processes and materials.

An economic downturn always results in the survival of fittest. Struggling company fold or sell while the strong companies innovate and lead.

What a perfect opportunity to lead and come together as an industry - strive to meet the demand of the changing world around us. The building industry has made fantastic strides in what is now the green movement. The USGBC's LEED rating system has shown everyone that going green has extraordinary financial benefits and has lead the way to a new mindset toward efficiencies and other universal environmental issues.

So what about signage? Where does the industry stand in terms of the environmental movement?

Traditionally the sign industry is not on the cutting edge of technology nor is the industry as whole excepting of change, especially in cases like LEED which has virtually no requirement for signage. This however can be a good thing, an opportunity for the leaders in sign industry to adopt the principals of green building and apply them to the manufacturing, installation and disposal if signage. What a great opportunity for the sign industry to become a leader in a movement that is gaining credence everyday while making signs something that is no longer an “afterthought” in the building process.

There are already many changes that are occurring in both the design and fabrication of signage. ASI Modulex and Apco Graphics exhibited at Greenbuild in Boston, MA this past November. The SEGD developed a Green Paper and has hosted lectures on Green Methodology for several years now. Many sign fabricators are developing new products and marketing the environmental attributes of their products and companies. Meanwhile, product manufactures are realizing profitability gains in efficiencies while capitalizing on the ability to gain market share over competition through marketing their environmental practices. This past spring the ISA hosted their annual suppliers and distributors conference which focused heavily on environmental issues concerning signage.

The economy may be shaky going into 2009 but the prospect for us as an industry has never been better. Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

National Green Pages from Green America

The National Green Pages list several thousands of green businesses across the country. When doing a search for "signage" the following two digital printing sign companies came up.

Image 4 Since 1987, environmentally sensitive production of signage, graphics and displays. Re-used and recycled materials for ... Full listing - Website

Green Banners/Don Jackson Photography Earth-friendly, photo-quality banners and signage to 60" x 59'. Recycled, recyclable, and renewable materials. Custom ... Full listing - Website

Banner Creations Ecophab™ Banners

Banner Creations is a digital printer located in Minneapolis, MN. They have developed an environmentally conscious printable banner material called Ecophab™ which is made from Ecofi recycled materials. Click here to see the Ecophab™ Photo Gallery.

Ecophab™ is a great example of a true up-cylced product. This means that the product after being recycled is used for an equal or greater purpose. Ecophab™ uses recycled soda bottles or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers that are collected from recycling center. These bottles are melted down and turned into fiber strands that are then woven in a printable fabric. Banner Creations prints all Ecophab™ banners with water base inks.

Ecophab™ was used as a case study in the Green Paper that was published by the SEGD last years. This case study shows a project that Banner Creations did for the Minnesota State Fair’s Eco Experience Exhibit in 2006 and outlines the environmental benefits of the material based on the keys areas of focus for environmental graphic design.