Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sign Expo 2009

Tomorrow, April 16th, the 63th International Sign Expo kicks off at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The first question on everyone's mind is how many attendees will make the trek to Vegas during this economic slowdown. ISA is expecting a great turnout have done a good job putting everything together.

I am interested to see how many companies are promoting green products. There has been an increase in the amount of green marketing overall the last several years but a slower increase in actual products. I have seen a few real interesting recycling programs for digital printing and a lot of talk concerning illuminated signs.

Over the next few days I hope to find a few interesting things that can be shared. I'm also very interested to see what new products are out there and if anyone is integrating other green materials into their sign systems.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LEED Certified Materials

I get asked all the time about whether or not a product/materials is LEED certified. The majority of people do not really understand LEED thus are confused about how LEED relates to products/materials.

According to the USGBC's website, "LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality."

So, there is no such thing as a LEED Certified product/material. In each of the different certification programs, there are points awarded in the five key areas for things like incorporating materials with certain amounts of recycled content and using materials that emit no VOC's. These point are for the overall amount of materials that are in a building which is why signage truly does not factor into achieving LEED points.

The only area that signage has a direct impact on LEED is in the area of education. There is a potential 1 point available for developing an education system throughout a LEED certified facility. The education system is intended to inform the occupants and visitors of the reasons why the building is LEED certified. The idea is to celebrate the success of building green while informing people about environmental consciousness.

This however doesn't mean that signage can't follow many of the same principals of incorporating products with recycled content and low or no VOC coatings. There are many great resources that can be found, including this blog, that can help in choosing the right materials for a project that is trying to obtain LEED certification. The USGBC's website has a great deal of information that can also be of great help.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Radio Appearance

Last weekend I was a guest on Naomi Pearson's talk radio show Design Evolution. The show focused specifically on Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) and movement towards greener business practices and products in signage.

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