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10 Ways Interior Designers Save Lives

10 Ways Interior Designers save lives, reduce consumer costs, promote energy efficiency, pursue environmental responsibility, and further increase productivity and well-being:

  1. ImageFire Prevention – Most fires occur in interior spaces and if not caught immediately can spread rapidly within the first 45 seconds producing deadly noxious gasses. Interior designers are trained to utilize products that have been treated and tested to comply with the strictest California fire codes.

  2. Slip & Fall Safety – Most of the cases of slip and fall are due to inappropriate flooring materials. With over a million reports of slip and fall incidents each year (of which 1400 are fatal), it is imperative that correct flooring materials are specified for public environments. Proper flooring for egress, static build up and coefficients of friction ratings are just a few serious considerations designers look at when determining the most appropriate flooring material for building use and occupancy.

  3. Eliminating VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are hydrocarbon solvents used in paints, stains, glues and other products. They are released in the air during the application of products like carpet glues, paint and other material finish coatings and adhesives. After time these off-gas fumes can cause working individuals to develop flu-like symptoms. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is one of the leading causes for lost productivity and workdays. Interior designers help eliminate VOC’s by specifying products that are non-toxic and safe for people with allergies and asthma.

  4. Promoting Correct Ergonomics– Ergonomics is the study of the relation between human physiology and the physical environment. Ergonomics uses the information developed by anthropometrics to study exactly how humans interact with physical objects like chairs, control panels, keyboards, desks, etc. Musculoskeletal disorders are caused from improper or non-existent ergonomical design. The average medical cost for musculoskeletal injury is 12,000. Interior Designers are aware of these studies and therefore specify ergonomic furniture and accessories.

  5. Universal Accessible Design – The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is a federal law that requires all commercial and public accommodations be accessible to people with disabilities. Interior designers are responsible for designing interior spaces that conform to ADA requirements making all public spaces universally accessible.

  6. Energy Efficiency – An example is lighting. In commercial buildings, lighting accounts for a large part of the total energy consumed. Interior designer’s can help minimize energy use by maximizing the usage of daylight within a space layout, selecting high-efficiency lamps, using efficient luminaries, providing task lighting to reduce general lighting costs, and selecting high-reflectance ceiling, wall, and floor surfaces to reduce the total number of fixtures required to illuminate the space.

  7. Preserving the Environment – Interior design is an integral part of the environmental context. Designers harmonize the way the built environment is constructed working in correlation with the natural environment. Many interior designers are LEED certified and specify products that are environmentally safe utilizing recycled goods and clean manufacturing.

  8. Life Cycle Costing – Life Cycle Costs are defined as the expected life of materials, furniture and finishes utilized in interior environment. Interior designers must consider the client’s project expectations for replacements costs, maintenance, and context/style longevity for every specialized design market in order to make the best recommendations for long-term use.

  9. Psychology of Color – Color carries with it many symbolic and associative meanings that designers can utilize. Cool colors (blue, green, and violet) are considered to be restful and quiet while warm colors (red, yellow, and orange) are seen as more active and stimulating. Color plays key roles in the marketing success, ambiance, and social well being of interior environments. One example is using the color pink in detaining facilities because the color temporarily neutralizes anger and aggression.

  10. Specialized Focus – Knowledge of interior design practice is becoming popular as more individuals either in educational studies or in search of interior professionals are realizing the dynamics of interior design and the specialized services professional interior designers offer that directly affect public health, safety and welfare. Every person entering an interior environment is “captive” to that space and deserves to be confident that the spaces they occupy are designed with maximum emphasis placed on personal safety, protected health, enhanced functionality and productivity, while increasing individual welfare. Produced by the Interior Design Legislative Coalition of Pennsylvania.

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