Although the bulk of the energy-saving work is done in the building envelope, interior finishes can also play a role in indoor environmental quality, carbon sequestration, and communicating sustainability to occupants and other stakeholders. This week we’re looking at surfaces and seating that do just that—from backsplash tiles made from old TV screens to a designer chair with a bio-based shell.


Recycled Glass Tile, Fireclay
California-based tile manufacturer Fireclay has found a way to make tiles for coasters and backsplashes using the dense glass panels found on old televisions and computers that increasingly dumped in landfills. Fireclay acquires the material—called cathode ray tube glass—from Santa Clara, Calif.-based electronic products recycling company ECS Refining and crushes it into small particles, which are mixed with a white colorant, added to a mold, and heated. A 50-square-foot backsplash, the company says, can use material from as many as 13 devices. Fireclay looked to crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to finance the development of molds for the new tiles, which will be commercially available this February.

Credit: Fireclay Tile



Further, Allsteel
Open-plan offices must foster collaboration while maintaining a comfortable level of privacy for workers. From Allsteel, Further features trapezoidal work surfaces arranged in modular, triangular hubs with integrated power sources, allowing the units to be easily reconfigured as space needs change. The furniture system is SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certified for indoor air quality.

Credit: Allsteel



Avenue Chair, Jean-Marie Massaud for Avenue Road
Styled for use in applications ranging from residential living areas to corporate suites, the frame on this contemporary swivel chair is made from 60% flax fiber and 40% organic resin. By French designer Jean-Marie Massaud for Avenue Road, the Coach Chair has an optional headrest and footrest, and three stainless steel bases: low sled, low swivel, and high swivel. With a wide, plush interior and eco-friendly shell, this chair offers users an excuse to get off their feet.

Credit: Avenue Road



Re/Cover Green, Vorwerk
Inspired by the regenerative capabilities of nature, Re/Cover Green, a line of resilient flooring from German manufacturer Vorwerk, is made of high-grade ecological elastomers such as canola and castor oils, and swaps PVC for organic polyurethane. The company worked with Hadi Teherani Architects in Germany to develop the collection’s palette of 30 colors and patterns, including sparkling gray (shown).

Credit: Vorwerk



Hygienic Plus Ceiling Tiles, Rockfon
Made from water-resistant stone wool, the low-emitting Hygienic Plus ceiling tiles from Rockfon help maintain indoor air quality by reducing the spread of bacteria and other contaminants in controlled environments such as laboratories, clean rooms, and food preparation spaces. The ceiling system, which meets California’s Section 01350 for low levels of VOC emissions, offers a noise-reduction coefficient of 0.90 and a light reflectance rate of 0.83.

Credit: Rockfon