Perkins & Will is developing a database of sustainable interior design materials

London office of architecture and design Perkins & Will develops a searchable and circular directory of searchable products to reduce the carbon footprint of its products Interior design projects.


Named Now Database, the directory will enable this Perkins and Will to specify products that support it recent stock so that all of their internal building extensions by 2030 have carbon embedded in zero.

Embodied coal refers to emissions from the production, construction, maintenance and disposal of materials. According to the company, this can represent as much as 40 percent of the building’s total installed energy.

The promise will also ensure that all of its interior building elements are circular by 2025, meaning materials are continuously reused as part of the circular economy.

Database become publicly available

The database is currently primarily used by designers and architects at Perkins & Will’s London and Dublin studios.

However, it is continuously evolving with the goal of becoming a tool for other professionals in the industry working on furnishing and adapting interiors.

“The Now database brings our firm one step closer to achieving the ambitious but necessary goals set within our zero zero,” said Perkins & Will Sustainability Director Asif Dean.

“Our goal is to make this database accessible to everyone in the end, in order to enable the entire construction supply chain, from designers to installers, to collectively deal with the coming climate challenges,” he added.

Materials with individual performance results

The database contains products and materials from numerous suppliers of all sizes, and remains open to others to enter their products.

Each material in the directory has a unique impact assessment provided by the company’s internal sustainability team, which takes into account factors such as the carbon footprint and the possibility of reuse after service life.

Suppliers ‘approaches to workers’ rights and company diversity are also assessed.

Although the database is not yet publicly available, it is expected to adopt a similar form Transparency – an existing company website that highlights the impact of building material ingredients and encourages the specification of healthy materials in the sector.

The database will contribute to the “circular construction industry”

In the future, the company hopes the Now and Transparency database website will be used in tandem to “enable the circular construction industry”.

Adam Strudwick of Perkins & Will recently shared his thoughts on designing for the circular economy in Dezeen’s lively discussion of architecture and the circular economy.

“Instead of thinking of buildings or interiors as the end product, we need to think of each building as some kind of do-it-yourself action for the next project and the next project and the next project,” he said.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is another embedded carbon firm of its projects. He recently launched a free tool called FCBS Carbon that helps architects estimate and reduce carbon emissions over the lifetime of building proposals.

The tool has the form of a spreadsheet that can be used throughout the design process to predict the carbon emissions of a building over its lifetime.

The main picture is courtesy of Perkins & Will.

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