people looking a books at a table made of wood

Prioritize Reuse and Recycling

Work on reuse and recycling strategies with product manufacturers and dealers to gather information, set goals, and find solutions:

Specify for Circularity

Have conversations with vendors on increasing recycled content. Understand the balance between durability and recyclability. Ask for ways that products can be refinished, resurfaced, or refurbished to extend their life.

Leverage Documents

Prioritize reuse and recycling in the purchase agreement. This could influence how vendors develop products and will provide a starting point for clients/purchasers/facilities managers when they eventually consider demolition and renovation.

Leases can include a “Pledge” that sets guidelines for how the space can be renovated, used, and decommissioned responsibly.

Front-end specs can include language around landfill diversion as a default, with a cost built in. Clients can take that out if they are not interested, but at least it provides a prompt for a conversation.

Owners’ manuals can include suggested second-life or landfill diversion strategies.They can include recommended resources for asset management, resale, donation, or salvage.

Specs for recycled content need to move away from percentage of investment as the metric—it should be based on volume of product. Some projects can set salvage minimums instead of goals for recycled content.

Screws not Glues

Work with contractors to find solutions that can be deconstructed or disassembled responsibly, allowing components to be recycled or reused. Choose temporary fixtures and joints over adhesives.

Partner up for VE and CA

Cost is still the biggest factor for contractors when it comes to selecting and installing product. Work closely with them through the product selection process, so that they are prepared to make the right decisions during value engineering and construction administration phases. Include the client’s facilities team in these conversations so that they are aware of the decisions when they eventually demolish and renovate the space.

If you have feedback on the Climate Toolkit for Interior Design, write to: [email protected]

Sample Responsibly
Sample Responsibly
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Design for the Next Life