Exhibit A Green Materials

June 19, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Green housing and green building are not new, but now Exhibit Design Consultants is taking green to a new level: green-built tradeshow exhibits.

Tim Morris, president of Exhibit Design Consultants, said the company had been working on the concept of an all-green exhibit for about a year before unveiling the green-built design for Holland-based company HHTurion Bamboo Traders,

James Oonk, president of Turion Bamboo Traders, said the exhibit, which was shown at the Surfaces expo in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year and again last week at NeoCon in Chicago, can be set up in multiple configurations and used at a variety of events and shows.

“The structures can be reconfigured to be adaptable to any size booth we get,” he said.

The exhibit uses flooring and furniture made from the company’s products, as well as an environmentally friendly wheat board structure with the company’s bamboo veneer.

“We’re a company that’s in the green building products industry, so throughout our booth and our business model we try to employ green building strategies,” Oonk said.

Oonk said the booth reflects that in its use of materials.

“They did a phenomenal job of integrating all environmentally friendly materials,” he said of Exhibit Design Consultants. “They were pretty knowledgeable about it.”

In addition to the bamboo and wheat board structure, they also used a wheat by-product for the sub-flooring, Morris said.

“There’s virtually no plastic, no chrome,” he said. “Even the graphics are made from recycled material.”

The booth also is unique in its layout, Oonk said.

“We tried to make it more comfortable, like a home,” he said. “It really has a much more open, welcome, comfortable feel instead of banners and graphics.”

Fairly Painless Advertising, Lake Affect Design Studio, and contract furniture manufacturer The Taylor Group also were part of the team behind the Turion Bamboo Traders exhibit.

The Turion booth may be the first all-green booth for Exhibit Design Consultants, but it will not be the last. Morris said the company is beginning to present the green exhibit structure to other clients who may or may not have a green-based company.

“It’s really something that we’re just starting to get involved with on a regular basis,” he said.

As Exhibit Design Consultants moves into the green exhibit booth niche, Morris said he believes his company’s concept is a first for the area.

“I’m not aware of any competition in the Midwest that is focusing on green materials in custom displays,” he said.

In addition to a new niche, the company will also soon have a new home at

2356 Turner Ave. NW
, where it can better display green building options and also bring the company closer to downtown.

The building, located off U.S. 131, will have approximately the same 30,000 square feet of space as the old location at

4633 Patterson Ave. SE
, but will be built green to showcase the company’s abilities within the confines of reusable and renewable materials. The new location will also have a café and lounge and a full kitchen, where Morris said he plans to entertain clients on a regular basis.

“We want to make it a destination for our clients to come,” he said.

The carpets will be made of recyclable material, concrete will be stained and glazed to reduce the need for carpet, and bamboo flooring also will be used.

“I think the clients need to be educated about what’s available and how they can use it,” he said.

Morris said being environmentally friendly and offering that option to clients is just another way of giving back to the community.

“It’s good for companies to be socially responsible with materials,” he said.

Despite a reputation for being more costly, Morris said green building materials are readily available and do not cost more than regular materials used in exhibits. The only challenge is planning ahead so that materials, which sometimes have to be special ordered, are on hand when needed.

As the industry continues to grow, more and more materials are becoming available, Morris said.

“Now we’re able to source a number of materials and create some very unique designs by utilizing green materials,” he said.    

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