Construction and Manufacturing

Furniture maker showroom scores world-first certification

November 21, 2013
TAGS Haworth / LEED
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Haworth announces world's First LEEDv4 certified project
The showroom in the Parkview Green building in Beijing by Holland-based Haworth is the world’s first project certified under LEED version 4. Courtesy Haworth

A furniture manufacturer has captured the first worldwide environmental building recognition of its kind, and the company did it in one of the fastest-growing markets on the globe.

Holland-based Haworth, a global maker and seller of office furniture, has earned the planet’s first LEED-certified designation under the U.S. Green Building Council’s new version 4 beta program, the latest standard that USGBC unveiled in July.

The company gained the exclusive LEED Gold rating for its showroom in the Parkview Green building in Beijing.

“Achieving the first-ever LEED version 4 certification speaks volumes about Haworth’s commitment to sustainability,” said Steve Kooy, Haworth’s global sustainability manager.

LEED Gold showroom

Haworth earned 71 of a possible 110 points from USGBC to capture the honor. To reach that score, the company had to ensure that all the building’s systems, like its water distribution and air quality, were highly efficient and energy cost effective.

For instance, Haworth’s Parkview Green showroom leverages a greywater recycling system and efficient fixtures to reduce usage up to 53 percent, when usage is compared to a standard baseline calculation.

The building has been structured to cut electricity consumption by as much as 59 percent for its HVAC and lighting systems.

The structure’s showroom also features variable air-volume diffusers beneath the floor. When the diffusers are combined with the cold-radiation ceilings, overall energy usage is reduced. The company said the air quality inside the Parkview Building showroom exceeds the Beijing standard by 35 percent.

“Throughout the construction process we reused 60 percent of non-structural interior elements,” said Iolanda Meehan, director of strategic service for Haworth’s Asia Pacific sector.

“Additionally, 93 percent of the furniture in the space is either GREENGUARD certified or has been transferred from an existing showroom,” Meehan added.

Parkview Green building

Parkview Green is situated in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. The structure itself is certified LEED Platinum under the USGBC’s version 3 certification standards and is also home to a boutique hotel, offices and retail shops.

Haworth has created an organic workspace called the Club inside Parkview Green, which can be used by tenants, hotel guests and individuals in the city. Everything in the club can be re-arranged to meet the needs of everyone that meets there.

“A workspace that easily responds to changing business needs over time not only saves time and money, but it also reduces waste,” Kooy said.

“While LEED version 4 raises the bar on green-building leadership and requires a new level of commitment to building sustainability, it was important for us to go beyond the prestigious LEED certification to ensure that we created a space that is not only environmentally friendly and open to the community, but a project that will stand as a model for future workspaces,” Meehan said.

BEE Inc., a green-materials specialist and LEED consultant, partnered with Haworth to help the company secure the world’s first version 4 LEED designation.

“We are especially pleased to have achieved this certification in China,” said Frank Rexach, vice president and general manager of Haworth’s Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America sectors. “The application of the new LEED standards in Beijing highlights the importance of this fast-growing market.”

Haworth operates in 126 countries, has 650 dealers worldwide and 81 offices and showrooms.

The company regularly exceeds $1 billion in net sales annually.

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