Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest
The Compatibility of Design, Environmentalism and Interior Concrete
Design often gets my blood pumping. Looking at grand interior designer magazines and websites really set my mind in the dream world of creating a reality that is individually “mine”. If you work and live in the design world, maybe your reaction is similar.
The same can be true with concrete. Concrete is a medium that is greatly indescribable because it begins its’ journey in liquid form. The best way I have found to describe it is the French word Coulee´. Translated it means “to flow” and that is the great beauty of concrete. It takes on aspect of whatever it comes into contact with including the intricacies of leaves, metals, or wood. The design capabilities are limitless. Think river-themed reception pieces, integrated drain boards, Zen lines, textures or even funky bar tops. Designing with concrete and integrating other materials is also key: too much concrete can be very cold and stark, but choose to integrate an earth-tone color, and combine it with reclaimed wood, or a stainless steel base and the effect can be very harmonizing.
Fabrication plays a great part in the environmental factor. Concrete as a medium is not very environmental on the whole, but how you fabricate it is. Including Fly ash in the concrete mix provides a significant contribution to sustainable construction. The use of this material in concrete production consumes less energy and offers improved efficiency and building performance. This material can also be used to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points.
Other product related items are if you incorporate recycled materials into the design including glass, metals, and inlays. And though each and every piece is a truly custom work of art that doubles with function, fabricators can often reuse parts of the mold for other tops. In addition, there are ways to keep the leftover sediment out of the streams and byways. And living in Portland, my company has found ways to recycle our wood and sediment so that it does not enter the dumps but instead take it to local sources to reuse or recycle.
I think all business’ should be run in this fashion from the get go. It is very satisfying to know that you are putting your best foot forward for the environment, while creating a really great product.
No matter what your style of preference; or being eclectic and blending several, concrete will work in the space. It is of course all in the design. And while creating stellar spaces and choosing the right concrete fabricator, you will most likely be helping the environment as well.
Written by Janet Creasy of Coulee Concrete Designs, 15832 SW Upper Boones Ferry, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
www.couleeconcrete.com or 503-914-5993