Interior Designer Kimberly Phipps-Nichol, owner of Blue Water Studio and Blue Water Style, is passionate about energy conservation and environmental responsibility. Writer/Editor Sue Rosenfeld recently talked with Phipps-Nichol about the role she plays as an Interior Designer helping people "Go Green" in their business.
"The three areas I like to talk about with my clients are: operations, building and maintenance, and the human resources side of the coin," Phipps-Nichol says. She believes that not only does "Going Green" help the environment, it also helps a company's bottom line - making it not only an environmentally responsible thing to do, but also a fiscally responsible thing to do.
On the operations side she suggests:
- Tele-commute and encourage tele-commuting to help minimize the carbon footprints on the road
- Use "recycled content" paper
- Print on both sides of the paper
- Recycle used paper
- Turn equipment off at the end of the night (if your server does data back-up at night, brainstorm with your technology team on how to maintain data integrity and still conserve energy)
- Give employees, as part of their hiring package, a refillable pen and pencil set (with refills provided by the company) instead of providing disposable pens and pencils
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent lights
- Use natural light whenever possible
- E-mail invoices rather than mail them
- Brainstorm on what documents can be done in an electronic format
- Carpool and use public transportation
- Take advantage of applicable tax incentives
On the building and maintenance side she suggests:
- If building new or retrofitting, design mechanical and electrical systems to provide maximum building efficiency, maximum building effectiveness, and occupant comfort
- Design energy efficient lighting systems that are specific to the types of tasks your company performs
- Don't over design; "right-size" design mechanical systems - design systems for the needed use
- Design mechanical systems that have efficient, appropriate, and effective layers of filtration
- Look for and use materials that are volatile organic compound (VOC) free
- Request wood or wood based products that have no added urea-formaldehyde when purchasing furniture
- Look for materials that are GREENGUARD certified (GREENGUARD has a searchable database on their Web site)
- Purchase Energy Star equipment (Energy Star has a searchable database on their Web site)
- Install restroom equipment that uses "low-flow" technology
On the human resources side, Phipps-Nichol sees the two areas above affecting both the bottom line cost and the people side of things. With healthier indoor environments, sick time cost is potentially decreased. With energy and building efficiency, jobs could be done more efficiently. Employee recruitment, retention, and turn-over could also be positively affected by having a "Green" building.
Phipps-Nichol encourages business owners and managers who are thinking about retrofitting or building a new space to think about what their occupant health goals are, and to give that information to any designer or project team they choose to work with. She recommends doing research on potential designers, architects, and space planners to find out if they fit with your philosophy and goals.
Phipps-Nichol also suggests looking for professionals who have training or certification in energy efficiency and environmental design. One credential she recommends professionals have is LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
A LEED AP herself, Phipps-Nichol says of the holistic approach she takes with her design projects, "It's really having a pro-active team from the very beginning of the project. Even as the Interior Designer, I'm doing my part to understand the mechanical engineer's design goals and how those goals reinforce the client's goals."
As part of the holistic approach, Phipps-Nichol also takes things like allergies, asthma, and eczema into consideration when designing. "All of my specifications, and all of my design considerations have to take into effect the health, safety, and welfare of the people that will be occupying that space. So, for me it's natural that non-toxic materials and appropriately designed mechanical and lighting systems be used."
Kimberly Phipps-Nichol is a Certified Interior Designer and licensed in the state of Nevada. Phipps-Nichol has a LEED AP credential, along with additional training through the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) and the Collaboration for High Performance Skills (CHPS). She specializes in commercial projects and takes residential projects on a case-by-case basis.
To help TTE expand its business in the government and commercial sectors, Owner and CEO Terry Thompson has hired consultant Rosemary McDowell, CEO and Founder of Contract & Proposal Management Solutions. Thompson says McDowell will be working on writing government bids for TTE, as well as networking to increase TTE's visibility with Fortune firms. McDowell's background includes years of management experience in the commercial sector, as well as experience in the Federal Government reviewing bid submissions.
|New Clients and Projects|
TTE has been doing German-to-English translation for its newest client, insurance brokerage firm Lockton Companies, LLC.
Transcription of International Press Conferences has also been added in recent months.
|TTE Donates To Local Hospital |
TTE made its annual donation to the Children's Memorial Hospital of Chicago during the hospital's August Radiothon. The annual MIX Radiothon was hosted by Eric and Kathy of 101.9 FM in conjunction with the Children's Memorial Foundation. Patient stories were featured throughout the Radiothon.
Children's Memorial Hospital was founded in 1882 by Julia Foster Porter. The hospital's Web site tells the story of Porter starting with eight beds in a cottage. Today, they have 270 licensed in-patient beds, with that number to rise to 288 upon the completion of a new facility currently under construction.
A June 2008 hospital news release on the Web site describes the funding efforts of the Children's Memorial Foundation going toward "support of patient care, new treatments and technology, research, education, family services, and other programs."
TTE Owner and CEO Terry Thompson uses her entrepreneur and management skills beyond the walls of TTE at her local church. Thompson started a church liturgy program for children ages three to nine. The program has been well received, with the number of participants quadrupling since it began just over three years ago.
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