Donna Staples from the British Institute of Interior Design’s Environment Committee has been helping raise awareness of environmental issues in interior design through a recent talk delivered as part of the ‘Designing Green Interiors’ event organized by the ERDF-funded InCrops Enterprise Hub, and held at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Watford. The event was aimed at interior designers, architects, developers, building contractors and manufacturers of interior materials.

BIID Member Donna, Associate at the Interior Designers and Architects practice, Pellings LLP ( gave an insightful seminar to an audience of designers and materials developer delegates. She addressed the experiences and challenges of using and specifying sustainable materials for Interior Design projects, at the event organised by the InCrops Enterprise Hub on 8th December.  

She also discussed the tools available to designers and looked in depth at the BRE Green Guide, an online tool used for checking the score of business elements and covers fabric elements, to floor finishes.

“Sustainability issues are increasingly at the forefront of the design process and need to be addressed on a whole project basis, from early design to detailed advice for building users,” says Donna. “Sustainable development criteria are embedded in the planning process and our Architects are able to advise closely and work with clients to ensure project proposals meet the requirements of the Local Authority.”

“It is important clients’ aims and objectives are understood and designers are aware of legislation and options. Products also require standardisation, and correct accreditation should be put onto their use within the market. There are many challenges facing sustainability in design, however opportunities do exist and it is imperative that we raise awareness of these issues.” 

Based in Norwich, InCrops Enterprise Hub is a body that aims to stimulate, through new business assistance and activity, the commercialisation of new bio-renewable and low carbon products from alternative and non food crop feedstock. Their event ‘Designing Green Interiors’, supported by the BRE, addressed the issue of how the interior design market addresses ‘green’ issues. InCrops is planning to run a series of follow-on events on the use of bio-based materials and sustainable design in 2012-2013. 

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About the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)

Established in 1966, the BIID is the professional Institute for interior designers in theUK.

The BIID’s growing national and international membership represents both the commercial and residential sectors, from heritage to cutting edge. In addition to rigorous entry requirements that assess training, experience and professionalism, the Institute requires members to continue their professional development throughout their career, ensuring their continued expertise in design process, practice and regulatory matters.

The BIID is the only professional organisation for interior designers which has been granted the prestigious and rare accolade of Institute status by the Minister of State as the pre-eminent body in its field. The Institute’s mission is to encourage and support creativity and competence in the field of interior design through facilitating best practice, practical professional support, development opportunities and education.

On the national stage, the BIID is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and, as a result, is now part of Government consultations to advise on new policy and legislation. Internationally, the BIID is represented on the board of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers; the global voice and authority for professional interior architects and designers. More details at