Interior designers must understand and apply government regulations that affect the way they design. These regulations include zoning ordinances, building codes, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some jurisdictions have incorporated environmental requirements into their local regulations. For instance, some publically funded buildings may be required to meet LEED standards.
Approximately 600 locally harvested straw bales are used as a highly effective insulation infill between the post and beam structure of the Mariposa Veterinary clinic in Lenexa, Kansas. A 10-inch thick structural insulated panel (SIP) roof with 48-inch overhangs shelters the walls from the rain and shades interior spaces from the summer sun. Careful orientation on the site and strategically placed windows allow the building to take advantage of passive solar heating in the winter and natural day-lighting throughout the year. Native plantings conserve water, and a series of rain gardens planted with native sedges provide storm water detention and treatment. Interior finish materials visible in this photograph include a stained concrete floor that acts as a thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day and radiating it into the interior at night; plastered walls covering the straw bales; and the exposed structure of the ceiling, including the glulam (glued laminated timber) beams and the particle board of the structural insulated panel.
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Mariposa Veterinary Clinic in Lenexa, Kansas, Designed by Rothers Design Build. Photograph courtesy of Rothers Design Build
The Slocum Center, the first LEED Gold orthopedic center in the United States, was designed by the Neenan Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. Design strategies that helped achieve LEED certification included:
Building exterior designed to reduce heat gain, taking into consideration the building orientation, sunshades, low-emissivity glazing, and strategies for natural lighting
Material selection played a large role in achieving the LEED certification. There was an overall goal of reducing plastic products made of PVC. Linoleum and carpet tile were used as well as eco-polymeric sheet flooring. Other materials used in construction and as finishes include: