A&D Guest Feature – August 2015 “Green Issue”

Theory or practice?

Real-world sustainability experience from A&D professionals

By Lesley Goddin

robinwilsonOver the last few decades, buzz about sustainability is on everyone’s lips. Green certification programs like LEED and Green Globes and product certification programs like Green Squared® and Greenguard® abound.

And yet, what is the experience of actual A&D professionals today? How often are green solutions demanded, offered or implemented? And how are tile products helping to keep our planet, the water we drink and the air we breathe clean, fresh and healthy?

We put a series of questions to two respected forces in the world of design, Anne Rue, Anne Rue Interiors of Lake Mary, Fla., and Robin Wilson, of Robin Wilson Home, based in New York City.

annerueRue is a sought-after and respected voice in the design of residential, hospitality, multifamily and senior living interiors – whose work is about a 50/50 mix between residential and commercial interiors. Anne Rue’s interior design team has built a reputation for its down-to-earth approach to design, working with a broad range of lifestyles and budgets. This spring she was the designer of one of the Coverings Installation Design Showcase vignettes that featured Crossville tile products.

Wilson is an interior designer, businesswoman, expert on healthy homes, and author, most recently of Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle (Greenleaf, 2015). Robin Wilson Home, her design firm, was founded in 2000 and works on select projects throughout the United States, ranging from high-profile clients, private homes, developers and consultation with leading consumer brands. Both Rue and Wilson have appeared on HGTV – Rue in “Design Star”and Wilson in “Selling New York,” among other prestigious broadcast and print appearances.

1-ADSustainability surges and setbacks

Both professionals report a surge in demand for eco-friendly products and sustainable components. For Wilson, earth-friendly design is a cornerstone of any project. “All of our projects incorporate elements of sustainability and eco-friendly products,” Wilson said. “We were one of the early pioneers of this movement since 2000, and we began to publicize our efforts starting in 2006. Today, it is often requested by clients.”

For Rue, about 50% of commercial projects demand sustainability. “I would say that is up by at least 20% to 30% from 5 years ago!” Rue explained.

Why aren’t all projects clamoring for eco-friendly products? Wilson said, “For some people, the biggest issue is the perceived barrier of expense. However, so many companies have brought down the costs so that people can have affordable options.”

Expense isn’t quite the issue for Rue; finding suitable products is. “The biggest challenge is finding sustainable products for all areas,” she said. “The market is not saturated in the LEED and sustainable products yet, but that will be changing, I am sure.”



Tile: important player for green projects

3-ADTile products are important players in the sustainable scenario, particularly large thin porcelain tile that can be used as floor covering, wall covering or even cabinet facing.

“For me the thin tile like Laminam by Crossville has been a big benefit to my projects,” Rue said. “The thin tile is so easy to put over existing flooring if needed, and being able to use a large-scale product or cut it into small scale or even different shapes make it really fun to design with.” Wilson added, “I love thin tile that can also be used as a wall cladding.”

Both designers cite the advantages porcelain tiles with wood-like aesthetics are giving to projects. “Many people are using porcelain tile with wood grain in home spaces that have pool access to prevent damage to actual hardwood floors,” Wilson said.

Rue concurred, adding, “The wood tile look has really changed the game for a lot of people in both commercial and residential projects. The tile looks so realistic that people can’t believe it is not real wood. I am designing a home in St. Simons and my clients wanted real wood but knew the durability of it would not be the best choice for the high-traffic areas and the areas that would be exposed to water. Wood tile was our answer.”

4-ADWilson also praised glittering glass accents as wall coverings. “It is often recycled glass, so people are ensuring that glass is sustainably harvested from the landfill,” she said.

In addition to aesthetics, tile offers a range of advantages that help earn LEED points.

“Ceramic and porcelain tile is a great option for LEED points because of the low to no VOCs, and tile manufacturers are reusing water and materials to reduce waste,” Rue pointed out. “There are also adhesives and grouts that have zero to low VOCs,” an important part of the overall tile installation project, keeping it green from top to bottom.

And tile can be used together with other technologies to pump up earth-friendliness. “Tile can be used in conjunction with radiant heat/geothermal technology to increase LEED points, which can create an overall energy savings,” Wilson offered. “I have also used Silestone as a wall cladding and cut it into tiles for bathroom projects, and it is durable, versatile and antibacterial,” she said.



Custom promotes Garett Shandler and Matt Flowers

CBP_LOGO_2C_12_11Custom® Building Products has promoted Garett Shandler to vice president of sales in Canada and Matt Flowers to division vice president of the company’s U.S. South Region.

Shandler joined CUSTOM more than 20 years ago and fostered significant growth in the construction and retail sales channels across Canada. He led the Canadian sales team to build CUSTOM into that country’s category brand leader together with its valued distribution partners.

Flowers has held numerous positions during his 18-year tenure at CUSTOM, most recently as the national manager for consumer accounts. In his new role, Flowers will continue to oversee national sales and service for CUSTOM’s co-op retail partners as well as take on the company’s construction channel sales leadership across the Southern U.S., Caribbean and Central America.


Fuse Alliance welcomes Kevin Sergenian to its leadership team

serginian-fuseallianceFuse Alliance, a member-owned organization of professional, commercial flooring contractors, has welcomed Kevin Sergenian to its leadership team. A seasoned industry veteran, with over 30 years of service in the specified commercial flooring industry, Sergenian will focus on increasing Fuse Alliance’s exposure in the real estate development market, building out this segment of Fuse Commercial’s business. Fuse Commercial is the organization’s highly successful national contracting initiative specializing in senior living, retail and hospitality flooring installations across the continental U.S. and Canada. Sergenian previously held prominent roles with Bentley Mills, Mohawk Industries, Beaulieu Group, Shaw Industries and J&J Invision.


LATICRETE promotes Bernadette Smith Anderson

laticreteLATICRETE has promoted Bernadette Smith Anderson to the position of assistant director of sales, Tile & Stone Installation Systems. Anderson will continue to report to Rob Smith, director of sales APD, as a regional sales manager for California and Oregon, while assisting in an expanded set of sales projects throughout the year. Anderson joined LATICRETE in 2008 as a senior architectural specialist. In that role, she promoted the benefits of the LATICRETE Systems Warranty to architects, specifiers and design professionals.


Bostik tours with Tour de France 2015

Bostik, Inc. was an official supplier of Tour de France 2015, held last month. This sponsorship provided a platform for promotional activities showcasing Bostik brands and activities to a global audience.

This 102nd Tour de France started July 4th in Utrecht, Netherlands and finished on the world-famous Champs-Élysées in Paris, France July 26th. The 21-stage route covered a distance of over 3,000km, taking riders through three countries and extremely challenging terrain. There was 6,000-plus hours of worldwide TV coverage with reports broadcast in 190 countries reaching an estimated 3.5 billion viewers. 12 million spectators were expected to view the race as it crossed France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

As a sponsor, Bostik participated in the Tour de France ‘Publicity Caravan’ that accompanied the race. Various promotional vehicles offered spectators gifts and giveaways while they awaited the riders. These vehicles strongly promoted Bostik, incorporating the firm’s well-recognized gecko in a prominent visual role. To add to the Tour de France 2015 sponsorship, Bostik will be launching a number of international promotional programs through September. These will include social media campaigns, customer events and in-market promotions across multiple countries, which will include cycling-related competitions, giveaways and special offers.

The Tour de France sponsorship is key to spreading the word in the Americas of the global acceptance Bostik products enjoy, said Michael Jenkins, business director for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit – Americas. “Globalizing the distinct image of our brand is a good ‘step one’ in getting everyday people to become even more familiar with the Bostik name and range of solutions our company provides,” he said.

Added Scott Banda, director of Marketing for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit -Americas, added, “We want customers in the Americas to be confident that when they decide upon Bostik products, they will be receiving high-performance materials that have been thoroughly researched, selected and accepted worldwide. By associating our unique brand identity images with prestigious global sporting events such as Tour de France 2015, we will continue to accomplish these well-thought-out image-building strategies.”


Arley’s 13th Annual Golf Classic and Tile & Stone Expo more than exceeds expectations

Arley Wholesale, Inc. (www.arleywholesale.com) , a family-owned, Scranton, Pa.-based, third generation wholesale supplier of ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass mosaic tiles and installation materials, once again provided three successful days of business, fun and major league networking. The firm hosted its 13th Annual Arley Wholesale Tile & Stone Exposition on Tuesday, June 16th at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pa., concluding a three-day non-stop celebration that included the hugely popular Arley Golf Classic on Monday.

Without question, this was the most successful Arley Wholesale Tile and Stone Exposition to date. Jim Carra, Arley’s Northeast Regional Vice President stated, “Our customer base keeps getting stronger. Our product line is constantly updated to best meet their needs. And every year, our June event is better than the previous year’s. What can I say, life is good!”

Joe D’Agostino of Madison Carpet One, Tonawanda, N.Y., a longtime Arley customer added, “We look forward to coming here every year. There are so many positives gained by attending. In particular, the great networking opportunities.”

A major highlight was the annual keynote speech delivered after Sunday’s dinner by Scott Levy, Arley Executive Vice-President of Operations. He paralleled WWE wrestling champion John Cena’s catchphrase “The Champ is here!” to the swagger successful retailers should take regarding privately branded products. For the last few years, a key Arley theme, “We want to help make you the brand,” has focused on helping retailers become more involved in private labeling. Levy was emphatic that consumers simply do not come into a tile and stone showroom requesting products by brand name; they depend on the retailer to be “The Champ” relative to offering the strongest product and installation recommendations. Furthermore, Levy explained the myriad of benefits gleaned by those offering products under their own brand. “In particular,” he emphasized, “Your customers will realize that you’ll stand fast behind any product bearing your company’s name.”

He continued on how flooring retailers must be “The Champ” not just to their customers, but to their co-workers and suppliers, as well. Levy stated, “You are in business… this is your life. This is not merely a job to any of us… it is everything. Your family, your employee partners…. they are all counting on you to continually be ‘The Champ.’”

Michael Dean Ester, a comedian nationally recognized for working the college and cruise ship circuits, followed Levy’s speech. Exceedingly entertaining, part of his high-energy “shtick” involved bantering with those in the audience; a highlight being the back-and-forth between Ester and David Lowe, Arley’s Vice President of Sales, one known for having a unique sense of humor of his own, as well.

Monday’s golf outing held at the nearby Glen Oak Country Club included well over 100 participants vying for lowest net team score, closest to the pin and longest drive prizes. Post-golfing was topped off by a patio cocktail hour, followed by Arley’s awards dinner at the Glen Oak main dining room. Directly thereafter, David Lowe functioned as Master of Ceremonies, delivering the post-dinner golf awards.

Semih Susleyen, sales manager of Ege Seramik, perhaps best described the three-day experience. “This event mirrors our collective feelings about Arley. Everything is always professional. We started doing business with Arley just last year, seeing them as a strategic, reliable partner who promotes our products in 26 different states. Needless to say, they are doing a great job. I think the way we communicate strengthens our relationship and mutual trust with Arley, helping us focus on results. We have been doing business together just for 12 months, but it feels like we have known them for at least 12 years!”


NeoCon3The 47th edition of NeoCon, June 15-17, was one for the record books with high numbers of engaged professionals flocking to the Merchandise Mart for a jam-packed, three-day show. Drawing more than 50,000 influential attendees from across the country and globe, the floors
were bustling and vibrant until the show close on Wednesday. They all came to take advantage of the powerful keynotes, top-notch exhibitors, fresh educational programming and invaluable networking opportunities. Adding to the excitement this year was the unveiling of a brand new river-facing park in front of the Merchandise Mart, as well as the launch of an enhanced and super-intuitive NeoCon app. Improved way-finding and thoughtfully designed layouts on the 7th and 8th floors elevated the NeoCon experience.

Susan McCullough, Senior Vice President at The Merchandise Mart, comments, “NeoCon has long been the ultimate conference and exposition for those in commercial interiors. This year, the show was even better then ever thanks to many new initiatives and events. Enthusiastic show-goers and exhibitors kept NeoCon buzzing until the final hour of the very last day. It’s become clear that the show has grown in size and scope and is on a great track for years to come.”

Keynote sessions and the majority of the CEUs and seminars were sold out. Patricia Urquiola’s Keynote (presented by IIDA and Haworth) was a smash hit, kicking off the show on a high note. A major rainstorm cancelled second day Keynote presenter Jason Silva’s flight (and therefore presentation sponsored by ASID and OFS Brands), but it did not dampen spirits. As skies cleared, attendees descended upon the gorgeous new park on the Merchandise Mart’s South Drive for NeoCon and Interior Design magazine’s HiP at NeoCon party featuring live Blues music and some of Chicago’s favorite food and drink. On Wednesday, rising stars and keynotes Martin Lesjak and Anastasija Sugic (presented by AIA Chicago and Mohawk Group) set the tone for a successful last day, with many attendees staying until the show wrapped up that afternoon.set

Dates for NeoCon 2016 are set for June 13-15. For more information, visit www.neocon.com.


Daltile announces Interior Design Scholarship winner

Daltile, in conjunction with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation, has announced Rebecca Gardner as the winner of the fourth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship. As the grand prize winner of the competition, Gardner was presented with a $10,000 scholarship to continue her education in the field of interior design. Gardner’s winning design was on display at NeoCon 2015, where she was Daltile’s guest of honor.

“On behalf of Daltile and the ASID Foundation, we congratulate Rebecca Gardner on winning the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship,” said April Wilson, director, brand marketing, Dal-Tile Corporation. “Each year, students from around the country rise up to our design challenge, demonstrating that the future of interior design is brimming with talent. Gifted designers like Rebecca continue to inspire Daltile’s ongoing commitment to position the next generation of interior designers for growth and success in the industry.”

This year’s design challenge, titled Design with a Greater Purpose, was to select a charity or non-profit to take on as a pro-bono client and to create a redesign of their current space that addressed the needs of its users and exhibited excellence in design and creativity. Students were challenged to explore the current issues faced within the space and stakeholder needs to make it a high functioning and beautiful space. Entries were judged on the space’s function, aesthetic, and creative use of Daltile’s newest product offerings to bring each student’s vision to life.

As a recent graduate and young professional, Rebecca Gardner hoped entering the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship contest would stretch her as a designer and push her to produce great work, and her grand prize-winning entry made that hope a reality. A student at Brigham Young University, Idaho, she found inspiration in Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, a non-profit organization in her community that strives to foster education and stewardship of the earth and its ecosystems.

Using Daltile collections, including Florentine™ Glazed Porcelain, ONE™ Quartz, Showscape™ Wall Tile, and a variety of Glass Mosaics, Gardner transformed the aquarium’s interior to better support their mission of inspiring people to explore, learn, and discover.

“The ASID Foundation is proud to participate with Daltile in awarding scholarships to Rebecca Gardner and other worthy young designers,” said Randy Fiser, ASID CEO. “Education and scholarships are prime objectives of the ASID Foundation, and the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship program enables us to address both while leveraging a valued partnership.”

The grand prize winner and three finalists were selected by Daltile and the ASID Foundation with the help of a panel of industry experts, including Donna Vining, NCIDQ, FASID, IIDA, RID, CAPS,REGREEN Trained™ and Sandy Gordon, FASID, LEED AP. This year’s top scholarship recipients are:

Grand Prize: $10,000 Scholarship Winner: Rebecca Gardner, Brigham Young University, Idaho

First Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Rebecca Bruno, Southwest University of Visual Arts

Second Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Amber Ferguson, Student ASID, Southwest University of Visual Arts

Third Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Erika Larsen, Virginia Tech University


Pentair acquires Nuheat; expands floor heating portfolio


In April 2015, Pentair announced the acquisition of Nuheat, a market-leading manufacturer of electric floor heating systems. By combining Nuheat’s state-of-the-art, customized products and tailored expertise with Pentair’s Thermal Building Solutions’ broad range of Raychem heat tracing systems for pipe freeze, snow melting and deicing applications, Pentair seeks to provide distributors, installers and end users with a complete and differentiated portfolio of floor heating and winter safety solutions.

Vancouver-based Nuheat is well known for its innovative technology and providing customers with reliable, customized, and high-performance floor heating systems including North America’s first Wi-Fi enabled floor-heating thermostat. With a 4,000-point distribution network across the US and Canada, the incorporation of Nuheat into Pentair’s portfolio of floor heating and freeze protection technology will enable Pentair’s Thermal Building Solutions to provide floor heating products to more customers in North America.


A new Tiling Town set to debut at Cersaie 205

The stage is set for the fourth edition of Tiling Town, to be held at the heart of the Exhibition Centre at Cersaie 2015, scheduled in Bologna, Italy from September 28-October 2. The 2015 edition will see greater involvement on the part of Assoposa, which will organize the Master Tiler demonstrations. Collaboration with the Vocational School for young tile layers in the province of Bolzano will also continue.

Tiling Town will be back in a new and more prestigious location alongside the Services Centre at the Exhibition Centre’s main entrance (Area 49).

Now in its fourth edition, the event will bring together the entire world of tile laying at Cersaie. In the space of just a few years, it has seen a considerable improvement in quality and attracted constantly growing numbers of participants and visitors.

Tiling Town 2015 will be divided into 3 separate areas.

A large space will be occupied by Assoposa (Italian ceramic tile layers’ association), whose Master Tilers will give demonstrations of how to install large-format and thin tiles for interiors and exteriors. Numerous demonstrations will be given each day and will be open to all visitors to Cersaie.

Following last year’s success, the 2015 event will once again see the participation of the vocational school of Silandro (Bolzano), which will participate in Tiling Town in cooperation with the association lvh.apa Confartigianato Imprese of Bolzano. Eleven apprentices accompanied by their tutors will carry out highly complex work requiring a high level of manual skill, precision and meticulous workmanship.

The school in Silandro is the only Italian educational institute taking part in Worldskills 2015, the world championships of professional skills to be held in August in São Paulo (Brazil) which will also include a tiling competition.

In another area, the Assoposa Master Tilers will carry out a complicated installation to demonstrate the enormous adaptability of ceramic tiles to any requirement in the field of building and architecture.

Cersaie 2015 will also host a meeting of European manufacturers, retailers and tilers. For the first time, these players will come together to discuss the short and long term market prospects and to explore many themes of shared interest such as technical training of professionals and the state of international standards governing products and installation methods. The meeting will see the participation of representatives of CET (European ceramic tile producers’ association), EUF (European ceramic tile fixers’ association) and distributor and retailer associations from several different countries. For more information, visit www.cersaie.it/en.

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