Southface Refresh: Mohawk Flooring Spotlight

The 2015 Southface Campus refresh was driven by a holistic approach to sustainability in our built environment. It was rooted in evidence-based design around enhancing health and well-being. A survey of Southface employees inspired decisions regarding materials, color selection and needs for flexible workspaces. Validated by third-party research in environmental psychology and biophilic design, the campus refresh has created a built environment that is healthy and efficient, allows occupants to thrive and provided Southface a platform for demonstrating how industry is leading the way.

Mohawk's Red-List free, Declared product covers the third floor of the Resource Center.

Mohawk’s Red-List free, Declared product covers the third floor of the Resource Center.

A longtime friend and supporter of Southface, Mohawk flooring donated carpet throughout the Resource Center and for the third floor workspace of the Eco Office. Working with Mohawk staff, Southface designer Bonnie Casamassima was instrumental in selecting carpeting options throughout the campus to foster focus, energy and productivity in different spaces. Ms. Casamassima says, “It was wonderful working with Mohawk aligning our refresh goals.” She also stresses the importance of a staff survey and interviews in concert with third party research in the refresh. When staff requested collaborative brainstorming space as well as focus rooms, Mohawk staff helped select the best finishes to facilitate those goals. Casamassima explains:

The focus spaces implement cooler tones which are linked to increasing your brain’s ability to focus and the collaborative space implements bright finishes which are linked to fostering information creation and innovation. Rochelle Routman and Beth Chandler were instrumental in implementing these goals using only Mohawk Red List Free products which supported our overarching goal to improve indoor environments while demonstrating product transparency.

In addition to the carpet’s positive effects on occupant behavior and psychology, the Mohawk products donated to the campus are all certified red-list free by the International Living Futures Institute and have Declare labels. Largely thanks to the leadership of Rochelle Routman, VP of Sustainability at Mohawk, the carpet manufacturer has positioned itself on the leading edge of sustainability and transparency. In fact, Ms. Routman describes their philosophy on sustainability, “transparency rules in today’s marketplace, and Declare is a perfect tool to communicate information,” highlighting the relationship between Mohawk and the Declare program.

Southface and Mohawk have been partners for years and are enthusiastically supporting one another’s sustainability missions. According to Routman, donating to the Southface refresh allows Mohawk to “share [their] story of red list free Declared carpet in an effort to encourage other manufacturers to communicate building products ingredients openly and honestly without proprietary screens or filters.” Ms. Routman describes the product throughout the campus:

The Mohawk products selected for Southface training rooms, entry area and work spaces are an off-the shelf PVC-free, red-list free and Declared carpet tile. The carpet is installed with Flex Lok Tabs, which is a red-list free Declared carpet installation system (adhesive squares). These two products, NXT carpet tile and FlexLok tabs, are the perfect marriage of sustainability. The style, called Pix II, is made with DuraColor fiber, which has inherent stain resistance, cleans with water, looks beautiful and is warranted for a lifetime. The broadloom carpet, that is used on the staircases is also red list free and Declared.

Ms. Routman underscores the importance of the relationship between Southface and Mohawk, saying, “Mohawk cherishes its relationship with Southface, which has long stood as the beacon of sustainability in the Southeast. We will continue to support Southface in its important mission.”

Mohawk's area rug adds a new feel to the dining area of the Resource Center.

Mohawk’s area rug adds a new feel to the dining area of the Resource Center.

Southface is grateful to Mohawk for their generous donation and continued support of our work in the region. As with all of our partners during the refresh, we look forward to working together more in the future.

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