High-performance and low-impact materials are typically energy efficient, safe for occupants, and have low impact on the environment. Most frequently, lighting systems were recommended based on lighting ability to reduce costs of energy. High-performance interior materials are perceived as more expensive to design, construct, operate, and maintain, but may have increased health, comfort, and safety factors for occupants in the built environment. According to Nguyen et al. (2010), commercial and residential buildings in the United States consume close to 40% of our total energy. Criteria in the energy efficiency category (i.e. lighting) were not met. Similarly, the costs associated with sustainable design have decreased as experience in the industry has increased. The purpose of this study is to focus on using a high-performance and low-impact interior materials, and discuss barriers to sustainable design in the built environment. How can interior design materials impact the health, safety, and well-being of occupants in the built environment? And how can interior designers integrate high-performance and low-impact materials in the sustainable design?A review of literature regarding high-performance and low-impact materials was conducted. Interviews with interior designers were conducted. Instructors and students from different design departments completed a questionnaire survey.Interior designers tend to become more environmentally conscious by supporting sustainable designs that are more environmentally friendly and socially conscious. Therefore they should 1) understand that the sustainability of the high-performance and low-impact materials can be improved by the interior designer’s decisions, 2) consider the properties of sustainable materials when choosing interior design materials, 3) increase the sustainability of the high-performance interior environment by utilizing solar energy (e.g. daylighting), 4) consider how the high-performance materials can increase the sustainability of residential occupants, 5) provide efficient energy, water, light sources, equipment, and accessories to reduce the use of resources, 6) incorporate sustainable attributes into new designs by using abundant daylighting.


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  • Received: 22 April 2015
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