Memphis, Tenn. – Memphis architecture firm HBG Design just completed interior design work on an office building on International Place in East Memphis, which is a LEED-registered project. HBG designed the 9-story, 225,000 square feet building’s interior to be as green as possible, focusing on several green design aspects, including maximizing the use of natural light and selecting products that are manufactured from sustainable resources and that contribute to healthy indoor environments.

But when it comes to looking out for the environment, HBG goes well beyond sustainable building practices. This month, the firm is organizing a local effort with ZeroLandfill and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) that takes leftover carpet samples, wall coverings, tiles and other design leftovers and donates them to schools, humane societies, artists, families and organizations across the area. The general public will be able to pick-up these materials at two events on Saturday, April 18th, and Saturday, April 25th.

This is the third year HBG has taken part in the ZeroLandfill drive. Since then the firm has taken on a leadership role in organizing the event and encouraging other firms and designers to think about what they can donate throughout the entire year.

“The day after last year’s donation, we started storing the products for this year’s drive and now we are busting at the seams (see photo),” said HBG designer and Memphis IIDA director, Alexandra Campbell. “Last year, we kept 9,000 pounds of these design leftovers out of local landfills, and this year we expect even more. We can all really make a difference in this community by always thinking green.”

The ZeroLandfill drive is only one small part of HBG’s overall efforts. Just last month, HBG donated carpet tiles to a middle-Tennessee daycare for low-income families, providing a safer and more vibrant play area for the children there.

All of this is part of HBG’s HBGreen initiative, developed to encourage its clients to embrace sustainable building practices and to reduce the firm’s own carbon footprint. Sustainability is integrated, where feasible, into every project as well as into HBG’s daily operations. Outside the application of green building concepts to design, HBGreen’s internal goals are to achieve LEED accreditation for half of the HBG workforce– right now about 20 percent are LEED accredited; and to modify its offices and employee behaviors to reduce consumption of resources and integrate sustainable options.

The timeline on all of this is aggressive. HBG is looking for full integration of these practices within five years. The firm hopes leading by example will encourage others in this area to make sustainability a part of their everyday operations, improving our community along the way.