3. Green Certifications – How easy is it to find products in this region? 

This topic was one of the hottest in the discussion, and one of equally deep interest at Love That Design HQ.

Designers unveiled several scenarios whereby the conversation with a client starts with achieving certain green standards and certifications, but often falls by the wayside when chasing deadlines and budgets. More often than not, there is a severe lack of education amongst clients on this topic, leading to misconstrued motives. 

“Clients say they want to be environmentally responsible, or they want environmentally friendly products,” say several designers who have been down the same road. “However, it comes down to cost and lead times. Clients don’t necessarily want to pay to be sustainable. They just want to say that they are. That’s the struggle.”

Another common problem that occurs is the fact that within this region, and specifically in the UAE, there is barely any local manufacturing. The majority of the products have to be shipped, which in itself is not very sustainable.

“With super tight deadlines, the main problem we face is that the lead time is longer than the construction period,” says one designer who has recently undergone quite a struggle looking for products that would qualify for green certification standards.

Another issue is the tiresome exercise of scouring through reams of catalogues, online or physical, to find products that come with green certification information, as there is no one proper regional resource for this information.

Some designers also admitted to the lack of knowledge on their side as well, and the need for education, asking for experts to come in and explain to them the processes involved in achieving LEED, WELL and other popular certification bodies.

Asking for help is definitely step one in our green journey.

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