How to get green building certified
In a world of increasing environmental awareness, we are slowly reaching the point where all buildings will be fully constructed with sustainable building materials. Buildings like these can earn certifications — or green building labels — for their level of sustainability. Around the globe, there are many certification systems in use that serve to recognize sustainable building projects. In this blog, we describe one of the most important certification systems — and how to get certified.
Why green building labels are highly relevant for architects
In the future, buildings will be fully constructed with sustainable materials. To secure a livable future for the generations to come, this level of green construction is imperative. It is with this in mind that architects, contractors, and manufacturers are increasingly committing themselves to sustainable design and practicing sustainable business. Architects and contractors demonstrate this commitment through the acquisition of green building labels for their constructions. In this blog, we describe why green building labels are so interesting for architects and architect firms.
Top 10 Things to Consider When Specifying Tile
Tile can be one of the most complex of built-environment specs, so knowledge of current and advanced technologies and best practices in specification is a key to success in every project. In the architectural community Mosa is known for unparalleled support in the specification process of their high-tech porcelain tile. The company has now put together a handy checklist of 10 top considerations in specifying tile for contract installations:
Tiled floors as a form of traffic system
‘Floors in a foyer are like business cards. They set the tone and ensure visitors can find their way in large buildings; you know where you are so you feel more comfortable and at ease. You can notice this in the new Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+) building,’ says architect Luc Nooijen, who works for Architecten aan de Maas in Maastricht.
Light and the power of change
“Light is such a strong, powerful element of our environment. It even has social implications.” For Philip Ross, it’s all about light. He is a designer of interactive lighting. His professional focus is on the interaction of light and people.
Light, a surface with its light reflective and absorbing qualities, and the perceiver determine how we perceive color. If one of those elements is missing, there is no color experience. This means that changing the way a space is lit changes people’s experience of that space. And this in turn influences the way people behave in that environment. This impact that lighting ultimately has on people is the starting point of Philip Ross’ designs. Maybe this is what brought Philip to cooperate with Mosa on the new µ [mu] series. He supported the inhouse design team to elaborate on the influence of light on the visual experience of the tiles. In the Lightlab of Eindhoven University of Technology, the team created different light situations – based on the changes in daylight from sunrise to sunset – to see the effect of light on the µ tiles. The changes in the light during the day create the vividness of the floor. For the people in the room this means that the tiles become part of this light play, which happens during the day. Light is life and life is change.
How light and color provide new ways for creative design
What do we need to experience light and color? Our perception needs three key elements: A material or surface, light and someone who perceives this. If any element is missing, there is no color experience. The interaction between the three creates our individual color experience. Architects, artists and designers integrate this knowledge into their work. The Dutch Interactive Lighting Designer Philipp Ross researches intensively on this topic. For him, design starts with the impact that the lighting has on space and people. Changing the light means changing the space and it also might change what people do in the space.
How do light and color relate to each other?
Why does the same object sometimes look different when the light changes? Does light influence the color so strongly? Yes, it does. There are several effects that decide which color an object has. First of all, when light hits an object, the object can react in three different ways: It can transmit the light, absorb it or reflect it. Which way is chosen depends on the object itself. White objects look white to us, because they reflect all colors, black objects look black because they absorb all colors. An orange looks orange to us, because it absorbs all colors except for orange. But: This is only true for white light. If you direct colored light towards an object, this is a different story. Imagine lighting a blue object with blue light. The object still reflects the blue and will look blue. But if the same blue light hits a red object, the blue will be absorbed and no light reflected. The red object will appear black now.
How do we experience color and light?
Color is a natural phenomenon. It is the product of the refraction, reflection and absorption of light. But color is even more: It is a genetic factor in the origin and diversification of life on earth. Colors are an important means of orientation for innumerable forms of life. They are a means of communication, they reflect social needs, and are even a part of our socio-cultural communication. In pre-modern times, the social order was communicated not only in the materials which were used in architecture, but also by the colors inside and outside of the buildings. For Le Corbusier, colors had the same importance as a layout plan. Today, more and more architects use color in their work. Architects, artists and designers rely on colors as an important part of their creativity, but also use them to create rooms where people can feel comfortable or work more creatively or productively – thus also fostering innovation.
Any designer worth their salt will confirm it; few elements can change the mood and feel of a space, as quickly and as dramatically, as color can. Making a statement through its shade or intensity – or even its ‘absence’ – color is a defining design feature and a valuable tool in a designer’s arsenal, with the ability to make or break an interior project. So, the use of color is a fascinating topic that has always been critical in the creation of space; as the design specialists at Mosa are well aware.
Architects’ New “Musts”: Breakthrough Performance that Exceeds Industry Standards
The increasing demand for high-performance structures means design professionals are raising their own specification standards. More and more architects require materials that perform above the ever more stringent industry standards for sustainability and resiliency. This benchmark-setting performance is a growing must-have in design across the board. Not just in tile and other built-environment products, but also in decorative elements and finishes such as performance paints (Valspar, Benjamin Moore, etc.), performance contract textile technologies (Sunbrella, Crypton etc.).
Stay Mainly in the Plane: Ensuring an Even Finish with Porcelain Tile
Are you so meticulous it’s ridiculous? You’re not alone. Architects and designers have to be precise, exacting, and detail oriented in order to achieve a fully realized final design. When it comes to tile surfaces, design professionals must count on suppliers to manufacture products that can achieve the level of aesthetic and practical excellence they want for their projects. A smooth finish with an even and uniform appearance requires that you pay careful attention to two key factors:
School of Hard Knocks: The 2 Best Tests for Minimizing Abrasion, Maximizing Hardness
A designer’s reputation may be only as enduring as their spaces. Considering the cost of renovations of any space, the materials used must be able to endure over time – often for decades. The American aesthetic, unlike that of Europe and some other global places which value a time-worn patina, prefers that finishes remain looking the same as the day they were installed. Sourcing porcelain that is wear-resistant is key to satisfying this requirement. Whether the concern is office areas with chair-drag, public high traffic areas or stair treads, using the right porcelain tile will mean a worry free installation. More important, however, is how well it will fare in terms of surface integrity. Abrasion and scratching can be gateway issues for bigger problems down the road.
Installing Large Format Tiles: What You Need to Know
Using large format tile has many advantages. Among the most common advantages are easier maintenance and room size perception. Generally speaking it is far easier to clean the face of a tile than it is to clean the grout and large tile tends to make the room in which it is installed appear larger. The use of large format patterns also creates dynamic looks; dramatically increasing the visual impact of a space.
Understanding and Mastering Slip-Resistance
Every design professional knows that slip-resistance is critical in commercial flooring applications. But when you see the numbers, you may wish there was a way to have a little extra assurance that your tile selection is the right one. The good news: there is.
Tips for Worry-Free Tile Installation
Once tiles are adhered to a wall or a floor, even if they look great, it is extremely difficult to initially judge the quality of the installation. Over time, if the system is not sound, it could fail, resulting in cracking, lippage, loss of adhesion and even water damage. Getting it right the first time merely requires communicating information to installers from a simple checklist, and knowing how to access the very latest technical information.
Jury of 3: Top Hospitality Designers Name Leading HD Products
Choosing design elements for hospitality projects requires, as Liam Neeson might say, “a particular set of skills.” Hospitality design has become a place where trends are set, and from which residential design borrows both great ideas and superb functionalities. Products destined for hotels, restaurants, spas and resorts must be beautiful and durable, must adhere to safety standards and must retain their good looks and workability under a punishing level of high traffic and an unrelenting maintenance schedule.
How to ensure tight grout lines
Grout line widths are a personal preference. There is no such thing as an ideal size for grout lines, although we must admit that small tiles do tend to look their best with narrow grout joints. If you have your heart set on tight grout joints, then you are in for a challenge! Although grouting narrow joints is basically the same process as grouting wider joints, forcing grout into those small spaces can prove quite challenging. But no one said it’s impossible! Here are a few insider tips and tricks to help you install the perfectly tight grout joint.
How to choose the perfect tiles for your roof terrace
Does your building have little or no garden? In that case creating a roof terrace can be the answer. A roof terrace is ideal for enjoying the sunshine of early spring and sunbathing in midsummer. A few lounge chairs, a parasol, some plants, a nice cold glass of wine… Pure bliss! With the right tiles, a roof terrace adds value to a building and can even make a remarkable extension of the interior.
BIM for contractors: key benefits and challenges
Contractors play a key role in construction processes, which become more demanding every day. They are constantly under pressure to work faster, more cost-efficient, and execute the ideas of architects better than their competitors. They are subject to tight deadlines, stringent regulations and complex calculations. In a bid to continue meeting their clients’ ever-increasing expectations, contractors are increasingly turning to Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Why White Tile is Trending
It seems the most timeless color will soon be the most timely. Benjamin Moore, the paint company whose color sense is counted on by more design professionals than any other has just declared its color of the year for 2016 as “Simply White.” This is a profound absence-of-color statement coming from the 132-year-old firm whose color fan decks are as ubiquitous in design offices as floor plans and elevations. The Mosa design team agrees with Benjamin Moore’s theory that white may be both the silent hero of the design world and also its next big thing.
Ceramic Tile Surfaces that Endure
Most architects and designers have a deep desire to build a body of work - a legacy of meaningful design that endures over decades and longer. Designing spaces that last begins with specifying environmental aspects such as hard surfaces that will remain fresh and intact for years to come. Knowledge of current and advanced technologies and best practices in specification is a key to success in every project.
Tile Conundrum: Finding a Low-Maintenance Surface that Really Sticks
When designers promise clients a low-maintenance finish, delivering on that promise requires upfront due diligence. How can you ensure that a wall or flooring surface will really be low maintenance over time? Absorption rates are key for surfaces when you’re considering ease of maintenance for your client. Tiles that are denser absorb less water so they are easier to clean and dry faster. Easy cleaning means a cost-effective maintenance schedule, and tile that dries faster is less susceptible to common undesirable conditions such as mildew (think about vertical tile at the baseboard level), and is also a safer choice for public areas where a wet floor in a high traffic area can spell disaster in the form of slip-and-fall accidents. For tile surfaces, look for the ASTM C373 rating, which needs to be 0.5% for porcelain tile surfaces.
Are you a tiler? Here’s what you need to know about BIM
Imagine a world where tilers have all the information they need at their fingertips, without having to depend on other parties to contact suppliers for them. A world where tilers know exactly which tiles, adhesive, grout, etcetera to order and how tiles should be placed, all at a glance. This way of working is only a click of a button away when contractors, architects, tilers, and everyone else involved in the building process collaborate through Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Eight Healthy Reasons to Specify Ceramic Tile
There are many considerations in specifying materials and surfaces for the built environment, but perhaps none are more compelling than the health and safety of those who will inhabit the space. Sometimes an even greater challenge for design professionals can be quickly and simply communicating the benefits of their selections to clients during concept and design meetings. The trade organization Tile Council of North America (TCNA) has compiled a bulletin outlining all of the health and safety benefits that are naturally inherent to ceramic tile. In a world where many people are hearing dire media reports about “Sick Building Syndrome” and the potential toxicity and possible long-term health impacts of chemicals in modern building products, it is comforting to know that these concerns are a complete non-issue with ceramic tile.
Five places where porcelain tile is a better choice than natural stone
Natural stone is one of earth’s oldest building materials, used in stately homes and national monuments. In building tomorrow’s landmarks, architects and designers seek its timeless look. However, some of the most beautiful and desired stones such as limestone and sandstone are also the softest, most porous and problematic in the long term.
5 Ways to Minimize Risk Through Thoughtful Floor Design
The ideal in floor design is to achieve superb aesthetics in every project while also ensuring design integrity and minimizing risk. Risk within the project and risk to the designer’s reputation and bottom line can be minimized with thoughtful floor design, combined with careful and diligent specification of tiled surfaces. Here are the top 5 factors to consider before specifying tile:
Designing Tile Surfaces that Endure
Most architects and designers have a deep desire to build a body of work - a legacy of meaningful design that endures over decades and longer. Designing spaces that last starts with specifying environmental aspects such as hard surfaces that will stay fresh and intact for years to come. Knowledge of current and advanced technologies and best practices in specification is a key to success in every project.
How to save money on your building project with BIM
Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows designers, architects, (sub)contractors and other parties involved in a building project to collaborate within one (3D) building model, determine whether a design is feasible and plan processes and materials ahead to achieve maximum cost-accuracy. BIM is an innovative technology that has everything in store to fundamentally change the building industry, although many industry professionals find its price tag not particularly persuasive. “However, to those who look beyond the high initial cost of implementing BIM, this technology in fact offers nothing but a great deal of cost savings in the long run”, says Mark Trommelen, Industrial Designer at Mosa.
BIM: Every architect's dream come true?
Architects today are more able than ever to focus on the creative process and complete ambitious, highly complex projects, thanks to Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM not only makes it easier for architects to detect errors early in the building process, but also makes consulting with other parties involved in the project considerably less time consuming. BIM allows building designs to be more tangible and cost-accurate, and provides insight into whether or not the architect's vision can be achieved on a technical level.
Why green building labels are becoming the new standard
If you're in the building and construction industry, you know that building green is no longer a niche enterprise. Architects, engineers and contractors all over the world are striving to build as environmentally conscious as they can, hoping their buildings will be awarded a green building label such as LEED or BREEAM. However, green building labels are not required by law and take a great deal of time, effort and financial investment to obtain. Then why are green building labels so coveted, you ask? Dorien Van der Weele, Sustainability Manager at Mosa, explains.
Tiling the Milan Central station – Underscoring the technical prowess and design of Mosa tiles
Tiling a busy train station in the middle of one of Europe's most visited fashion capitals surely is no small feat. For the Milan Central station, each new addition of tiles had to be fittingly stylish - echoing the early 20th century feel of the building – and of exceptionally high quality to accommodate a heavy flow of foot traffic. Additionally, the tiles were to be installed on elevated concrete with train traffic nearby.
Transit Design Tips: 5 Musts for Tile in Airports
Remember that hilarious classic commercial with the gorilla violently tossing a suitcase around? We were all concerned for the luggage, but did you know that even without a gorilla, exposed metal on luggage handles, when dropped, exerts so much force per square inch it is just like taking a hammer to the floor?
Mosa Pattern Generator: A Matter of Pattern
Mosa introduces Mosa Pattern Generator, a specially designed device to help creative professionals explore the renowned Dutch ceramic surface specialist’s fascinating world. This latest offering by Mosa proposes a brand new way to designing with tiles.
Building green: repurposing waste means creating value
Park 20|20 is located southwest of Amsterdam. A unique business park where challenges in the field of building green and Cradle to Cradle® are met in an innovative way by Delta Development and N3O Architecten. The development's approach is twofold. On one hand, an endeavour is being made to preserve the residual value of buildings by constructing them in a flexible way with materials that can be reused. On the other hand, buildings must be made healthier and smarter, taking the users' well-being into account.
The exciting history of Dutch ceramic tiles
Did you know? Mosa is the only company that designs, develops and produces tiles in the Netherlands. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Netherlands used to thrive on ceramic tile manufacturing. Back in the 17th and 18th century, the small city of Delft was the world’s leading ceramic tile hub. What happened to all those Dutch tile producing companies? And how did Mosa wind up as the only tile manufacturer left in the Netherlands? A short travel back in time…
Townhouse complex: Hafenquartier Berlin Mitte
Hafenquartier Berlin Mitte was created between 2008 and 2012 as a townhouse complex with eleven residential units, constructed for Agromex GmbH & Co. KG based on a design by the architectural firm of Behzadi & Partner. High priority was given to the use of natural and sustainable materials in the interior design. For the bathrooms as well as the kitchens and entry areas the architects opted for Mosa tiles (from the Beige&Brown and Terra Maestricht collections), which had already proven themselves in various other projects.
Mosa receives coveted Cradle to Cradle Innovation Award
Mosa is the proud recipient of Cradle to Cradle’s prestigious Innovation Award for 2014! The prestigious distinction was handed to us during a lavish celebration event in New York in November, where we received the title of Innovator of the Year. That makes us the first ceramic tile company to gain full Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for its entire tile collection!
Do you know these five facts about Cradle to Cradle Certified Products?
Many manufactures across multiple industries have made sustainability a core value in their marketing messages. In response to this demand, new sustainability labels are constantly being created. The proliferation of labels, some of which are just mere marketing ploys, creates rampant confusion among architects and designers trying to choose a truly sustainable product. Given the current time constraints and pressures, researching the various labels that exist is often times difficult. Here are five facts about Cradle to Cradle Certified products that may help give a better understanding of what this product label means to you.
What is Dynamic Coefficient of Friction? Five things you need to know.
Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) is the new industry standard for measuring a surface’s slip resistance and is quickly replacing Static Coefficient of Friction (COF) tests. Here’s what you need to know about the new testing:
Creating the perfect high traffic tile for Amsterdam Central Station
Tiling a high traffic area such as Amsterdam Central Station is a big challenge. Nonetheless, we were up for it. Joined by Merk X the Mosa team created a special floor tile that not only resembled the look and feel of the railway station but could accommodate the heavy flow of commuters too.
Choosing between glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles
Not all porcelain tile is the same. Understanding the different porcelain tile available, and how the manufacturing process impacts the tile’s durability is crucial in choosing the right tile for the right project.
Quality factors to consider prior to porcelain tile selection
Whether for residential or commercial purposes, quality porcelain tiles have to meet certain standards. Issues such as slip resistance, breaking strength and edge tolerance have to be considered prior to tile selection. At Mosa, we believe it’s important to offer a reliable and beautiful tile solution for every situation. That’s why our Ulragres porcelain floor tiles far exceed the industry’s quality standards, making it the world’s most sturdy tile, available for both indoor and outdoor use.