Friday, November 27, 2009

Dust barrier - Core77

0zipwall.jpgContraption for quickly setting up a dust barrier - Core77
Looks like a great way to minimise risk, when working in public places.
Though it'd be even better if the guy in there had a mask on!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LED replacement for fluro battens

EverLED TR LED Fluorescent Replacement
My jaw dropped at the price of these replacement LED tubes, however there is a return on investment calculator which allows you to compare LED and standard tube lifecycle costs and indicates some quite surprising results. Worth looking at.
From the site:
Green for your pocket and the environment.

The EverLED-TR™ brings to you the many advantages of LED Technology, in the simplest way possible, wrapped into a light tube that is compatible with existing standard fluorescent fixtures.

  • No Glass
  • No toxic phosphor, mercury, or lead
  • Recyclable
  • 10 year life (typical)
  • Typical power reduction of 30% or more
  • No "burn out" failure
  • Cold temperature compatible
  • Flicker Free
  • T8 model works in T10 and T12 applications
  • No light wasted on reflector
  • Light output comparable to popular, similar sized fluorescent tubes
  • No electrical work required for installation
  • Compatible with existing:
  • Lenses
  • Magnetic and electronic ballasts
  • Programmed/instant/rapid/trigger start
  • Eliminates need for starter can
Australian (Vic) retailer:
Cutter Electronics

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OMSI Green Exhibits Guide.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Downloadable checklist and rating scorecard to help set benchmarks
OMSI Green Exhibits Guide.pdf (application/pdf Object)

NAME: National Association for Museum Exhibition - Issues and Online Archives

NAME: National Association for Museum Exhibition - Issues and Online Archives

The California Academy of Sciences Delivers a Sustainable Message With Sustainable Exhibition Design | Designerati | Fast Company

California Academy of Sciences
from the site:"For text and images the designers used a direct-to-plywood printing process that saved a step of printing on other substrates or plastic and using excessive adhesives to attach to display panels.
To ensure that the exhibits could be easily updated, the team created a self-contained, modular system that integrates seamlessly with the architecture. Panels and kiosks can be easily removed, and all signage is on easily-replaceable panels, not painted on walls as is common in most museums. All elements were designed to be free-standing and easily moved, each containing its own electrical, lighting, AV and climate control systems. "We found that there were not a lot of choices in the one-off exhibition realm that are super-sustainable" says Heiman. The choice to have a system that didn't create excessive waste helped to make up for the lack of options.
The openness of the exhibits themselves gives visitors opportunities to interact with each other. "You're also engaging with other people," says Brodsley. "You're looking through walls and starting dialogues with people."
"Like every industry they're going have to rethink how they do things," says Heiman. "Our results came from the fact that we don't work in the industry that often, so we came to it with fresh eyes."
The California Academy of Sciences Delivers a Sustainable Message With Sustainable Exhibition Design | Designerati | Fast Company

esute Flip Book

ESute: A traveling exhibit system of 'flip top boxes' from Exhibition Studios in Adelaide that transforms from a travel container/road case to a display plinth. Tough, durable and potentially easily adaptable for other areas. Looks great for outreach programs, touch trolleys etc. Worth a look. Very re usable

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Water based timber finishes
This is the timber finish we usually use that has been approved by our Conservators as suitable for use inside object showcases.
Its great and dries back to a nice finish however is very clear and tends not to bring out the warmth of the natural timber like an oil, hence the search for a natural zero VOC oil... see post below.

Natural oil finish for timber

We're using some recycled timber in an upcoming exhibition and whilst searching for suitable finishes came across this VOC free oil finish which is a by product of wood pulp... looks interesting.
synteko_natural_eco.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Friday, September 11, 2009

OLED Light -

OLED... not quite ready yet but worth keeping an eye on. Article from NY Times
For Effect and Energy, Designers Are Intrigued by OLED Light -

Monday, August 17, 2009

DTAC Product stewardship program

With current building & OH&S regs, tactiles are are popping out absolutely everywhere. I received this update from DTAC introducing their recycling/refurbishing program and new business policies (.pdf here) worth reading if your about to spec tactiles in your new exhibit
From the DTAC site:

a DTAC product will not complete its life cycle until DTAC collects and remanufactures.

"Our clients don't believe we actually recycle until they experience this service", says Dean Alexander Homicki, CEO of DTAC. "The end client will at some point have to refurbish a floor or surface. It's nonsense for any designers to omit this from their thought process."

Through DTAC's Customer Care program they keep detailed records of all project particulars. This documentation is given to the client at the end of a project which allows for transparent accountability of DTAC to the end client. When the end client realises how much they save by recycling and refurbishing they cannot believe it. So many clients remark, "Why don't others do what DTAC does?."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

LG Energy Efficient Monitor


LG Wide LCD Monitor - LG Global Site

- Low Power Consumption (Typical): Normal 20W, Sleep 0.3W

- Reduce energy consumption up to 50% compared to sames class of LCD monitor

- Winner of 2008 IF Product Design Award

Definitely not the highest spec monitor around but could be worth investigating for simple exhibition applications.
From CNET review (link here): It might sound like some sort of futuristic tank, but the W2252TE, which we first told you about in June, is reportedly the world's most eco-friendly monitor. LG reckons it sucks just 22W in use and as little as 0.3W in standby mode.

We tested these claims, and to our delight, it drew just 18.8W in use and less than 0.1W in standby mode. To put things in perspective, other 22-inch monitors tend to draw somewhere in the region of 40W.

So it's genuinely green, but is it any good? Well, yes. The 22-inch panel runs at 1,680x1,050 pixels, the screen isn't horribly glossy, it has a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 2ms response time, an HDCP-compliant DVI port, and the image reproduction is very, very good.

Don't think for a second that LG is simply scaling back the brightness of the backlight to save power--the W2252TE beams very solidly despite its claimed maximum of 250cd/m2.

LED/LCD monitor

LED backlight cuts LCD TV power consumption
via EE Times India:
Mao Yu-Hai, chief scientist at Power Analog Microelectronics (PAM). explains:
In LCD panels and LCD TVs, most of the power is consumed by the backlight source. These days, almost all desktop LCD monitor and LCD TV utilise CCFL lamps that consume a lot of electric power since they have to be driven by high voltage inverter.
'When using LED backlight, the power consumption can be reduced by 50 per cent. In Samsung's 40inch LCD TV, it consumed 170W. After it changed to LED backlight, it only consumed 100W,' Mao said.
Besides the power saving advantage, LED backlight is capable of realising colour saturation beyond NTSC ratio of 100 per cent and can replace colour filter."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Paint recovery: Resene

Resene PaintWise
This looks like a great program established in NZ by Resene... details here
Whilst Resene Paints are definitely sold in Aus I'm not sure if there is a similar program here, but definitely something to follow up: Paint recovery/Recyling. If anyone know more please let me know.
From the Resne Paints site:
Be PaintWise!
Bring unwanted paint and paint containers into your local Resene ColorShop and let us recycle or dispose of them responsibly. Resene will offer good quality Resene paint to community groups for reuse, recycle packaging materials that are recyclable, send solventborne paints to solvent recovery, find alternative uses for waterborne paints, such as graffiti abatement, and dispose of the rest for you.
Resene PaintWise Recycling of Unused Paint

HowStuffWorks "Paint Components: Dissecting the Grass Green Paint on Your Walls"

Here's a good intro to Low VOC paints and what to look out for:
HowStuffWorks "Paint Components: Dissecting the Grass Green Paint on Your Walls"

OLED lighting

oled light, sustainable design, green design, inigo mauer, early future lamp, osram, energy efficient lightingWorth keeping an eye on development of these
Inhabitat � Interiors

Allan Chochinov's 10 Steps for Sustainable Design : TreeHugger

allan chochinov 10 steps slide photo
10 simple but important ideas to easily put into practice now.
Allan Chochinov's 10 Steps for Sustainable Design : TreeHugger

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SierraPine - Sustainable MDF!

Found this via the last article no idea if its available in Aust but looks like its worth chasing up further info.
SierraPine - Composite Solutions
Just did a bit of checkng and these guys seem to be the exclusive Aust. stockists: Simmonds Lumber (Melb, Syd, Bris) however they only carry the Arreis version & it looks like it's imported from the States!!! Needs further research but looks very interesting.
  • Formaldehyde free adhesive system
  • Physical properties similar to, or better than standard MDF
  • 100% recycled wood fiber
  • FSC mixed credit certified - available option
  • LEED® credit support: MRc 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 7 & EQc 4.4
  • Meets CARB ATCM Phase 2 emission limits - CARB NAF Exempt
  • Third party certification - SCS & EPP
  • CHPS compliant - California section 01350 approved
  • Developed and manufactured with pride in Medford, OR

Design Blog | “Green” Exhibition�Design | Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

An appraisal of an exhibit designed by Pentagram for Cooper Hewitt, worth a read with some practicle info...
from the site:
The photos are printed on aluminum panels that magically reflect light. Museums usually print photographic enlargements on paper or vinyl and mount them to foamcore or Sintra (a hard plastic). These materials are not biodegradable, and they can’t be recycled or reused. Pentagram used a process called direct-to-substrate dye-sublimation printing: when the ink is heated and transferred to the material, the ink embeds into the surface of the metal. The resulting print is durable and scratch-resistant, and each panel can be recycled (like a soda can).
Design Blog | “Green” Exhibition�Design | Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum:

Green museums & green exhibits: Communicating sustainability through content and design

Haven't read this yet but will when I get a chance...
Byers_fall2008_project.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Green Benchmarks | Event Design Magazine

A self initiated checklist, standards and rating system developed by Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to allow the design team to track and score the greening of their exhibits. This is a great initiative! It would be good to incorporate consideration for various multimedia, technology, lighting etc etc too.. Broaden the focus to consider ongoing "running" energy consumption... (tricky)
from Event Design Mag:
Green Benchmarks
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
When Oregon Museum of Science and Industry creative director Jessica Willcox was working on an exhibit built exclusively with sustainable materials a few years back, she realized her team had no means to compare future projects to the green standards they were achieving.
Now, the OMSI has created a set of green criteria for exhibit design based on the architecture world’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program—but streamlined for ease-of-use.
The checklist consists of eight categories, and exhibit projects receive a score between one and four based on how well they have addressed the issues. A project that receives six to 10 points is deemed Green Certified; 11 to 18 is Silver; 19 to 26 is Gold; 27 to 32 is Platinum.

“It’s pretty simplistic by design, because we have a lot on our plates. We have our design manager, production manager, lead designer, and lead production representative walk through the exhibit and score it. It takes us 25 minutes and we’re done—it’s designed to be fast and efficient,” Willcox says.

The eight categories
Renewable Resources.
Resource Reuse.
Recycled Content.
End-Life Assessment.
Low-Emitting Materials.
Certified Wood.
Regional Materials.

Full article here:
Green Benchmarks | Event Design Magazine

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

LiteSteel Beam

Ok here's one I've used before but slipped my mind until I saw a post on a US site... couldn't find any sustainable info on the site which is generally not a good sign, however this product has some great credentials in terms of ease and speed of working, good range of standardised components, and minimised weight/material + developed in Australia and I'm pretty sure its locally produced (need to check this). The weight advantage becomes really important when considering structural members for touring exhibits. I've used it for a raised public platform/ramped area and though still heavy, it was easily managable, constructed, happily signed off by the engineers and had the durability to stand up to touring... worth further investigation.
From the site....

LiteSteel beam was developed in response to demand for a light structural beam with the strength of steel and the ease of use afforded by timber. Its approx 40% lighter than the equivalent rated hot rolled beam. LSB delivers the same load-carrying capacity as hot-rolled steel, and it can be worked like engineered wood (cuts, nails, and can be integrated with wood framing with standard connectors)

LiteSteel Beam

Friday, July 17, 2009

This may interest the lighting buffs...

VLX Luminaire
The VARI❋LITE® VLXTM Wash luminaire is the next
generation of solid-state lighting from the company
that helped start the revolution in automated lighting.
The VLX gives you all the benefits of LED technology
and the best visual performance characteristics of a
tungsten source. VLX offers stunning colors and
intensity, multi-year source life and high reliability.
Combined with low energy consumption and
maintenance costs, the Vari-Lite VLX resets the bar for
all other LED fixtures
Vari-Lite - Express Yourself. - Vari-Lite - Express Yourself.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A checklist for sustainability

A checklist for sustainability
The Sustainable wheel
Just had a quick flick through and these two look interesting. Not exhibition focussed but general approach and summary.... + lots of pictures!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Recycled timber is not just for trims and details…

From the Nullarbor Timber website:
"Nullarbor Forest Timber Industries were approached in 2004 by The City of Greater Melbourne to be involved in the most innovative environmentally friendly project ever undertaken in Victoria. We were asked to supply enough recycled material capable of creating a screen to clad one entire facade of a ten story city high rise....Not one tree has been felled (plantation or otherwise) for the CH2 Screen Project!"
More here CH2 here

Some local Melbourne Recycled timber suppliers:
Shiver me timbers
Australian Recycled Timber
Timber Zoo
Nullarbor Timber
Urban Salvage
Delta Group

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Uniboard ECO: Coloured recycled plastic board

There are a number of these recycled HDPE boards around which are quite stiff and have an integral colouring and can be easily cut and machined. This one (ECO) features a fairly tough skin with foamed interior (lightweight). Just be aware that any cut edges will reveal the foamed interior and it does scratch fairly easily. I used this for a kids interactive and routered a graphic into one face, as its a sandwiched construction this messed with the tension and caused the board to warp slightly. These is also Uniboard Stiff, Uniboard Standard and a similar product that comes only in black but is very dense and great for machining... but can't remember the name or supplier???
Uniboard ECO

08-09-09 I've had some further input from a colleague regarding a similar product called Plaspanel. It was spec'd as a board product for some knock down/ slot together tables to display objects and unfortunately it's sagging badly under load... so as usual consider the structural properties of any new material before specifying.

Some good general wood info

Came across this site (RIC Good Wood Guide) the other day that had some interesting items including this summary of timber products & Aus suppliers:
a good summary of Recommended Construction Timbers:
and loads of other timber related stuff. A lot of the links on the page no longer work & I wasn't able to track back to check the sources, but in general the principles seem pretty sound.
Choice of Materials for Sustainable Construction

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Design Victoria - Quick Guide

Wow the colour green is no where to be seen!!!
A quick reference guide worth sticking on the studio wall.
Produced by Design Vic, Vic Gov + RMIT
Features sections for Industrial/Product, Graphic/Multimedia & Fashion /Textiles... Unfortunately no Exhibition.
From the site:
Developed by the Centre for Design at RMIT University, WSP Environmental and leading industry experts, What is Eco-design? provides designers with comprehensive, practical information and quick reference guides whenever you need it.
Design Victoria - Quick Guide

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TurningGreen2006.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This downloadable PDF has some good references and actions regarding general design work practices...
From the DIA site:

The American Society of Interior Designers, in conjunction with Associates III, a residential and hospitality interior design firm in Denver, has also produced an informative guide full of valuable tips on how to start the process of converting your interior design practice into an environmentally sustainable business.

‘Turning Green: A Guide to Becoming a Green Design Firm’ encapsulates the knowledge and insights of the thirteen designers and team members at Associates III.

You can download it from
TurningGreen2006.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Design Checklist

GreenExhibits Home
I've posted this link before but I thought I'd hi-light this checklist again as its a nice and simple starting point:
From the site:
Green Design Checklist:

The guidelines below offer concrete ways to work toward sustainability.

This checklist was significantly altered and adapted from a checklist originally published in Environmental Building News, September-October 1992, entitled "Checklist for Environmentally Responsible Design & Construction." The original was developed for new building construction and included siting, landscaping, etc.


Rethink the menu, not just the recipe.

Do we really need to use toxic fiberglass and synthetic carpeting in the children's museum industry? What if we served something else? What about materials that are sustainable and quickly replenished?

Smaller is better.

Does it have to be enormous to be fun?
Optimize use of space through careful design. Don't overbuild to keep cost and material waste to a minimum.

Optimize materials use.

Simplify design to accommodate standard building material dimensions. Avoid over designing.

Design for future reuse.

Can it be adapted into something else? Can it be deliberately designed in the first place with a future reuse in mind? Choose components and materials that can be reused or recycled.

Design to do more good, not simply "less bad."

Create lists of materials to avoid, materials to use in moderation, and materials to use more plentifully. Strive to use the list of "best products" as much as possible. Try to eliminate the harmful materials altogether.

Design to support creativity, innovation, fun, and reinvention.

Does it support invention, ingenuity, and serendipity? Is it whimsical, and does it lend itself to reinvention?

Design for deconstruction.

Can it be dismantled quickly and easily? Can it be separated into pieces or parts that are reusable?


Stop using known culprits.

Use products and materials that have no known dangerous toxins or chemicals. Find an alternative solution that is safe for children.

Use durable products and materials.

Use products and materials that are "timeless" and known to last, or materials that can be easily refinished. Stay away from products that are not durable, that are difficult to refinish, or that quickly end up in a landfill.

Choose materials with low embodied energy

Use products that have not been heavily processed or manufactured, as these tend to require more energy. One estimate of the relative energy intensity of various materials (by weight) is as follows: Lumber=1, Brick=2, Cement=2, Glass=3, Fiberglass=7, Steel=8, Plastic=30, Aluminum=80. (Source, Building and Environment, Vol 27, No 1)

Buy locally produced building materials.

Look for regionally based, local materials. Cut down on transportation costs while supporting the local economy.

Use sustainable materials that are quickly replenished.

Try using natural materials that are grown quickly, like bamboo or hemp. Use materials that are grown sustainably, like organic cotton or certified hardwoods.

Use building materials made from recycled materials.

Using products made from recycled materials helps cut down on solid waste problems. Look for percentage of recycled content on building materials.

Use salvaged building materials when possible.

Use salvaged lumber, bricks, components-all kinds of materials, rather than buying new. This helps cut down on landfill space, conserves resources, and often adds aesthetic appeal.

Minimize use of pressure-treated lumber.

Seek to discontinue use of pressure treated lumber. Look for alternative decking or plastic lumber, or find alternative ways to deal with moisture problems with soil and rot.

Minimize packaging waste.

Purchase materials from suppliers that don't over-package to avoid unnecessary waste.

Purchase materials in bulk.

Buy in bulk whenever possible to avoid extra transportation, packaging, and labor costs.

Minimize job site waste.

Organize shop space to accommodate extra space for sorting and reuse. Put a regular recycling program into place for metal, papers, batteries, computers, etc. Donate unused building materials to organizations like Habitat for Humanity Restore.


Use nontoxic cleaning products that contribute to a healthy environment.

Select cleaning supplies that are safe to eat. If they say "caution" anywhere on the label, or something even worse, DON'T USE THEM.

Design Checklist