Eames Chairs Safe for Schools and Children Posted October 28, 2015 by Daniel Ostroff
The new Eames Fiberglass Shell Chairs by Herman Miller are certified GREENGUARD Gold.
“GREENGUARD Gold Certification (formerly known as GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification) offers stricter certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as children and the elderly), and ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. It is referenced by both The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building Rating System.” – greenguard.org
As Ray once said, the Eames process involves “the consideration of everything.” When it comes to authentic Eames products, it’s not just the look, the service, and the performance, but it’s also what goes inside that counts.
Herman Miller’s director of safety and sustainability, Gabe Wing, discusses the company’s dedication to making the Eames Fiberglass Shell Chair a safe and eco-friendly product:
“The story behind the reintroduction of the Eames molded shell is a great one. We worked very closely with the material supplier to reintroduce the product without the negative health hazards associated with the original fiberglass product. The issue revolved around the amount of monomeric styrene used in the polymer. The new material is monomer free which great improves the safety of to the people who manufacture the shells. These products are tested against the most stringent emission requirements are they are GREENGUARD gold certified. (This standard used to be referred to as ‘Children and Schools.’) If and when the chair is worn out, the new fiberglass material can be reground and turned into another shell.
“This work to improve the environmental attributes of the product were guided by our design for the environment process.”
Herman Miller’s DfE Protocol goes beyond regulatory compliance to thoroughly evaluate new product designs (the Eames Fiberglass Chairs included) in four key areas:
Material Chemistry and Safety of Inputs—What chemicals are in the materials we specify, and are they the safest available?
Disassembly—Can we take products apart at the end of their useful life to recycle their materials?
Recyclability—Do the materials contain recycled content, and more importantly, can the materials be recycled at the end of the product’s useful life?
LCA—Have we optimized the product based on the entire lifecycle?
For more information, see this pdf.