Environmental issues are a hot topic, literally. We are all much more conscious of our footprint, and we all want to reduce our impact on the environment, whether it’s personally or commercially.
There’s a considerable amount of work done in the construction industry to mitigate our environmental impact. Every specialization is finding ways to rethink how materials, design, and manufacture can help ensure we leave this planet in a better state than when we started.
When it comes to signage, there’s a wide range of approaches you can take to help; however small you think the impact might be, the more you think about and act on ‘small moments of care,’ the better your buildings will be for it. Modulex has been at the forefront of sustainable signage for more than half a century. What started as a planning tool for architects developed by Lego in 1963, has turned into the world’s largest international sign company.
We want to share our top 12 tips for implementing a sustainable signage strategy for building wayfinding projects.
- When planning your building signage, it’s essential to think beyond recycled or ‘green’ materials. Sustainability is about materials and considers processes and components that take account of the entire system.
- Make sustainability core to the brief. Sustainability is about how components are repurposed or upcycled and reused. Also, think about resources, manufacturing, supply chains, product lifespan.
- Think about building useability and signage as the interface between your built environment and the users.
- Wayfinding is the process or activity of establishing your position and planning and following a route. Be rigorous in your wayfinding development as it will help keep signs to a minimum.
- Consider engaging a wayfinding specialist, using wayfinding software that can efficiently map routes, and that can adapt to modeling, and that allows you to test different implementations.
- Use wayfinding software to test assumptions, build alternatives, and options – mockup signage to test with various user groups.
- One of the most significant impacts on signage sustainability is using a pre-designed sign family such as those available from a manufacturing partner like Modulex.
- Look for modular products, which are 100 % up-cyclable and upgradable. We design our products for ease of renewal so customers can replace old parts to renovate the design and ensure and recycle components separately.
- Make sure your graphic printing uses GreenGuard Gold certified inks or similar low-VOC products. When it comes to vinyl, look for PVC-free options. Consider using an ACM alternative such as GreenBond™, which gives you the same performance as normal ACM but with a far lower carbon footprint.
- Choose a partner with sustainability credentials, like membership of the Green Network, or ISO9001, or even better, ISO14001.
- Think about the product life cycle, from source materials through to end of life. Ask your factory questions regarding waste materials, paint, inks, treatments, green energy sources, and carbon offsetting.
- Work with manufacturers who prioritize recycled materials such as aluminum and include renewable substrates such as wood or paper, in favor of acrylics or PVC – contributing to a circular economy.
These are just some of how you can build a sustainable signage strategy. If you would like to talk to us further and get more information on our products or processes, please contact us.
Managing Partner, Modulex office in London