Author Archives: Katie

Sustainability Fuels the Future: Earth Day and Beyond

Earth Day is an annual day to show support for environmental protection. If the right investments are made now, we can help make changes in the built environment and the fight against carbon emissions and climate change.

Sustainability starts at the top and drives everything Shaw Contract Group does, every Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) step of the way. Shaw Contract Group carpet also contributes to LEED credits in recycled content, low-emitting materials, innovation in design, construction and waste management. In celebration of Earth Day and Shaw Contract Group sustainable products and projects from Shanghai to Chicago, check out some of our ‘green’ efforts across the globe:

LEED projects

Shaw Contract Group products cover the floors of many LEED-certified projects across the globe. From clockwise left: SmithGroupJJR Office, Shore Hotel, Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, Douglas Park Elementary School. Visit our project profile page HERE to view more sustainable projects.

Some of our showrooms and manufacturing facilities are certified or pursuing LEED certification, including our Shanghai showroom and new manufacturing facility in Nantong, China. Take a virtual tour of these spaces HERE.

View more environmental stories on our blog.

Happy Earth Day!

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Heineken WOBO: When Beer and Architecture Met

ArchDaily recently discussed the WOBO – World Bottle – an idea realized by brewing mogul, Alfred Heineken, that would benefit both the beer drinker and the homeless.

Upon visiting Curaçao during a world tour of his factories in 1960, Alfred Heineken was struck by two things: the beaches were littered with beer bottles – many bearing his name – and there was a shortage of affordable building materials, which meant the lower-classes were consigned to poor quality housing.

World Bottle 1

In a stroke of either genius or madness, Heineken realized that both problems would be solved if people could build their houses with his beer bottles. Intent on realizing his vision, he enlisted Dutch architect N. John Habraken to design a glass brick that he could also sell beer in.

World Bottle 3

While Habraken’s first few attempts were dismissed for either being too costly and difficult to produce or not pretty enough to sell beer in, he eventually settled on the design known as the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle) – a piece of emerald green glassware tailor made to serve as both a beer bottle and a building material.

In 1963, the brewery produced a test run of 100,000 bottles. The design was, of course, first and foremost a functioning beer bottle, but when emptied and laid on its side, it became a self-aligning, interlocking, glass brick. With this design, a basic 10×10 foot hut could be built using one-thousand bricks.

World Bottle 4

Despite its shortcomings, the concept was revolutionary; as author and architecture critic Martin Pawley describes, it was “the first mass production container ever designed from the outset for secondary use as a building component”. Heineken was so insistant that they be used as bricks that he planned on printing building instructions on the side each bottle. Habraken even suggested shipping the bottles on special plastic pallets which could be reused as roofing.

World Bottle 5

The idea unfortunately fell from the spotlight and, despite a brief resurgence of interest in the 1970′s, only two of structures were ever built: a small glass hut and a shed – both of which were retrofitted with WOBO walls located on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk near Amsterdam. The bottles themselves are few and far-between today, and instead of being the mass affordable building material they were intended to be, they have become rare collectors items.

Images: ArchDaily

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Shaw Hospitality Group Carpet Donation Highlights TED2014

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – April 16, 2014 – To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the TED conference, some of the world’s most captivating thought leaders gathered in a one-of-kind theater installed in the LEED Platinum Vancouver Convention Centre. During the March 2014 conference, speakers and attendees enjoyed the beauty of Shaw Hospitality Group’s Layered Luxe carpet, which was designed in collaboration with David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, the theater’s architecture and interior design firm.

The Crease carpet pattern – with its abstract, hatching lines – reflects Rockwell Group’s interest in combining organic forms with linear divisions. The new TED theater is designed to be rapidly assembled and disassembled annually, and its cutting-edge design will have less than 2% waste once all the building components are processed.

“Shaw Hospitality Group is an innovator in manufacturing high quality, sustainable flooring,” said David Rockwell, founder and President of Rockwell Group. “We’re thrilled that Shaw has generously supplied carpet collections, including Layered Luxe, for the new TED theater. The richness and depth of the carpets will contribute to the venue’s dynamic environment for years to come.”
TED – a platform for ideas worth spreading – started in 1984 as a convergence of technology, entertainment and design, and today the conference shares ideas ranging from science and business to global issues in more than 100 languages. More than 50 speakers addressed attendees this year, including notable speakers Bill and Melinda Gates, former Arizona legislator Gabby Giffords, “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert and astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Recognizing that attendees primarily go to TED for inspiring talks and social activity, Rockwell designed the theater with 10 different seating options provided by Steelcase, including benches, lounge seating, chairs and a standing area where attendees can blog without disturbing the audience. All of these seating arrangements intimately surround the stage, which also features Shaw Hospitality Group red carpet.

Befitting the LEED Platinum certification of the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Shaw Hospitality Group carpet is Cradle to Cradle certified by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry. The carpet is manufactured with Eco Solution Q nylon, containing 45 percent recycled content, consisting of 20 percent pre-consumer and 25 percent post-consumer recycled content.* Contributing to LEED certification, Layered Luxe is manufactured with safe and healthy ingredients and has a reduced environmental impact across the entire lifecycle of our product.

Shaw Hospitality Group’s carpet will be reused again in future TED theater installations. After the end of its useful life, the carpet will be reclaimed and recycled into new carpet again through Shaw Industries Evergreen Nylon Recycling Facility in Augusta, GA. In the last five years, Shaw Hospitality Group has diverted more than 2 million pounds of post-consumer hotel renovation carpet from U.S. landfills.

*Recycled content is based on allocated nylon fiber from our total nylon fiber production and determined as a percent of a total Eco Solution Q output. Actual recycled content will likely vary.

Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 150-person architecture and design firm specializing in cultural, hospitality, retail, product, and set design. Based in New York, with satellite offices in Madrid and Shanghai, the firm crafts a unique narrative and an immersive environment for each project. Projects include W Hotels (New York, Paris, Singapore, and Vieques); Andaz Maui at Wailea; Shinola (New York); Travelle at the Langham, Chicago; the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel; Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; product collaborations with Jim Thompson, Maya Romanoff and The Rug Company; set design for Broadway’s Lucky Guy, Kinky Boots and Hairspray; and the Imagination Playground initiative

At Shaw Hospitality Group, we’re taking one giant step forward with new collections that do anything but tread lightly: inspiring pattern, vivid color and a sustainability story that stands out from all the rest. Shaw Hospitality Group delivers new and innovative flooring designs to the hospitality industry worldwide while offering the widest selection of flooring solutions for hotels, ageless living, entertainment and retail. Expansive product offerings include standard and custom carpets for guest rooms and public areas, as well as hard surface, modular carpet tile and cushion. A brand of Shaw Industries, Shaw Hospitality Group was named Best of Competition and Best Flooring at Hospitality Design Expo 2013 for its Be Bold collection.

>Download High-Res images HERE (Located under ‘TED2014 Conference: Donation of Layered Luxe Carpet’)

>Download Press Release: SCG_TED2014 Press Release_FINAL

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MASS Design Goes Beyond the Building

‘Beyond the Building’ speaks to the core values we have held since MASS began five years ago. Their 2014 theme articulates the end goal of their projects: that they work within communities to improve lives through architecture. They do that through architecture’s processes, but in our own way: local partners and materials, sustained economic impact, and better health through design.

MASS Design has seen that architecture is much more than buildings. Join them this year as we think #beyondthebuilding. Learn more at

Beyond The Building from MASS Design Group on Vimeo.

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2013 Market Winner: Red Bull Argentina by Avola-Llaber Arquitectos

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Daniel Avola and Liliana Llaber, Architects, talked to us about proud employees, making a flexible space and “Giving Wings” to ideas.

What about this project represents why you choose to be a designer?
The company motto in itself is an inspiration. “Give wings” to ideas, to projects, to people; enable creativity and in this way create a space where ideas can come true. It could not be a better starting point and an inviting project for us designers and architects that are always seeking to look beyond structures to create new spaces, flexible, functional and fun.


What was the happiest moment of the project?
The whole project was a gift. But definitely the happiest moment was the very last night when we completed the project. Before leaving the new office, we stopped by the entrance door with the team and some Red Bull counterparts working with us on the project to give a final look. The next morning is when ideas will begin to come to life in that space.

What are you most proud of?
The morning when all employees came for the first time to the new offices was also unforgettable. It was more than proud – a kind of thanks-giving and gratefulness – what we fell when watching the faces of everyone. Enjoying what we will be a new way of working. They were more happy and proud than us. That was the best gift and recognition we could get.


Tell me about your client.
Red Bull is a one-of-a-kind company. The working culture, the vision, the idea and most important of all, the people are altogether unique and outstanding. You work together and they let you grow and create.

While we were giving around the rest of the offices around the world, the challenge became even bigger. But at the same time, loyal to what Red Bull is, the team gave to us full freedom to create our own project. This was the starting point and as the days went by it became the cornerstone of unforgettable teamwork.


What were some of the challenges in designing this space?
The challenge was to create from two existing and conventional “L” shaped offices create a different – as from scratch – space. To make it interactive, as if no “L” shape was there, maximizing the sunlight intrusion and the green context from the outside.
In this way we designed glassed and sunlight-friendly meeting rooms on the sides and a flexible meeting room at the center, to break linear spaces and make it feel as if it was designed and created with no limitations.

Functionality and spaces interaction was our technical motivation throughout the project. To believe that we could create a new space as if nothing was there, to make it ideal and free forgetting that there was something there before. Simply, to go beyond it.

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