Tag Archives: teak desk

LEEDer’s of the Pack!

The J Banks Design building was the first LEED-certified building on Hilton Head Island, and only the twelfth in South Carolina. President Joni Vanderslice’s decision to build green resulted from wanting to gain first-hand knowledge of new design practices that could benefit her clients as well as provide a healthy environment for her employees.

So what does being LEED-certified mean?

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

Below is an explanation of the many ways that the J Banks Design building applies the LEED building principles. Hopefully these concepts will inspire you to include some  of these options in your home or business.


The reclaimed flooring came from a barn in South Carolina and was sealed with a low VOC product. Low VOC products include any paint, stain, or varnish that uses water instead of petroleum as a carrier. Due to the low VOC paint being water based, not only is cleanup much easier, but also harmful emissions are much lower compared to their solvent-based counterparts.


All retail display cabinets were made locally which minimizes transportation costs thus reduces the need to use fossil fuels.

The showroom drapery dividers are made of linen, a natural material, and were fabricated locally.

The insulation used is Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF). SPF fills and seals all exposed areas and cracks around the perimeter of your structure, giving you protection from air drafts and moisture.


The chandelier is made with a combination of recycled glass and steel.

The butt board walls are made from wood harvested from the trees that were cleared for building construction and were milled on site.

The entire room has low VOC paint, sealants and adhesives.  This room also includes locally made cabinetry.


A skylight was added to maximize daylight and minimize the need for artificial light.

Occupancy lighting sensors are used in this area and throughout the rest of the building. Lights automatically turn on or off due to detected motion in an area. Energy savings can result by turning off the lights when a space is unoccupied. Occupancy sensors can also enhance security and reduce light pollution.


There is low flow plumbing  in the bathrooms that use less water than conventional fixtures. The sinks feature motion sensors and turn off when not in use.

Dual flush toilets help to conserve water.

We have a repurposed piece of antique furniture as the vanity for the women’s restroom on the first floor.  Reusing existing furniture reduces the need for raw material extraction.


All furniture from previous offices was used and the teak desks were made from reclaimed wood.

The carpet is tiled and made of recycled content. Installation for this type of carpet produces far less waste than traditional broadloom carpet. Also, tiled carpet is easier to repair as you only need to replace a small area in the event of a spill or stain.

A skylight was added to this area as well to maximize natural light and reduce the need for artificial light. Natural light in the workplace contributes to better immune systems and healthier happier occupants!

Interior Light Shelf

Interior Light Shelves above the bookcases on the left.

Interior light shelves reflect direct sun to the white ceiling, which then bounces back down as ambient light, thus reducing the need for artificial light. (See diagram below)

Exterior Light Shelves

The perimeter of the upper level features both interior and exterior architectural light shelves. Light shelves are typically used in high-rise and low-rise office buildings, as well as institutional buildings. This design is generally used on the Southern side of the building, where maximum sunlight is found. Exterior light shelves are effective in reducing glare and providing shade, while still allowing indirect light to enter the building. A combination of exterior and interior shelves work best in providing an even illumination gradient.


The VCT (Vinyl Commercial Tile) that looks like cork is made from recycled products.

We use re-usable dishware instead of disposable plates in an effort to reduce waste.

All employees have glass water bottles that they can refill. The glass water bottles are locally made of recycled materials.


All paper, glass, plastics, metals and cardboard are recycled.

All paints, adhesives and coatings are low-VOC or VOC-free.  All non-wooden floors are made of recycled content and all wooden floors are made from recycled heart pine barn siding.

Landscaping consists entirely of local, native and drought tolerant plants. This reduces the need for lawn care and watering.

Parking spaces are made of permeable pavers that reduce storm water runoff.

There is a bike rack and shower to encourage employees to cycle or walk to work.

Natural light is available in almost every room in the building, including interior areas via transom windows at the top of walls.

Roofing contains high-albedo materials that reduce heat islands which helps keep the building cool, thus reducing energy consumption.

We are very proud of our LEED-certification and currently have 4 LEED Green Associates and 1 LEED Green AP on staff.  We embrace the concept of designing green as not only an investment in the environment, but also an investment in better health.

For more information on LEED building you may visit https://new.usgbc.org/leed or call J Banks Design to see how we can assist you in with your green building and design needs.


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Janet Perry: Walk-in Closet to Home Office

I recently had a client who was in need of a home office workspace. Her initial plan of action was to move to another home, but she really loved her current space and location.  We found a solution to this challenge by turning an underused guest closet into a home office.  By adding paint, shelving, lighting and storage, we were able to make this space personal and functional.

We used lime oak flooring.

On one wall we used a sisal backsplash for pushpins and notes.  The desk was custom built from remnants of a beautiful teak species of wood in its natural state.

Keeping with the eclectic mix of materials, this individual stool fit the space perfectly and tucks right underneath the desk when not in use.

To make the space more feminine, we added a chandelier with bling.

We made sure that everything she would need had a space, and was organized.

We purchased baskets that fit in the shelving perfectly to maximize storage and eliminate clutter.

Under counter task lights were added for times when additional light was needed for reading or writing.

To make the space more personal, the owner selected a favorite piece of artwork from a local gallery.  The slate blue wall color was selected to quiet the room and make it an extension of the guest room when the space was being used by visitors.

This project was a success because not only was the client thrilled with the results, but we had fun as well!

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