Close

Health

Green Salon: Features of an Environmentally Friendly Nail Salon

by NLS Staff | March 16, 2012
<p>In Studio City, Calif., <a href="http://www.robbsalon.com/">ROB|B Salon</a> has earned the distinction of being the first-ever nail salon to be certified as environmentally and energy-efficient by the <a href="http://www.usgbc.org/">U.S. Green Building Council</a>. With the leadership of architect <a href="http://www.richardbestarchitect.com/">Richard Best</a>, the salon earned a Silver certification by prestigious LEED standards.</p>
1/10

Show All

In Studio City, Calif., ROB|B Salon has earned the distinction of being the first-ever nail salon to be certified as environmentally and energy-efficient by the U.S. Green Building Council. With the leadership of architect Richard Best, the salon earned a Silver certification by prestigious LEED standards.

<p><strong>Skylights On the Lower Floor</strong><br />To let in more natural light (thus reducing the burden on artificial light), ROB|B was built with plenty of windows and skylights. The neatest thing? Even though the salon is a two-story building, there are skylights on the lower floor. Architect Best incorporated light shafts from the roof, which go &shy;behind the walls of the second floor, then spill out through the ceiling of the first floor.</p>
2/10

Show All

Skylights On the Lower Floor
To let in more natural light (thus reducing the burden on artificial light), ROB|B was built with plenty of windows and skylights. The neatest thing? Even though the salon is a two-story building, there are skylights on the lower floor. Architect Best incorporated light shafts from the roof, which go ­behind the walls of the second floor, then spill out through the ceiling of the first floor.

<p><strong>Low-Flow Fixtures</strong><br />As mandated by building codes (which may affect your salon in its location as well), ROB|B features low-flow toilets and faucets, which saves water.</p>
3/10

Show All

Low-Flow Fixtures
As mandated by building codes (which may affect your salon in its location as well), ROB|B features low-flow toilets and faucets, which saves water.

<p><strong>Alternative Company Textiles Program</strong><br />Many salons use synthetic materials for uniforms, Best says, but ROB|B uses bamboo fabrics for environmental &shy;reasons. Whereas pure bamboo fabrics are hard to find (the salon actually uses bamboo-blend fabrics), the intent is for the salon to phase into 100% bamboo, as the textiles industry develops this product. Best says of bamboo, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s softer than cotton and it wicks away moisture from the body. We used it for uniforms, towels, bedding, and robes.&rdquo;</p>
<p><em>*This phase-in process, invented by Best, is being considered for &shy;inclusion into LEED certification (which would mean the USGBC agrees it&rsquo;s effective for other projects).</em></p>
4/10

Show All

Alternative Company Textiles Program
Many salons use synthetic materials for uniforms, Best says, but ROB|B uses bamboo fabrics for environmental ­reasons. Whereas pure bamboo fabrics are hard to find (the salon actually uses bamboo-blend fabrics), the intent is for the salon to phase into 100% bamboo, as the textiles industry develops this product. Best says of bamboo, “It’s softer than cotton and it wicks away moisture from the body. We used it for uniforms, towels, bedding, and robes.”

*This phase-in process, invented by Best, is being considered for ­inclusion into LEED certification (which would mean the USGBC agrees it’s effective for other projects).

<p><strong>LEDs for Lighting</strong><br />LEDs (light emitting diodes) are what you&rsquo;ll find here, mostly the 4-watt variety. (Check the light bulbs at your own salon and you&rsquo;ll likely find yours are in the 60-watt range.) In &shy;addition to using less electricity, these lights are great for correct color rendition, which is ideal to show off your nail colors properly. (Some green salons opt for CFLs &mdash; those fluorescent bulbs with the spiral tops &mdash; and while those are energy-efficient, they don&rsquo;t necessarily show correct color rendition, architect Best says.)</p>
<p><em>*The LEDs are the biggest cost-saver operationally for ROB|B and one of the easiest changes to implement in your own salon.<br /></em></p>
5/10

Show All

LEDs for Lighting
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are what you’ll find here, mostly the 4-watt variety. (Check the light bulbs at your own salon and you’ll likely find yours are in the 60-watt range.) In ­addition to using less electricity, these lights are great for correct color rendition, which is ideal to show off your nail colors properly. (Some green salons opt for CFLs — those fluorescent bulbs with the spiral tops — and while those are energy-efficient, they don’t necessarily show correct color rendition, architect Best says.)

*The LEDs are the biggest cost-saver operationally for ROB|B and one of the easiest changes to implement in your own salon.

<p><strong>Efficient HVAC <br />(Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)</strong><br />Selecting an HVAC system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) is a great step to being more green. In addition, at ROB|B, each nail station and treatment room has its own exhaust (hidden in the wall by each desk). Via a charcoal filter, the salon air is filtered, then exhausted up through the walls and through the roof to the outside, increasing the amount of natural air flow into the salon.</p>
6/10

Show All

Efficient HVAC
(Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)

Selecting an HVAC system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) is a great step to being more green. In addition, at ROB|B, each nail station and treatment room has its own exhaust (hidden in the wall by each desk). Via a charcoal filter, the salon air is filtered, then exhausted up through the walls and through the roof to the outside, increasing the amount of natural air flow into the salon.

<p><strong>Indigenous Plants Only</strong><br />In addition to bringing a spa feel to ROB|B, the zen-like planting design on the roof was a strategic environmental decision. Using only drought-resistant plants native to Southern California, such as cactus and succulents, ROB|B doesn&rsquo;t provide any extra water for the plants to thrive. (Surprisingly, grass and palm trees are not indigenous to Southern California. They were bought from elsewhere and require irrigation to live in the dry city.)</p>
<p><em>*Xeriscape (pronounced like it starts with a &ldquo;z&rdquo;) is the word that &shy;describes landscaping that doesn&rsquo;t require irrigation.</em></p>
7/10

Show All

Indigenous Plants Only
In addition to bringing a spa feel to ROB|B, the zen-like planting design on the roof was a strategic environmental decision. Using only drought-resistant plants native to Southern California, such as cactus and succulents, ROB|B doesn’t provide any extra water for the plants to thrive. (Surprisingly, grass and palm trees are not indigenous to Southern California. They were bought from elsewhere and require irrigation to live in the dry city.)

*Xeriscape (pronounced like it starts with a “z”) is the word that ­describes landscaping that doesn’t require irrigation.

<p><strong>Green Cleaning Products</strong><br />Green cleaning products are used for cleaning the facility, such as for the bathrooms, walls, countertops, and furniture. (Editor&rsquo;s Note: The pedicure spa and implement cleaning and disinfecting products were not affected by this. To our knowledge, there aren&rsquo;t &ldquo;green&rdquo; alternatives to these products that meet state board regulations.) <br /><br /><em>*This initiative was inspired by the campus-wide green cleaning program at Harvard University.</em></p>
8/10

Show All

Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning products are used for cleaning the facility, such as for the bathrooms, walls, countertops, and furniture. (Editor’s Note: The pedicure spa and implement cleaning and disinfecting products were not affected by this. To our knowledge, there aren’t “green” alternatives to these products that meet state board regulations.)

*This initiative was inspired by the campus-wide green cleaning program at Harvard University.

<p><strong>Bike Parking</strong><br />Being in an urban location gives a salon an edge because of the relative ease of alternative forms of transportation, both for employees and for clients. (The LEED credit is based on the benefits to &shy;employees.)&nbsp; ROB|B is located right by a bus stop, making mass transit a viable option. Plus, bike parking was made available in the back of the salon, with shower facilities (part of the treatment rooms anyway) available inside.</p>
9/10

Show All

Bike Parking
Being in an urban location gives a salon an edge because of the relative ease of alternative forms of transportation, both for employees and for clients. (The LEED credit is based on the benefits to ­employees.)  ROB|B is located right by a bus stop, making mass transit a viable option. Plus, bike parking was made available in the back of the salon, with shower facilities (part of the treatment rooms anyway) available inside.

<p><strong>Bamboo Furnishings </strong><br />Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material, and it&rsquo;s present in many places in ROB|B, including in the furnishings. It&rsquo;s used for the stairs, cabinets, credenzas, and more. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s beautiful and you can stain it like wood,&rdquo; Best says.</p>
10/10

Show All

Bamboo Furnishings
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material, and it’s present in many places in ROB|B, including in the furnishings. It’s used for the stairs, cabinets, credenzas, and more. “It’s beautiful and you can stain it like wood,” Best says.

<p>In Studio City, Calif., <a href="http://www.robbsalon.com/">ROB|B Salon</a> has earned the distinction of being the first-ever nail salon to be certified as environmentally and energy-efficient by the <a href="http://www.usgbc.org/">U.S. Green Building Council</a>. With the leadership of architect <a href="http://www.richardbestarchitect.com/">Richard Best</a>, the salon earned a Silver certification by prestigious LEED standards.</p>
1/10
Slider

In Studio City, Calif., ROB|B Salon has earned the distinction of being the first-ever nail salon to be certified as environmentally and energy-efficient by the U.S. Green Building Council. With the leadership of architect Richard Best, the salon earned a Silver certification by prestigious LEED standards.

<p><strong>Skylights On the Lower Floor</strong><br />To let in more natural light (thus reducing the burden on artificial light), ROB|B was built with plenty of windows and skylights. The neatest thing? Even though the salon is a two-story building, there are skylights on the lower floor. Architect Best incorporated light shafts from the roof, which go &shy;behind the walls of the second floor, then spill out through the ceiling of the first floor.</p>
2/10
Slider

Skylights On the Lower Floor
To let in more natural light (thus reducing the burden on artificial light), ROB|B was built with plenty of windows and skylights. The neatest thing? Even though the salon is a two-story building, there are skylights on the lower floor. Architect Best incorporated light shafts from the roof, which go ­behind the walls of the second floor, then spill out through the ceiling of the first floor.

<p><strong>Low-Flow Fixtures</strong><br />As mandated by building codes (which may affect your salon in its location as well), ROB|B features low-flow toilets and faucets, which saves water.</p>
3/10
Slider

Low-Flow Fixtures
As mandated by building codes (which may affect your salon in its location as well), ROB|B features low-flow toilets and faucets, which saves water.

<p><strong>Alternative Company Textiles Program</strong><br />Many salons use synthetic materials for uniforms, Best says, but ROB|B uses bamboo fabrics for environmental &shy;reasons. Whereas pure bamboo fabrics are hard to find (the salon actually uses bamboo-blend fabrics), the intent is for the salon to phase into 100% bamboo, as the textiles industry develops this product. Best says of bamboo, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s softer than cotton and it wicks away moisture from the body. We used it for uniforms, towels, bedding, and robes.&rdquo;</p>
<p><em>*This phase-in process, invented by Best, is being considered for &shy;inclusion into LEED certification (which would mean the USGBC agrees it&rsquo;s effective for other projects).</em></p>
4/10
Slider

Alternative Company Textiles Program
Many salons use synthetic materials for uniforms, Best says, but ROB|B uses bamboo fabrics for environmental ­reasons. Whereas pure bamboo fabrics are hard to find (the salon actually uses bamboo-blend fabrics), the intent is for the salon to phase into 100% bamboo, as the textiles industry develops this product. Best says of bamboo, “It’s softer than cotton and it wicks away moisture from the body. We used it for uniforms, towels, bedding, and robes.”

*This phase-in process, invented by Best, is being considered for ­inclusion into LEED certification (which would mean the USGBC agrees it’s effective for other projects).

<p><strong>LEDs for Lighting</strong><br />LEDs (light emitting diodes) are what you&rsquo;ll find here, mostly the 4-watt variety. (Check the light bulbs at your own salon and you&rsquo;ll likely find yours are in the 60-watt range.) In &shy;addition to using less electricity, these lights are great for correct color rendition, which is ideal to show off your nail colors properly. (Some green salons opt for CFLs &mdash; those fluorescent bulbs with the spiral tops &mdash; and while those are energy-efficient, they don&rsquo;t necessarily show correct color rendition, architect Best says.)</p>
<p><em>*The LEDs are the biggest cost-saver operationally for ROB|B and one of the easiest changes to implement in your own salon.<br /></em></p>
5/10
Slider

LEDs for Lighting
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are what you’ll find here, mostly the 4-watt variety. (Check the light bulbs at your own salon and you’ll likely find yours are in the 60-watt range.) In ­addition to using less electricity, these lights are great for correct color rendition, which is ideal to show off your nail colors properly. (Some green salons opt for CFLs — those fluorescent bulbs with the spiral tops — and while those are energy-efficient, they don’t necessarily show correct color rendition, architect Best says.)

*The LEDs are the biggest cost-saver operationally for ROB|B and one of the easiest changes to implement in your own salon.

<p><strong>Efficient HVAC <br />(Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)</strong><br />Selecting an HVAC system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) is a great step to being more green. In addition, at ROB|B, each nail station and treatment room has its own exhaust (hidden in the wall by each desk). Via a charcoal filter, the salon air is filtered, then exhausted up through the walls and through the roof to the outside, increasing the amount of natural air flow into the salon.</p>
6/10
Slider

Efficient HVAC
(Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)

Selecting an HVAC system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) is a great step to being more green. In addition, at ROB|B, each nail station and treatment room has its own exhaust (hidden in the wall by each desk). Via a charcoal filter, the salon air is filtered, then exhausted up through the walls and through the roof to the outside, increasing the amount of natural air flow into the salon.

<p><strong>Indigenous Plants Only</strong><br />In addition to bringing a spa feel to ROB|B, the zen-like planting design on the roof was a strategic environmental decision. Using only drought-resistant plants native to Southern California, such as cactus and succulents, ROB|B doesn&rsquo;t provide any extra water for the plants to thrive. (Surprisingly, grass and palm trees are not indigenous to Southern California. They were bought from elsewhere and require irrigation to live in the dry city.)</p>
<p><em>*Xeriscape (pronounced like it starts with a &ldquo;z&rdquo;) is the word that &shy;describes landscaping that doesn&rsquo;t require irrigation.</em></p>
7/10
Slider

Indigenous Plants Only
In addition to bringing a spa feel to ROB|B, the zen-like planting design on the roof was a strategic environmental decision. Using only drought-resistant plants native to Southern California, such as cactus and succulents, ROB|B doesn’t provide any extra water for the plants to thrive. (Surprisingly, grass and palm trees are not indigenous to Southern California. They were bought from elsewhere and require irrigation to live in the dry city.)

*Xeriscape (pronounced like it starts with a “z”) is the word that ­describes landscaping that doesn’t require irrigation.

<p><strong>Green Cleaning Products</strong><br />Green cleaning products are used for cleaning the facility, such as for the bathrooms, walls, countertops, and furniture. (Editor&rsquo;s Note: The pedicure spa and implement cleaning and disinfecting products were not affected by this. To our knowledge, there aren&rsquo;t &ldquo;green&rdquo; alternatives to these products that meet state board regulations.) <br /><br /><em>*This initiative was inspired by the campus-wide green cleaning program at Harvard University.</em></p>
8/10
Slider

Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning products are used for cleaning the facility, such as for the bathrooms, walls, countertops, and furniture. (Editor’s Note: The pedicure spa and implement cleaning and disinfecting products were not affected by this. To our knowledge, there aren’t “green” alternatives to these products that meet state board regulations.)

*This initiative was inspired by the campus-wide green cleaning program at Harvard University.

<p><strong>Bike Parking</strong><br />Being in an urban location gives a salon an edge because of the relative ease of alternative forms of transportation, both for employees and for clients. (The LEED credit is based on the benefits to &shy;employees.)&nbsp; ROB|B is located right by a bus stop, making mass transit a viable option. Plus, bike parking was made available in the back of the salon, with shower facilities (part of the treatment rooms anyway) available inside.</p>
9/10
Slider

Bike Parking
Being in an urban location gives a salon an edge because of the relative ease of alternative forms of transportation, both for employees and for clients. (The LEED credit is based on the benefits to ­employees.)  ROB|B is located right by a bus stop, making mass transit a viable option. Plus, bike parking was made available in the back of the salon, with shower facilities (part of the treatment rooms anyway) available inside.

<p><strong>Bamboo Furnishings </strong><br />Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material, and it&rsquo;s present in many places in ROB|B, including in the furnishings. It&rsquo;s used for the stairs, cabinets, credenzas, and more. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s beautiful and you can stain it like wood,&rdquo; Best says.</p>
10/10
Slider

Bamboo Furnishings
Bamboo is a rapidly renewable material, and it’s present in many places in ROB|B, including in the furnishings. It’s used for the stairs, cabinets, credenzas, and more. “It’s beautiful and you can stain it like wood,” Best says.

In Studio City, Calif., ROB|B Salon has earned the distinction of being the first-ever nail salon to be certified as environmentally and energy-efficient by the U.S. Green Building Council. With the leadership of architect Richard Best, the salon earned a Silver certification by prestigious LEED standards. The photos in this gallery show it earned its distinction, including ideas you can implement in your own salon.

What Does It Mean to Be "Certified" Green?

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC)’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (more commonly known as LEED) green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. Developed by the Washington D.C.-based USGBC in 2000, LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building meets strict green standards. LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. Additionally, 10 bonus credits are available, four of which address regionally specific environmental issues. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be certified. (For ­commercial interiors, Certified is 40+ points, Silver is 50+ points, Gold is 60+ points, and Platinum is 80+ points.)

If you’re interested in building a LEED-certified nail salon, you’ll need to hire a LEED-accredited professional with solid experience for your project. Architect Richard Best, who led the team at ROB|B is now certified, but at the time of designing ROB|B he had not yet taken the certification exam, so ROB|B also worked with Venice, Calif.-based green building consultants Green Dinosaur. LEED is available both for new construction (what ROB|B was certified as) and for existing buildings (remodels).

LEED certification involves a time and monetary commitment. If this isn’t realistic for your situation you can still practice the green strategies that LEED preaches, minus the official certification. (Visit ­www.nailsmag.com/health/conscious-salon for other ideas for how to green your salon.)

For more information on getting certified as a green salon, visit www.usgbc.org.

The Future of ROB|B

After applying for LEED certification, the management at ROB|B changed hands. NAILS spoke with the new management team who assured NAILS that they plan to keep many, if not all, of the green innovations in place, including keeping the bike parking and continuing to use green cleaning products (some of which were left by the original management). The changes, manager Debbie Wang told us, involve things like changing the salon’s hours (it’s now closed on Sundays and open Mondays), updating the service menu (including adding the organic product line Easteem), and bringing in nail techs from Korea, the new management’s home country. “All of our manicurists have at least eight years of experience and are very professional,” Wang says, adding that silk wrapping (with silk imported from Korea) is now one of the salon’s specialties.

You May Also Like:

The Building of ROB|B Salon [NAILS' Blueprint of a First Year blog]

Go Green Light: 17 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Salon's Carbon Footprint

Find out why over 400,000 subscribers love our newsletters

Argan Oil

Health

Argan Oil

Entity

The Entity Argan Oil uses unrefined oil to maintain the integrity of the Argan seed. The oil is cold pressed, which prevents the lipids and antioxidants from breaking down underheat, and is then triple filtered to maximize purity.

Green Tea Lemongrass Collection

Technique

Green Tea Lemongrass Collection

Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth's Spring and Summer 2019 collection utilizes green tea lemongrass to the four products: A mineral cream, mineral mud, creamy scrub, and mineral salt.  The mineral cream helps rebuild collagen and repair damaged skin, with ingredients like anti-inflammatory grapeseed oil and vitamin E, and trace minerals. The mineral mud uses bentonite clay to remove toxins and bacteria from the skin. The creamy scrub includes a detoxifying salt, and sugar to gently exfoliate dead skin cells. T

Q&Lu Spa Essentials

Technique

Q&Lu Spa Essentials

Light Elegance

Light Elegance has released its first all-natural spa line, Q&Lu Essentials. The collection features a lot of nutrient rich products, like the bamboo-inflused lotion and exfolidating scrub, sea-salt soak, and a tension-relieving spa oil.  Q&Lu Spa Essentials are designed to be an all-in manicure and pedicure system.

Nurture Oil

Health

Nurture Oil

NSI

The NSI Nurture oil blends vitamins C and E five emollients, which includes jojoba, safflower, soy, wheat germ, and grapeseed oils, a combination of which aids skin renewal and nourishes the fingers. Jojoba is a mousturizing oil, while grapeseed oil posseses regenerative and restructuring qualities.

Videos

In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

Load More