Conscious Salon

Eco-friendly business ideas, new products, and issues relevant to "green-minded" salons.


Green Salon: Features of an Environmentally Friendly Nail Salon

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 ­ for other ideas for how to green your salon.)

For more information on getting certified as a green salon, visit

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

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