How Herman Miller’s GreenHouse Inspired the Construction of Sustainable Buildings in the US




Herman Miller GreenHouse (interior), William McDonough, Holland, Michigan, 1995. Image Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives

Herman Miller GreenHouse (interior), William McDonough, Holland, Michigan, 1995. Image Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives

While the United Statesgreen-building industry was still relatively slow in the early 1990’s, Herman Miller, who is known for his architectural experimentation, decided to construct a new facility for Simple, Quick, Affordable (SQA), a company that bought used office furniture to refurbish them and sell them to smaller businesses. To do so, he chose to build sustainably, a design approach that was not yet utilized in the region.

Designed by New York architect William McDonough, the 295,000 sq ft building (approx. 90,000 sqm) was built in Holland, Michigan in 1995. The facility’s design qualities, such as storm-water management, air-filtering systems, and 66 skylights, helped set the standards for the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Certification.

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