Milliken Contract’s showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart recently received Gold LEED certification for its environmentally friendly design. According to the company, the showroom is the first space in the Merchandise Mart to achieve the highest LEED rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s newest system for measuring commercial interiors, “LEED for Commercial Interiors 2.0.”

Kaye Gosline, Milliken Contractor’s creative director, said the project’s design team looked at every aspect of the showroom to make it greener. “Our LEED design team created a welcoming space that is both attractive and sustainable,” she said.

One of the project leaders, showroom designer John Seegers of Chicago-based Q studio, said a major challenge was the high-power lighting typically found in showrooms. The LEED rating requires reducing the lighting power by more than 25 percent. He eventually chose metal halide lights. “We made sure the products look their best without sacrificing color or brightness under the new lights,” he said.

Other criteria for certification included “low-emitting paint,” “MDF with no added urea formaldehyde” and superior indoor air quality.