Beautiful Signs for a Better Planet

Guide to Specifying Sustainable Signage

Sustainable Signage: Employees Must Wash Hands

Architects, interior designers, and building project managers select and document certain types or brands of a material, design, product or service for their projects.  This process of detailing requirements is called specification. It establishes a contract for high-quality, accurate construction that meets the designer’s intent and their client’s interests.  While some building professionals regularly research and specify innovative offerings, others stick with suppliers they have previously used. For those open to new building products, including ADA office signage, eco-friendly options are available.

This Guide to Specifying Sustainable Signage is for dynamic building professionals committed to environmental sustainability and human health and well-being.  For those working on USGBC® LEED® building projects, Green Dot Sign® products can contribute to Materials and Resources credits in three ways. Detailed information about our LEED® credit contribution pathways can be found on our website.  For projects in which a passionate designer seeks to influence team members to select sustainable products, we suggest focusing first on the Materials specification component.

Sign Specification

Per Construction Specification Institute (CSI) – Section 101400 – Signage, here are key specification pieces as they relate to Green Dot signs and sustainable signage overall. Remember that specifications should always be reviewed and edited to ensure they meet project requirements and state and local ADA and building codes.

Materials: Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified wood

The base or substrate of an office sign is usually the largest product component by weight.  This means that substrate material inputs and production processes have the greatest environmental impact.  

To specify a Green Dot sign designate that the material should be FSC® 100% wood and the manufacturer should be Green Dot Sign, Inc.

For eco-friendly signs made by other manufacturers, we recommend specifying that signs contain at least 50% percent recycled content and that this be supported with documentation from the plastic mill. The sign manufacturer should then provide information on their sign constituents by weight, e.g. substrate is 82 – 83%, paint is 4 – 5%, adhesive is 1.5% etc., to confirm the total recycled content of the sign itself reaches 50%.

Office Sign Installation

Installation Accessories: Four Wood Pegs

Foam tape, and other adhesives used to wall mount office signs almost always contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are made of fossil fuels.  VOCs are bad because they contribute to the greenhouse effect, diminish air quality, and can harm workers. Sign installation is more sustainable when wood pegs or metal screws are used.

When specifying signage made by Green Dot Sign, note that four wood pegs are the most environmentally responsible installation option.

Composition: Thermoset Acrylic 3D Printing & Wood Sign BaseAccessible Exit Sign

The composition specification portion details what materials a sign should be made of.  Sometimes it also lists unacceptable materials and/or manufacturing processes. Additionally, regardless of sign vendor or application, to minimize environmental impact we recommend all signage be PVC (vinyl) free. 

Standard, ready to order Green Dot signs are composed of 0.035 inch thermoset acrylic 3D printing directly bonded to an FSC 100% Aspen 0.75 inch wood sign base.

ADA Compliance: Follow Standards for Accessible Design 

It is critical that ADA signage complies with the ADA regulations as detailed in the U.S. Department of Justice 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. In your interior signage specification include verbiage making this expectation clear.  Additionally, you may want to note that design features should be modified by the sign manufacturer as needed for ADA compliance.

Signage shall comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and State and Local Building Codes and Regulations. 

Graphic Design: Ready to Order or Custom Signs

To specify standard, ready to order Green Dot signs, our product details are below. We also design custom office signs or make custom signs to your unique specifications.

ADA Sign Component

Standard, Ready to Order Green Dot Sign Specification

Available in clear or 13 colors on website, ADA-compliant Grade 2 braille, positioning, spacing, etc.
Arial, ADA-compliant size, position, etc.
 Available in 13 colors on website, 0.625″ in height,ADA-compliant size, position, etc.
Wide range of images available in 13 colors on website, ADA-compliant images, size, and position, etc. 
Rectangular, ADA-compliant
3”x5”, 4”x7.25”, 9.25”x7.25, 11.25”x7.25”, 9.25”x9.25, or 11.25”x9.25


Eco-friendly ADA braille sample signSamples

Our product is unique and you may have to see it to believe it! We encourage clients to order a Green Dot Sign® standard sign sample. Samples are made with the exact same material and methods as our ready to order ADA-compliant signs and include all standard colors on the back.  Each sample sign face has a random pictogram with lettering and braille.

Sample kits are $50 to cover up-front material and shipping costs and enable our team to provide exceptional customer service. We sometimes provide samples at no charge to clients if a discussion confirms that sustainable ADA signs are a good option for your building project. Reach out to schedule a phone call via our Contact Us form.


For standard, ready to order signs a volume discount is automatically applied as more ADA signs are added to the on-line shopping cart. For especially larger orders and repeat clients, additional discounts may be available. U.S. ground shipping is included in all of our pricing for signs under 20 inches x 20 inches.

Custom sign pricing depends upon factors such as wood type, design, turn-around time, and sign quantity.  Simple room and door signs can run as little as $20 a piece while more complex signs can be over $100.  

Reach out with your ideas, and we can work together to specify better , sustainable ADA signs into your next project!