Yellowstone Carpet Brings Biobased Beauty to Beastly Performance Pressures

Yellowstone National Park’s inspirational environment led the U.S. government to take a monumental step in 1872. Congress established Yellowstone as the world’s first national park. Today, hundreds of government employees and others are standing on a Yellowstone sustainability story more than 2000 miles from the park.

The National Conference Center (The National) is located just outside of Washington, DC, near Leesburg, Va. The National’s leadership saw Yellowstone-inspired biobased carpet as a natural for their sustainability and performance standards.

No bison roam The National's campus, but people create some beastly demands.

The National is a BIG facility: 1.25 million square feet, 250 meeting rooms, 917 guest rooms, and the largest ballroom in Northern Virginia. Built in 1974, the National’s primary role is a training facility, according to Geoff Lawson, vice president and general manager “It needs carpet that can stand up to heavy wear and tear, and still look stylish. We’ve found just what we need in Signature Accord’s Yellowstone line,” Lawson says.

“It does all that for us and more.” says Ken Sullivan, director of facilities, “We want to do everything we can to make this facility sustainable, an effort we began in 2005 when we adopted the Green Seal Certification program. The fact that this carpet is U.S. Department of Agriculture BioPreferred® certified fits nicely into our sustainability efforts.”

The carpet is installed in heavy traffic areas in the heart of the facility. “In addition to heavy foot traffic, this carpet has all sorts of carts, some of which are motorized, and many of which contain food being moved from our central kitchen to various dining facilities. Of course, there are spills, and this carpet is super easy to clean,” says Richard Valero, director of rooms and operations.

Hospitality Interior Design Firm, the MACCI Design Studio, introduced Signature Accord carpet and the Yellowstone Collection to The National. MACCI is committed to specifying sustainable products in all of their hospitality projects worldwide, and The National is a natural. 

Mary MacDonald, principal of the firm, explains that “aesthetically, the patterns we selected and specified for The National complements one of our design concepts, ‘Celebrate the Concrete’ referring to the prominent interior architecture of the property.”

A win-win for both sustainability and aesthetics.

Made by Signature Accord, the Yellowstone Collection gets both its name and beautiful patterns from the park. The company sent its staff to Yellowstone to let landmarks, like Artist’s Point, come to life in the carpet weave. The carpet also uses the plastic bottles left by the park’s more than 3 million annual visitors.

“We take all of the plastic bottles discarded by visitors to the park—43 tons annually-- and use them in the carpet backing. The line also features 100% regenerated solution nylon fiber made by Aquafil USA and Bio-Cel™ backing, which is created by Universal Textile Technologies. Bio-Cel™ is made with U.S. soybean oil to reduce the petroleum content. These recycled and renewable materials comprise 80% of the carpet’s weight,” says Signature Vice President John McIntosh.

The National Conference Center, Leesburg, Va.“And there is one final thing,” says Sullivan, “We like the fact that soybeans are grown by farmers right here in Virginia, and thus we are doing our part to support them and the local economy. It sort of puts a bow on the whole package.”

The National was built in 1974 to provide a learning environment for a major corporation. “So it is ideally suited for our mission of providing an environment for effective training for both the private and government sectors,” says Chief Marketing Officer Chuck Ocheltree. “The General Services Administration has recognized the National as a learning and conference center for all federal agencies since 2012.”

  • For more information about the National Conference Center, go to www.conferencecenter.com/  or contact Chuck Ochletree at cochletree@conferencecenter.com  703-724-5156
  • For more information about the Design Firm, MACCI Design Studio, go to www.maccidesign.com/ or contact Mary MacDonald mmacdonald@maccidesign.com 646-515-4400
  • For more information about Signature Accord go to www.signatureaccord.com/ or contact John McIntosh at jmcintosh@signaturecarpets.com 1-800-809-7086
  • For more information about USDA BioPreferred®, go to www.biopreferred.gov/BioPreferred/

This case study is provided for information only. The United Soybean Board does not endorse, promote or make any representations regarding any specific suppliers mentioned herein.