Launch Slideshow

Image

Sustainable Interiors

Sustainable Interiors

  • FLOR. These carpet tiles are resource efficient as you buy only as much as you need and can replace one tile at a time. There is no off-gassing from adhesives as there is no need for glue, padding, or tack strips. Carpet tiles are a technical nutrient as the manufacturer offers a Return & Recycle Program.  Many tiles contain recycled content, and most are CRI Green Label Plus certified. 866.952.4093. www.flor.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3019%2Etmp_tcm131-1552793.jpg

    true

    FLOR. These carpet tiles are resource efficient as you buy only as much as you need and can replace one tile at a time. There is no off-gassing from adhesives as there is no need for glue, padding, or tack strips. Carpet tiles are a technical nutrient as the manufacturer offers a Return & Recycle Program. Many tiles contain recycled content, and most are CRI Green Label Plus certified. 866.952.4093. www.flor.com.

    600

    FLOR. These carpet tiles are resource efficient as you buy only as much as you need and can replace one tile at a time. There is no off-gassing from adhesives as there is no need for glue, padding, or tack strips. Carpet tiles are a technical nutrient as the manufacturer offers a Return & Recycle Program. Many tiles contain recycled content, and most are CRI Green Label Plus certified. 866.952.4093. www.flor.com.

  • SHAW INDUSTRIES. This company creates Up North, a maple flooring product with graining and mineral streaks and larger knot holes while still having a smooth finish. This product is Greenguard Children & Schools certified and is also made in the United States. This product features ScufResist Platinum, the companys extremely wear-resistant UV-cured polyurethane finish with aluminum oxide. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3020%2Etmp_tcm131-1552800.jpg

    true

    SHAW INDUSTRIES. This company creates Up North, a maple flooring product with graining and mineral streaks and larger knot holes while still having a smooth finish. This product is Greenguard Children & Schools certified and is also made in the United States. This product features ScufResist Platinum, the companys extremely wear-resistant UV-cured polyurethane finish with aluminum oxide. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

    600

    SHAW INDUSTRIES. This company creates Up North, a maple flooring product with graining and mineral streaks and larger knot holes while still having a smooth finish. This product is Greenguard Children & Schools certified and is also made in the United States. This product features ScufResist Platinum, the company’s extremely wear-resistant UV-cured polyurethane finish with aluminum oxide. 800.441.7429. www.shawfloors.com.

  • ECOTIMBER. This company offers the Tesoro Woods line in both domestic and exotic hardwood options as well as the Dasso bamboo flooring line, all of which are FSC certified. Many of these contain no added urea-formaldehyde, and a no-VOC adhesive is used during installation. FSC-certified reclaimed wood floors are also available. 877.740.9420. www.ecotimber.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3017%2Etmp_tcm131-1552791.jpg

    true

    ECOTIMBER. This company offers the Tesoro Woods line in both domestic and exotic hardwood options as well as the Dasso bamboo flooring line, all of which are FSC certified. Many of these contain no added urea-formaldehyde, and a no-VOC adhesive is used during installation. FSC-certified reclaimed wood floors are also available. 877.740.9420. www.ecotimber.com.

    600

    ECOTIMBER. This company offers the Tesoro Woods line in both domestic and exotic hardwood options as well as the Dasso bamboo flooring line, all of which are FSC certified. Many of these contain no added urea-formaldehyde, and a no-VOC adhesive is used during installation. FSC-certified reclaimed wood floors are also available. 877.740.9420. www.ecotimber.com.

  • HOME LEGEND. This companys Urban Collection is a classic cork floor with antimicrobial and acoustic properties. Like carpet, it adds cushioning and is an inherent thermal insulator. The companys products have all received Greenguard Children & Schools certification as well as CARB 2 compliance standards, the highest formaldehyde emissions standard required in the United States. 877.630.1800. www.homelegend.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp301C%2Etmp_tcm131-1552796.jpg

    true

    HOME LEGEND. This companys Urban Collection is a classic cork floor with antimicrobial and acoustic properties. Like carpet, it adds cushioning and is an inherent thermal insulator. The companys products have all received Greenguard Children & Schools certification as well as CARB 2 compliance standards, the highest formaldehyde emissions standard required in the United States. 877.630.1800. www.homelegend.com.

    600

    HOME LEGEND. This company’s Urban Collection is a classic cork floor with antimicrobial and acoustic properties. Like carpet, it adds cushioning and is an inherent thermal insulator. The company’s products have all received Greenguard Children & Schools certification as well as CARB 2 compliance standards, the highest formaldehyde emissions standard required in the United States. 877.630.1800. www.homelegend.com.

  • WICANDERS. This company takes a natural raw material extracted cyclically from cork trees without harm and turns it into value-added products while promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification. Corkcomforts floating floor solution hides subfloor imperfections and produces a durable installation. It is suitable for high traffic areas, comes with a 15-year commercial warranty, and is Greenguard Children & Schools certified. 410.553.6062. www.wicanders.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3022%2Etmp_tcm131-1552802.jpg

    true

    WICANDERS. This company takes a natural raw material extracted cyclically from cork trees without harm and turns it into value-added products while promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification. Corkcomforts floating floor solution hides subfloor imperfections and produces a durable installation. It is suitable for high traffic areas, comes with a 15-year commercial warranty, and is Greenguard Children & Schools certified. 410.553.6062. www.wicanders.com.

    600

    WICANDERS. This company takes a natural raw material extracted cyclically from cork trees without harm and turns it into value-added products while promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification. Corkcomfort’s floating floor solution hides subfloor imperfections and produces a durable installation. It is suitable for high traffic areas, comes with a 15-year commercial warranty, and is Greenguard Children & Schools certified. 410.553.6062. www.wicanders.com.

  • FORBO FLOORING SYSTEMS. This companys Marmoleum is a resilient flooring product constructed of natural, raw, and rapidly renewable materials. It is naturally antimicrobial and a great option for people with allergies or respiratory diseases. The companys flooring systems are SMaRT certified. 800.842.7839. www.forbo-flooring.us.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp301B%2Etmp_tcm131-1552795.jpg

    true

    FORBO FLOORING SYSTEMS. This companys Marmoleum is a resilient flooring product constructed of natural, raw, and rapidly renewable materials. It is naturally antimicrobial and a great option for people with allergies or respiratory diseases. The companys flooring systems are SMaRT certified. 800.842.7839. www.forbo-flooring.us.

    600

    FORBO FLOORING SYSTEMS. This company’s Marmoleum is a resilient flooring product constructed of natural, raw, and rapidly renewable materials. It is naturally antimicrobial and a great option for people with allergies or respiratory diseases. The company’s flooring systems are SMaRT certified. 800.842.7839. www.forbo-flooring.us.

  • JOHNSONITE. This company under the Tarkett umbrella offers Harmonium linoleum flooring, which is made from all-natural materials, 73% of those being rapidly renewable. It is naturally antibacterial, biodegradable, and fire retardant and is both FloorScore certified and C2C-Silver certified. 800.899.8916. www.johnsonite.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp301D%2Etmp_tcm131-1552797.jpg

    true

    JOHNSONITE. This company under the Tarkett umbrella offers Harmonium linoleum flooring, which is made from all-natural materials, 73% of those being rapidly renewable. It is naturally antibacterial, biodegradable, and fire retardant and is both FloorScore certified and C2C-Silver certified. 800.899.8916. www.johnsonite.com.

    600

    JOHNSONITE. This company under the Tarkett umbrella offers Harmonium linoleum flooring, which is made from all-natural materials, 73% of those being rapidly renewable. It is naturally antibacterial, biodegradable, and fire retardant and is both FloorScore certified and C2C-Silver certified. 800.899.8916. www.johnsonite.com.

  • CROSSVILE. This company has more than 18 tile products that meet the new SCS Green Squared third-party certification and the first of its kind post-consumer Tile Take-Back program. All of its domestically produced products contain up to 40% pre- and post-consumer recycled content. The company also recycles water for reuse in manufacturing and locally sources materials as much as possible within 200 miles of operation. 931.484.2110. www.crossvilleinc.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3015%2Etmp_tcm131-1552789.jpg

    true

    CROSSVILE. This company has more than 18 tile products that meet the new SCS Green Squared third-party certification and the first of its kind post-consumer Tile Take-Back program. All of its domestically produced products contain up to 40% pre- and post-consumer recycled content. The company also recycles water for reuse in manufacturing and locally sources materials as much as possible within 200 miles of operation. 931.484.2110. www.crossvilleinc.com.

    600

    CROSSVILE. This company has more than 18 tile products that meet the new SCS Green Squared third-party certification and the first of its kind post-consumer Tile Take-Back program. All of its domestically produced products contain up to 40% pre- and post-consumer recycled content. The company also recycles water for reuse in manufacturing and locally sources materials as much as possible within 200 miles of operation. 931.484.2110. www.crossvilleinc.com.

  • STONE PEAK CERAMICS. This firm recently joined SCS Green Squared to become third-party certified. They are also Greenguard Children & Schools certified.  Products are made with 100% natural minerals, including quartz, clay, kaolin, feldspar, silica, and natural coloring agents. Recycled content ranges between 27% and 97% depending on the product selected. No sealants, waxes, epoxies, man-made binders, or artificial coloring agents are used. 312.506.2800. www.stonepeakceramics.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3021%2Etmp_tcm131-1552801.jpg

    true

    STONE PEAK CERAMICS. This firm recently joined SCS Green Squared to become third-party certified. They are also Greenguard Children & Schools certified. Products are made with 100% natural minerals, including quartz, clay, kaolin, feldspar, silica, and natural coloring agents. Recycled content ranges between 27% and 97% depending on the product selected. No sealants, waxes, epoxies, man-made binders, or artificial coloring agents are used. 312.506.2800. www.stonepeakceramics.com.

    600

    STONE PEAK CERAMICS. This firm recently joined SCS Green Squared to become third-party certified. They are also Greenguard Children & Schools certified. Products are made with 100% natural minerals, including quartz, clay, kaolin, feldspar, silica, and natural coloring agents. Recycled content ranges between 27% and 97% depending on the product selected. No sealants, waxes, epoxies, man-made binders, or artificial coloring agents are used. 312.506.2800. www.stonepeakceramics.com.

  • AMERICAN CLAY. American Clay is a sustainable alternative to paint, wallpaper, cement, acrylic, and gypsum-based plasters. As an earthen-based plaster, it is 100% natural, nontoxic, mold resistant/moisture controlling, and breathable, releases minimal pollutants, and contains pre-consumer recycled content. 866.404.1634. www.americanclay.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3014%2Etmp_tcm131-1552788.jpg

    true

    AMERICAN CLAY. American Clay is a sustainable alternative to paint, wallpaper, cement, acrylic, and gypsum-based plasters. As an earthen-based plaster, it is 100% natural, nontoxic, mold resistant/moisture controlling, and breathable, releases minimal pollutants, and contains pre-consumer recycled content. 866.404.1634. www.americanclay.com.

    600

    Ben Scott

    AMERICAN CLAY. American Clay is a sustainable alternative to paint, wallpaper, cement, acrylic, and gypsum-based plasters. As an earthen-based plaster, it is 100% natural, nontoxic, mold resistant/moisture controlling, and breathable, releases minimal pollutants, and contains pre-consumer recycled content. 866.404.1634. www.americanclay.com.

  • MAHARAM. This firm has Alphabet, a classic, PVC-free wall covering that is perfect for kids rooms. It was designed by Alexander Girard during his tenure as founding director of the Herman Miller Textile Division and is made of 63% post-consumer recycled cellulose, 22% latex, and 15% cellulose with no added finish and an Osnaburg backing of polyester/cotton. Certifications include Greenguard Children & Schools as well as FSC. 800.645.3943. www.maharam.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp301E%2Etmp_tcm131-1552798.jpg

    true

    MAHARAM. This firm has Alphabet, a classic, PVC-free wall covering that is perfect for kids rooms. It was designed by Alexander Girard during his tenure as founding director of the Herman Miller Textile Division and is made of 63% post-consumer recycled cellulose, 22% latex, and 15% cellulose with no added finish and an Osnaburg backing of polyester/cotton. Certifications include Greenguard Children & Schools as well as FSC. 800.645.3943. www.maharam.com.

    600

    MAHARAM. This firm has Alphabet, a classic, PVC-free wall covering that is perfect for kids’ rooms. It was designed by Alexander Girard during his tenure as founding director of the Herman Miller Textile Division and is made of 63% post-consumer recycled cellulose, 22% latex, and 15% cellulose with no added finish and an Osnaburg backing of polyester/cotton. Certifications include Greenguard Children & Schools as well as FSC. 800.645.3943. www.maharam.com.

  • EXECUTIVE CABINETRY. This firm offers healthy wood cabinetry options that use waterborne finishes and have earned Greenguard Children & Schools certification for the lowest chemical emissions. Executive Cabinetry is a certified member of the KCMAs Environmental Stewardship Program. Certification is awarded on compliance in air quality, product resource management, environmental stewardship, and community relations. 800.654.6120 www.executivecabinetry.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3018%2Etmp_tcm131-1552792.jpg

    true

    EXECUTIVE CABINETRY. This firm offers healthy wood cabinetry options that use waterborne finishes and have earned Greenguard Children & Schools certification for the lowest chemical emissions. Executive Cabinetry is a certified member of the KCMAs Environmental Stewardship Program. Certification is awarded on compliance in air quality, product resource management, environmental stewardship, and community relations. 800.654.6120 www.executivecabinetry.com.

    600

    EXECUTIVE CABINETRY. This firm offers healthy wood cabinetry options that use waterborne finishes and have earned Greenguard Children & Schools certification for the lowest chemical emissions. Executive Cabinetry is a certified member of the KCMA’s Environmental Stewardship Program. Certification is awarded on compliance in air quality, product resource management, environmental stewardship, and community relations. 800.654.6120 www.executivecabinetry.com.

  • CRYSTAL CABINET WORKS. This companys products reflect environmental stewardship through both the sustainable use of natural resources and reduction in waste. GreenQuest by Crystal is a frameless cabinet that uses FSC-certified wood, has no added urea-formaldehyde, and contains both recycled and rapidly renewable materials. 800.347.5045. www.crystalcabinets.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3016%2Etmp_tcm131-1552790.jpg

    true

    CRYSTAL CABINET WORKS. This companys products reflect environmental stewardship through both the sustainable use of natural resources and reduction in waste. GreenQuest by Crystal is a frameless cabinet that uses FSC-certified wood, has no added urea-formaldehyde, and contains both recycled and rapidly renewable materials. 800.347.5045. www.crystalcabinets.com.

    600

    CRYSTAL CABINET WORKS. This company’s products reflect environmental stewardship through both the sustainable use of natural resources and reduction in waste. GreenQuest by Crystal is a frameless cabinet that uses FSC-certified wood, has no added urea-formaldehyde, and contains both recycled and rapidly renewable materials. 800.347.5045. www.crystalcabinets.com.

  • 3FORM. This companys 100 Percent line is made from 100% post-consumer containers. It is PVC-free, made of 100% high-density polyethylene, and can be reclaimed at end of use. It resists chemicals, is easy to clean, and is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified.  3form is also climate registered, ISO certified, SCS certified, and an EPA Green Power Partnership. 801.649.2500.  www.3-form.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp3013%2Etmp_tcm131-1552787.jpg

    true

    3FORM. This companys 100 Percent line is made from 100% post-consumer containers. It is PVC-free, made of 100% high-density polyethylene, and can be reclaimed at end of use. It resists chemicals, is easy to clean, and is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified. 3form is also climate registered, ISO certified, SCS certified, and an EPA Green Power Partnership. 801.649.2500. www.3-form.com.

    600

    3FORM. This company’s 100 Percent line is made from 100% post-consumer containers. It is PVC-free, made of 100% high-density polyethylene, and can be reclaimed at end of use. It resists chemicals, is easy to clean, and is Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified. 3form is also climate registered, ISO certified, SCS certified, and an EPA Green Power Partnership. 801.649.2500. www.3-form.com.

  • RICHLITE. This firms products are all Greenguard Children & Schools certified. Their paper-based countertops, made from environmentally sustainable resources, offer warmth, richness, and durability that perform for kitchens, baths, and offices. Pictured is Richlites Grays Harbor paper-composite surface material. 888.383.5533. www.richlite.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp301F%2Etmp_tcm131-1552799.jpg

    true

    RICHLITE. This firms products are all Greenguard Children & Schools certified. Their paper-based countertops, made from environmentally sustainable resources, offer warmth, richness, and durability that perform for kitchens, baths, and offices. Pictured is Richlites Grays Harbor paper-composite surface material. 888.383.5533. www.richlite.com.

    600

    Intectural

    RICHLITE. This firm’s products are all Greenguard Children & Schools certified. Their paper-based countertops, made from environmentally sustainable resources, offer warmth, richness, and durability that perform for kitchens, baths, and offices. Pictured is Richlite’s Grays Harbor paper-composite surface material. 888.383.5533. www.richlite.com.

With industry advancements in airtight construction practices, our focus must turn directly to the profound impacts that interior materials and finishes can have on the health and comfort of the people living in the homes we build and remodel. Material selection is already complex for green building projects, so vetting products for sustainable interiors requires filtering them to protect the health and safety of the indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as to provide resource effectiveness. Th e good news is that having a high-performing, healthy interior doesn’t require sacrificing comfort, aesthetics, or well-being. In fact, sustainable design enhances these qualities, and with a wide range of product knowledge, credible guidance, and extensive research, interior designers can help you achieve your sustainability goals.

Here’s our guide to product selection for sustainable interiors. From the start, it is imperative that the project have clearly defined goals and objectives. Involve the interior designer early, giving us equal opportunity to contribute to the building as a whole. The process begins with researching interior product attributes beyond the primary design mission by digging deeper into understanding the composition and chemical makeup of every product. By analyzing all aspects of a building’s interior we identify and implement ways to save energy and water, to reduce CO2 emissions and waste, to improve IAQ, to be responsive to environmental impacts, and to be stewards of our resources.

Interior building materials, furniture, and equipment contain potential contaminants and particulate substances that can compromise the interior environment, some throughout their full life cycle. In an ideal world the target is a toxin-free interior environment that is resource effective, but we aren’t quite there yet. Specify materials that meet the following goals:

• least toxic, low- or zero-VOC/SVOC;

• emit little or no odor;

• not predisposed to moisture damage, fostering mold growth;

• easy to clean and maintain;

• adopt consensus standards and certifications; and

• products that take on the material criteria outlined below.

Based on material goals, utilize product consensus standards that have been developed by government agencies, environmental certification services, or trade organizations that address health and toxicity issues. Standards provide the industry with guidelines and criteria to judge a product on single or multiple attributes. Certifications indicate whether a product has met a specific standard like American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For certification levels, we prefer products that obtain an independent third-party certification. This is followed by a second party that typically comes from associated trade organizations.

Manufacturers recognize that designers work closely with consumers promoting product attributes, standards, and certifications. By engaging with the design/build community, they are getting the message that health and environmental issues need to be balanced and recognizing the importance to the building industry and consumers. The range of healthy and sustainable product offerings is on the rise, plus manufacturers are investing in educating their sales staff through credentialed organizations. While there are trade-offs, we seek out transparent and accurate claims of sustainability and toxicity.

Indoor Air Quality

With the industry assembling airtight buildings there is nowhere for the accumulation of potentially hazardous chemicals and particulates to go unless we balance mechanical and natural ventilation systems, use advanced building science, manage moisture, and thoroughly evaluate material selections.

In addition to IAQ, interior finishes directly affect the performance of building assemblies. Understanding the vapor permeability of a product and the vapor profile of a building assembly is significant. Essentially we need to know which direction the building is drying—either to the inside or the outside—to support a high-performing assembly. Once we know the permeability ratings of all the assembly components and the direction of the moisture drive, we can support drying with our material selections.

Also, the moisture level of products entering the construction site is an essential step of the IAQ management plan. Ensure that humidity levels of wood products are appropriate for the climate and protect any on-site products with absorptive characteristics from potential moisture damage. Lastly, before applying finishes, substrates must be completely dry and ready to receive the finish product.

If done right, the interior materials will not contribute to the accumulation of unhealthy emissions, particulates, and mold, effectively reducing exposure risks. We take into consideration all the potential sources of indoor air pollution from building materials and products, including carpet and padding, flooring, paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, wall coverings, appliances and equipment, cabinetry and wood products, insulation, and the furnishings, textiles, and cleaning products brought in by the occupants.

Utilizing specification criteria, we assess materials and installation methods incorporating this information into our design and construction documents. By using a comparative process, this allows us to weigh and balance product attributes and their impacts alongside project considerations taking into account the following decisive factors.

To achieve IAQ objectives we research materials in advance, review manufacturers’ certifications plus Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), especially when standards or other references do not exist, and require submittals of the MSDS by the contractor. Review and approve requests for product substitutions to ensure that IAQ criteria defined in the specifications have not been compromised. Require MSDSs and other certifications for any product substitutions affecting critical items.

For the majority of product types, our go-to resources for healthy IAQ are Greenguard Children & Schools; Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Indoor Advantage Gold; and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus. They are based on the stringent California Section 01350 standard, which adopts higher levels of emission specifications than others. CRI Green Label Plus is a second-party certification that requires third-party testing for VOCs and individual chemical concentrations based on California 01350 offering a solid standard. These organizations have excellent, searchable product databases.

Also, specific to composite wood products, seek manufacturers attaining the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures for a reduction in formaldehyde emissions. CARB 1 is quickly becoming the industry standard, and CARB 2 may become the new national regulation.

For the highest level of IAQ, we make a serious effort to avoid the following materials or chemicals from the Living Building Challenge’s (LBC) Red List: asbestos, cadmium, chlorinated polyethylene and chlorosulfonated polyethylene, chlorofluorocarbons, chloroprene (neoprene), formaldehyde (added) and a known carcinogen, halogenated flame retardants, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, lead (added), mercury, petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides, phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and wood treatments containing creosote, arsenic, or pentachlorophenol. LBC has noted that there are exceptions for numerous Red List items due to current limitations in the materials economy. Refer to the LBC Community Dialogue for complete and up-to-date listings.