Flooring and Carpet
Natural or Recycled - Select flooring products that
contain recycled content and may be recycled themselves. All
attempts should be made to select flooring products that have
minimum emissions to prevent an accumulation of chemicals in the
indoor environment. Consider reusing textiles from a
Raw Materials Acquisition - Recycling of
materials is desirable and provisions should be made when
possible for the reuse of all products by the manufacturer.
Raw Materials Processing and Manufacturing - Avoid
using flooring products that require high amount of embodied
energy to build and create a potential environmental desecration
through the chemical production. Criteria for materials should
be set to conserve resources. Questions such as: Is it needed?
Is there a substitute with lower mass and/or lower embodied energy?
Product Distribution - Use flooring
products that have been manufactured in an
"sustaining" manner. Consider the environmental impacts of
flooring transportation in your purchasing decision. Product
that can be shipped in large bulk or that do not need to be transported over long
distances reduce the embodied energy used; products produced locally
in a region help support local economies; products should be
selected that are climatically appropriate
solutions for that region; consider the impact of product selection
on the user's sense of culture and community.
No / Low Emissions- Look for
products that do not pollute the air inside the building.
Toxicity of emissions from materials should be carefully reviewed
to protect indoor air quality, paying particular attention to
exposure limits and known medical hazards. For textured floor
materials look for carpet that has the Carpet
and Rug Institute (CRI) "green label":
Emissions from carpet meeting the "green label" specifications
will not exceed:
0.5 mg/m2 hr TVOC (total volatile organic compounds)
0.4 mg/m2 hr Styrene
- 0.1 mg/m2 hr 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC)
0.05 mg/m2 nr HCHO (formaldehyde)
Emissions from flooring adhesives that meet the CRI "green
label" will not exceed:
10.0 mg/m2 hr TVOC
- 3.0 mg/m2 hr 2-ethly-1-hexanol
0.05 mg/m2 HCHO
Disposal & Renewability- Attempts should be made to use recyclable
or biodegradable materials.
Consult IAQ Spec List for manufacturers and product test results.
Air Quality Sciences, Inc. Atlanta, GA
Consult MSDS sheets for all materials
Case Studies to Research:
-The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
-Primer on Sustainable Building
Rocky Mountain Institute
-The Green Pages: The Contract Interior Designer's Guide to Environmentally
Responsible Products and Materials.
Kim Nadel, C.I.D. & Andrew Fuston, Co-Authors
399 4th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215
-Interior Concerns Resource Guide
131 W. Blithedale, Mill Valley, CA 94941
-Sourcebook for Sustainable Design
Boston Society of Architects
52 Broad St., Boston, MA. 02109
-The Natural Home, Bierman-Lytle, Paul and Marinelli, Janet
Green Market. Sutton, Katherine Day. Interiors Vol. 157, No. 1. January
1998, p. 38.
-Carpet and Rug Institute
-Oikos: Green Building Source
-Global Environmental Options
-Environlink's Internet Green Marketplace
-Energy Efficient Environments, Inc.
-Real Goods Trading Company: Real Goods Catalog
Economy by BusinessWeek