Manufacturers of building materials are increasingly aware of the trends in sustainable construction that call for a greater use of green methods and products. Many vendors have responded by introducing or expanding their eco-friendly offerings that can increase buildings’ sustainability and prestige. In fact, there isn’t a week that media outlets don’t report on another office tower, holiday resort or hotel that has received top rankings or distinguished awards, such as the LEED Gold New Construction certification recently given to Omni Dallas Hotel.
Green Building Recognitions Are Common, But What About Green Products?
While sustainable building awards are well publicized, less is known about accolades available for products manufacturers. However, they certainly exist and single out companies that have employed innovative methods in order to improve the environmental quality of their offerings.
For example, three tile manufacturers recently received Green Squared awards from UL, a global safety science company, in collaboration with the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The recognized companies include U.S.-based Dal-Tile Corporation and Florida Tile, as well as Porcelanite-Lamosa from Mexico.
Robert Hurt, director of environmental health and safety at Dal-Tile, said that the award was the culmination of a process of extensive quality audit of products manufactured by plants in the U.S. and in Monterrey, Mexico. The review was conducted by UL Environment, a business unit of UL.
Green Awards Guidelines Are a Roadmap for Improving Manufacturing Methods
Representatives of all three companies stressed that the value of the Green Squared certification guidelines lies in their holistic view of the entire production cycle of each product, and not just the end result. In fact, the certification is based on ANSI standard A138.1, which encompasses every step in the production process, from raw material extraction to manufacture to end-of-life management. It also evaluates non-technical aspects such as corporate governance and culture of commitment to innovation.
In addition to Green Squared, participating manufactures may also be eligible for certifications such as level® and NSF.
The news of the award comes on the heels of another recent sustainable announcement in the field of tile manufacturing, signaling that the industry may be moving towards more eco-friendly practices across the board.
In May 2012, Armstrong World Industries, which makes acoustical ceiling systems, unveiled a partnership with Waste Management that seeks to expand its Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program. The initiative aims to enhance the reclaiming of mineral fiber and fiberglass ceiling tiles from commercial renovation and demolition projects and utilize them to make new tiles.