WHAT MAKES A WALLCOVERING GREEN?
It seems like everything today, especially in the building and design industry, has something to do with “green.” Some products save energy, others are recyclable and still others are made from rapidly renewable materials.
It’s important to understand that the concept of green embraces three key concepts:
|ENERGY EFFICIENCY||SUSTAINABILITY||ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY|
|includes everything from insulation to HVAC performance||a broad term that factors in material reuse, recycling and maintenance regiments that help products last longer and perform better||includes issues such as air quality, landfill diversion strategies and reducing carbon dioxide emissions|
Product data sheets and labels have suddenly taken on renewed importance. It has become important to know what products contain, as well as what they DON’T contain. Even the packaging material that the product is wrapped in is now under scrutiny.
For interior designers, as well as architects and specifiers, it’s important to know what to look for and what to avoid. If we narrow our focus to wall coverings, a better understanding of the sustainable attributes will certainly have an influence on product choices.
For designers and architects seeking to specify green wallcoverings, PERMEABILITY is the most desirable attribute because of its relationship to the product's affect on the interior environmental quality of the space.
In terms of eco-friendly wallcoverings, here are the five most desirable attributes after PERMEABILITY:
- VOC COMPLIANT
- RAPIDLY RENEWABLE CONTENT
- RECYCLED CONTENT
- RE-USABLE MATERIALS
- REGIONALLY MANUFACTURED
Although a growing number of projects are being planned to include some sustainable attributes such as green wallcoverings, many designers and architects want to know what part these products could potentially play in a project certified under the USGBC LEED rating System.
It is important to understand that the LEED initiative is designed to certify building projects, not specific products. And although products can help earn specific points, it is the project itself that must earn enough points to achieve certification.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed nearly a decade ago by the U.S. Green Building Council. This non-government entity is composed of members from all sectors of the construction industry who have united with a common goal of making buildings more energy efficient, healthier to work in and less harmful to the environment in terms of their construction and deconstruction.The LEED Rating System was created to transform the built environment to sustainability by providing the building industry with consistent, credible standards for what constitutes a green building. The rating system is developed and continuously refined via an open, consensus-based process that has made LEED the green building standard of choice for Federal agencies and state and local governments nationwide.
These details may vary from one manufacturer to the next and from product to product; but in general terms, green wallcoverings can help earn LEED credits in the following areas:
LOW EMITTING MATERIALS
In summary, it is important to understand that the use of green wallcoverings makes sense for a number of reasons:
The health and well being of the building’s occupants will improve.
Landfill waste will be reduced.
The general quality of life on this planet will be improved and prolonged.
LEARN MORE THROUGH OUR ACCREDITED CEU PROGRAM
Roos International offers an accredited Continuing Education program entitled "Go GREEN with Sustainable Wall Coverings." This CEU is the first of its kind and provides details on the sustainability aspects of wallcoverings as well as their potential LEED contribution.
Like all CEU programs, this is not a sales pitch, but useful information that we offer to you as a resource. For more information or to schedule a presentation, call 1-800-888-2776.