Green flooring is about choosing flooring that takes less energy to produce and that gives off less pollutants or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), than traditional flooring during it’s lifetime. Green flooring is an important subset of green building defined as “a building philosophy that aims for minimal use of non-renewable and polluting materials and resources in construction and the use of a building”.
The main characteristics of green flooring are:
- it is either comes made from recycled materials or in the case of wood comes from rapidly renewable forests.
- it is tested and certified by FloorScore or GreenGuard certified in the case of solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, vinyl, bamboo and cork flooring and is green label plus certified in the case of carpet flooring and carpet padding for giving off a minimum or no pollutants or off-gassing of VOC’s during its lifetime.
- The adhesives and sealants used during installation are low voc and certified as such with an Indoor Advantage Gold Certification or similiar.
- it takes a minimum amount of resources or energy to produce and to transport.
- it is durable reducing the frequency of required maintenance or replacement.
- it can be reused in another application when it needs to be replaced.
During the past decade the interest and knowledge of green building has grown tremendously. As a Registered Architect and LEED AP, I have witnessed firsthand the increasing demand for LEED certified buildings including LEED homes. I have seen firsthand how much LEED certifications can increase the value of a building. I have also learned a lot about all of the chemical compounds we are breathing in are daily lives, the poor air indoor quality we are exposed to in our daily life’s and how these chemicals are linked to diseases.