CHICAGO -- The American National Standards Institute has approved the first multi-attribute standard for environmentally preferable building materials.
The move marks the first time architects, designers and all end users will have one unified standard to identify carpets that have a reduced environmental impact.
The Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard is voluntary, inclusive, based on life-cycle assessment principles and offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact. The idea is that by defining environmental, social and economic performance requirements, the standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry.
The standard includes a rating system designed to be easy to use, which includes quantifiable performance requirements for stages throughout the supply chain. Among the areas covered are public health and environment; energy and energy efficiency; bio-based, recycled content materials or environmentally preferable materials; manufacturing; and reclamation and end-of-life management.
The new standard was developed by a joint committee consisting of end users, architects, interior designers, and state and federal agencies responsible for procurement practices. Among the committee were representatives from the California Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Task Force's Carpet Subcommittee, the Environmental Protection Agency, carpet and rug manufacturers, academics and non-governmental officials. The group worked under the guidance of NSF International, a not-for-profit organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods.
The standard can be used to evaluate any carpet product and is intended to complement the emerging commercial green building standards. The first carpet products certified to the approved standard are expected to be in the marketplace by the second quarter of 2008. Manufacturers can demonstrate conformance with the standard through certification offered by NSF International. -- Jennifer Quail