USGBC Accepts GREENGUARD Children, Schools Certification for Flooring

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) announced on Feb. 9 that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved flooring certified to the GREENGUARD Children & Schools(SM) standard as an alternative pathway for achieving credit within the LEED(R) Rating System. This means that buildings seeking LEED certification will have an additional option for achieving credit EQ 4.3: Flooring Systems in regards to low-emitting flooring.

"We applaud GEI in providing a robust third-party certification program that encourages floor covering manufacturers to verify their products to be protective of building occupants' health and well being," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC. "This approval will increase the availability of qualified sustainable flooring products including hardwoods, bamboo, laminates, rubber, stone, ceramic, quartz, underlayment and other alternative flooring materials for LEED projects."

The Children & Schools standard, introduced in 2005, is the most stringent of GEI's standards and is designed to be protective of the youngest occupant, GREENGUARD officials said. More than 130 different manufacturers participate in the GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification Program which requires extensive initial qualification followed by ongoing verification.

All products must meet, as a minimum, the health-based criteria of CA 01350's chronic exposure levels including 13.5 parts per billion (ppb) formaldehyde. "All products must meet this standard within 7 days of installation in a building," said Dr. Marilyn Black, founder of GEI. "This assures building occupants, including remodelers, that low chemical emissions are quickly attained when new products are brought into indoor spaces."

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