The green building trend is on the rise and so too are worries about unsubstantiated claims of environmental friendliness from some manufacturers.
One way architects, contractors, and other industry insiders can create distance between themselves and this concern of so-called “green washing” is to use products that are certified or validated by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.
Well-established and respected, UL Environment's GREENGUARD program identifies products and materials—everything from textiles to roofing insulation—that have low chemical emissions and promote human health.
Marketing your use of GREENGUARD products can boost your bottom line. That is because it shows others you have a commitment to sustainability and to products that are manufactured to walk the walk.
GREENGUARD, which is not affiliated with any product or manufacturer, is credible because it is a third-party certification program. It calls for the screening of more than 10,000 volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and requires annual re-certification. The GREENGUARD name likely will be familiar to many customers and clients with even a passing interest in green building.
“GREENGUARD Certified products are recognized, referenced or preferred by more than 400 federal purchasers, retailers, green building rating tools, and building codes around the world,” according to the program.
Such products can go a long way in meeting code criteria and earning points in certain green building programs.
GREENGUARD maintains an online database of thousands of certified or validated products searchable by, among other things, manufacturer and product type. If you look up manufacturer Atlas Roofing, for example, several roofing insulation products come up. One of the products, ACFoam®-III polyiso roof insulation, is a closed-cell polyisocyanurate (polyiso) foam core that is bonded to inorganic coated glass facers. It is recognized by GREENGUARD as resistant or highly resistant to mold growth based on independent testing and in accordance with ASTM D6329. Atlas also has a wall insulation product in the database, Rboard® rigid foam insulation, which is suitable for many different continuous insulation applications.
By using GREENGUARD-recognized products, you are telling your clients and customers that you are committed to better buildings, the environment and end-user health.
Given the benefits described above, architects, contractors and others should ask themselves this two-part question: Am I choosing the right green products, and am I marketing my use of them to my advantage?