Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

Assessing Resilient Flooring for Sustainability: Introducing a New Standard

The new NSF/ANSI Standard 332-2010 provides a consistent framework in which to compare and assess the sustainable nature of different products within the context of performing similar functions.
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Product Design Category Scoring Criteria

The stated purpose of the Product Design category is to "encourage manufacturers to integrate environmental and life-cycle thinking into the product design process" and is worth up to 30 points on the 90 point scale. Along with three prerequisites already described, the assessment for this category is broken down into four subcategories each containing specific criteria within as follows:

Enlightened Design Process

The criteria in this subcategory are intended to encourage the understanding of environmental impacts of products by the product designers and developers including the following:

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) or Design for Environment (DfE) assessment. By demonstrating that a full life cycle assessment has been completed using any of a number of nationally recognized standards or programs for that purpose within the past three years relative to the product(s) undergoing assessment, the manufacturer can receive up to 3 points. At a minimum, the life-cycle impact categories characterized must include global warming, acidification, ozone depletion, photochemical smog formation and eutrophication.

Life-cycle assessment improvement. The manufacturer can also receive one point for demonstrating an impact reduction of at least 10% from an established baseline in a minimum of two impact categories as listed above. The baseline shall be no longer than five years prior to the current product certification year.

Environmentally sustainable material inputs. For the product(s) undergoing assessment, credit is given for demonstrating that the manufacturer is fully informed as to the material composition of its products, including packaging and recommended adhesive systems. The criteria are also meant to encourage the selection and use of component materials manufactured wholly or in part from environmentally sustainable inputs such as recycled materials (post-consumer and post-industrial) and bio-based resources.

Environmentally sustainable inputs for product(s). For the product(s) undergoing assessment, the manufacturer can earn up to 8 points by declaring the total quantity of environmentally sustainable inputs specified on a percentage weight basis for recycled (pre- or post-consumer) content or bio-based content.

Environmentally sustainable inputs for packaging. An additional 2 points are available by also declaring the total quantity of environmentally sustainable inputs of the packaging materials specified on a percentage weight basis for recycled or bio-based packaging materials.

Human and ecologically friendly inputs

These subcategory criteria are intended to ensure that the manufacturer is fully informed as to the human and ecological hazards associated with the chemical composition of its products, including the recommended adhesive systems. These criteria are also meant to encourage the use of environmentally compatible chemicals while minimizing and eliminating the use of chemicals of concern, which have been identified in the lists specified in the prerequisite for the "Identification of use of chemicals of concern." Using those lists, there are three actions that can receive points:

Minimization of known chemicals of concern in product. The manufacturer can receive up to 5 points for demonstrating raw material input information that the product(s) does not contain: (1) any known carcinogen or reproductive toxin at levels equal to or greater than 1000 ppm (0.1%) or the level that requires labeling under California Proposition 65, whichever is higher; and (2) any OSHA toxic metal, TRI PBT, or TRI toxic chemical or compound at levels equal to or greater than 1000 ppm.

Minimization of known chemicals of concern in recommended adhesive. The manufacturer can receive one point for demonstrating that no chemical listed as a carcinogen or reproductive toxin comprises more than 0.1% (1000 ppm) of the total mass of the adhesive.

Elimination of chemicals with upstream concerns. For those material inputs present in the product(s) at levels equal to or greater than 5%, the manufacturer can receive up to two points for demonstrating that one step upstream of the life cycle manufacturing boundaries does not release known PBT or listed TRI toxic chemicals or compounds at or above the CERCLA reportable quantity level.

Informed Selection of Suppliers

The intent of the criteria within this section is to ensure that manufacturers are aware of the environmental performance and social accountability of their supply chains.

Supplier environmental disclosure. The manufacturer can receive one point for documenting the implementation of a key supplier environmental disclosure process that requires supplier disclosure of environmental performance information. This information needs to demonstrate compliance (or lack thereof) with local, regional, and national environmental requirements, presence (or absence) of a documented environmental management system, release of reportable quantities of TRI PBT's, use (or lack thereof) of renewable energy supplies, and evidence of greenhouse gas emissions tracking.

Supplier environmental performance disclosure. For this credit, the manufacturer shall document the percent of its key suppliers that have satisfactorily conformed to the company's environmental disclosure requirements as described above. The manufacturer shall receive one point if 50 to 74 percent of its key suppliers have conformed, or receive two points if 75 percent or more of its key suppliers have conformed.

Supplier social accountability. The manufacturer can receive one point for documenting the implementation of a supplier social accountability disclosure process. This process requires suppliers to disclose social accountability information including declaration of compliance with labor requirements and documentation of social accountability conformance.

Supplier social accountability disclosure. The manufacturer can further choose to document the percent of its key suppliers that have satisfactorily conformed to the company's social accountability disclosure requirements as described above. The manufacturer shall receive one point if 50 to 74 percent of its key suppliers have conformed, or receive two points if 75 percent or more of its key suppliers have conformed.

Supplier audits. The manufacturer may receive up to 2 points for first-, second- or third-party supplier audits. It shall receive 1 point if 10 percent or more of its key suppliers were audited in the past five years to verify conformance with environmental or social accountability disclosure requirements. It shall receive a second point if it has conducted annual reviews of 10 percent or more of its key suppliers.

 

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Originally published in Architectural Record

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