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MAPEI leads the industry with over 255 Indoor Advantage Gold certifications

Deerfield Beach, Florida – MAPEI is proud to announce that SCS Global Services has issued its Indoor Advantage Gold certification for indoor air quality for over 255 of MAPEI’s products (in the USA) for low VOC emissions in various categories including architectural coatings, sealants and adhesives.

By selecting MAPEI’s certified products, customers can be assured that the products have been thoroughly vetted by an ISO-accredited, third-party certification body and tested by an industry-independent laboratory. Third-party certification also assures customers that a product’s environmental claims have been validated by a qualified, independent and objective organization. 

The Indoor Advantage Gold certification is recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and General Services Administration (GSA). It qualifies for many green-building rating systems, including LEED v4, the WELL Building Standard, BREEAM, Living Building Challenge, NAHB Green Building Standard and more. It also conforms with CDPH Standard Method v1.2-2017 (CA 01350) for the school classroom, private office and single-family residence parameters as well as SCAQMD Rule 1113 for architectural coatings and Rule 1168 for Adhesives and Sealants. 

All of these certifications will be added to MAPEI’s website, the mindful MATERIALS (mM) database and MAPEI Sustainability Product Reports in the near future.

“This is a great accomplishment for MAPEI. VOC emissions are among of our most requested sustainability-related certifications,” said Brittany Storm, Sustainability Manager at MAPEI Corporation. “We’re excited to share this accomplishment with our customers.” MAPEI previously offered 82 certified products and now offers over 255 certified products across our largest product lines, including Tile & Stone Installation Systems, Floor Covering Installation Systems and Concrete Restoration Systems.

Certified products and details can be also be found on SCS’s online directory here

MAPEI is committed to providing sustainable, environmentally responsible products, including transparency offerings via Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Manufacturer Inventories (MI) and more. For a total system solution that works with LEED v4 and Living Building Challenge (LBC) projects, visit www.mapei.us

Emphasis on earth-friendly technology benefits environment

The overall goal surrounding the development of nearly all new products is fostering sustainability and health of planet and person. Sustainable, eco-conscious products continue to be top of mind for manufacturers with new product developments commonly being made from recyclable, sustainable materials and products with low VOCs.

And with the rise of LEED, EPDs, HPDs, and the earth-consciousness of a growing number of A&D professionals and clients, the use of green products is becoming more important than ever before. Manufacturers looking to protect the earth are now all in on the sustainability bandwagon, which has become more like a steam locomotive.   

Curt Rapp

“There has been a concerted effort to change the chemistries we have relied on for years for high-performance tile installation products,” observed Curt Rapp, Founder and CEO of The Tile Doctor. “The aim is to make installation products more robust, yet solve issues like reducing silica exposure and VOCs. Previous versions of these products ensured strong performance, but were accompanied by risks, including serious short- and long-term environmental impacts. There is no longer a need to compromise,” he added. “Through innovative new formulations based on research at leading universities in Italy’s tile-producing region, it’s now possible to achieve the highest possible performance levels without placing tile installers, jobsites and the environment at risk. The use of sustainable, environmentally sound tile installation materials offers healthier alternatives while also contributing to improved indoor air quality and building wellness. This next generation of tile installation products is changing the way the industry approaches tile and stone installation.”

Arthur Mintie

Arthur Mintie, Senior Technical Advisor, LATICRETE, added, “Other significant advancements for green products the industry has and will continue to see will be in regard to improving speed, efficiency, cost-savings and quality.” 

Many manufacturers have found that recycling in their production processes or utilizing recycled components translates to good business sense. With the proliferation of more Green Squared Certified® tile and setting materials, manufacturers can show themselves to be earth conscious, which is a favorable consideration when projects call for such high sustainability. 

Keeping in line with the ISO 9001:2015 Certified Management System is important to Progress Profiles, in all its design and production processes. CEO Dennis Borden explained that the firm implements constant quality controls on finished products, uses only top-quality materials and complies fully with the requirements of REACH and GREENTOP. “Many of the new products, for example, are realized with recycled/regenerated material in order to have the minimum impact of the quality of the product itself,” he said. “Further, in accordance with the company’s green environmental policy, energy systems of the new headquarters in Asolo are powered by solar energy from a roof-top photovoltaic plant that produces 800 kWh, covers over 60% of annual energy needs and saves the emission of 390 tons of CO2 a year.”


Sustainable, eco-conscious products

1 LATICRETE

125 TRI MAX is a three-in-one adhesive, sound-control and crack-isolation product that eliminates the need for sound-control and anti-fracture mats. Because of its lightweight nature, 125 TRI MAX thinset is designed to save construction professionals money on storage, freight and logistics. 125 TRI MAX contains 36% post-consumer recycled materials to contribute to LEED points and is GreenGuard-certified for sustainable building. laticrete.com

2 Progress Profiles

Prosupport Tube System is the new adjustable supports system in polypropylene (PP) for the installation of outdoor floating floors, from a minimum height of 29 mm to a maximum of 1000 mm. The entire system has been designed and implemented using selected recycled plastic.  With attention to the quality of its material, the business ethic of the firm combines sustainability with innovation. progressprofiles.com

3 MAPEI

The company has a select set of mortars that are SCS third-party certified to the TCNA Green Squared® standard (ANSI A138.1), which can contribute to green building standards and certification systems such as LEED’s Certified Multi-Attribute Products and Materials pilot credit.

These products include MAPEI Ultralite Mortar™, MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro, MAPEI Ultralite S2 mortar and MAPEI Ultralite S1 Quick. This family of mortars are designed with numerous benefits, including Easy Glide Technology™ for fast application. mapei.com

4 The Tile Doctor

Developed to provide a safer and healthier alternative to existing tile installation materials, ZHERORisk® is a new line of high-performance, non-toxic and non-corrosive tile adhesive, setting and grout products. Emitting no VOCs, ZHERORisk products meet the strictest indoor air quality standards, earning a GEV-EMICODE® EC1+ certification. The result of a collaboration between the European Union and leading universities in Italy’s tile-producing region, ZHERORisk products are formulated using renewable raw and recycled materials, and generate minimal environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle. ZHERORisk products include Litokol® Epoxy Élite EVO, Litokol® Aquamaster Waterproofing and Litokol® Litoelastic EVO. Both Epoxy Élite EVO and Litoelastic EVO are also available in IMO (International Maritime Organization) certified flame-resistant versions. thetiledoctor.com

 

Crossville Named an Eco-Leader by Green Builder Media

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville, Inc. has been recognized as a 2018 Eco-Leader by Green Builder Media. The domestic tile manufacturer is featured among fourteen other Eco-Leader honorees in the current issue of Green Builder Magazine.

2018 GBM Eco-Leaders

Each year, Green Builder Media’s editorial team recognizes pioneering companies that are confronting environmental challenges in innovative ways. These companies are often renowned for developing sustainable products and creating manufacturing processes that reduce the environmental footprint, improve people’s lives, and enhance profitability. As a 2018 Eco-Leader, Crossville joins an elite list of previous winners including such companies as Siemens, Toyota Motor Corporation, Panasonic, Owens Corning, and LG Electronics.

“In our practices, processes, and products, we’re committed to improving the built environment and everyday experiences for employees, customers, and partners,” said Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing.

From its progressive manufacturing practices and sustainable products to a core commitment to improving the environment through innovation and unique partnerships, Crossville continues to be the industry leader in sustainability for the domestic tile industry.

For more information about Crossville’s sustainability practices and partnerships, visit crossvilleinc.com.

Green Risks and Rewards: Managing Legal Issues on Sustainable Projects

Defining the green project

There are four main steps to successfully managing legal issues that often arise in sustainable projects. The first step is establishing a clear understanding among all project participants of the owner’s green project goals and how they will be obtained. These may include energy and water consumption reduction, LEED® certification, tax credits, marketing purposes, or “greening” required by law. Understanding how specific goals will affect design professionals, general contractors, or specific trade contractors is critical to contractually defining a green project. But perhaps even more important is first asking: Are the goals attainable? The answer to that question is a key component to defining the project scope. 

Next, defining the scope requires identifying and taking inventory of the details in four areas:  design, materials, construction, and commissioning. The parties in each area should ensure that project participants (whether the design professional or the sub-trade) clearly understand their role and responsibility to meet green objectives. This includes implementing best practices such as contractually assigning risks based on who best can manage those risks. For example, one could allocate responsibility for third party certification submission to the owner’s agent, or, rather than guaranteeing a certification level, agreeing to use best efforts in designing or building towards a certification requirement. The third step is equally important: Getting buy-in from the owner – and all project participants – early and often as to the project’s sustainable objectives and how they will be achieved.

Managing green risk

Liability concerns arise with inexperienced teams, heightened standard of care, unachievable warranties, product failures, delays, insurance/bonding concerns, and handling of claims. The fourth step revolves around how well these risks are managed in green projects.

To avert the problems with inexperienced green construction teams, parties can assist owners in verifying credentials of all project participants – including subcontractors and consultants – and build a team with the requisite green design and construction experience. (This may not always be the lowest bidder.) But project participants may also want to avoid representing themselves as “green experts” as doing so could inadvertently increase standards of care and in turn impact insurability (as most insurers will not cover a heightened standard of care). In other words, the standard of care should be consistent with prevailing industry standards and those responsible for maintaining that standard must also be prepared to address continuously evolving green standards. Even with the right team in place it’s important to recognize that the contracting parties cannot make “green guarantees” in part because it’s impossible to control third parties. Consequently many sustainable project contracts are made to perform to green certification i.e., without warranting that certification will be met. 

Delays are an inherent risk in any type of project and can occur due to the unavailability of required products or because the work takes longer than anticipated. Risks also arise from green product failures or from implementing products not yet tested or insufficiently tested. Such delays can result in not meeting substantial completion or certification, or in the owner not obtaining the desired tax credits. Therefore, it’s imperative to proactively take responsibility for the risks of delays that each project participant can control. For example, participants may draft force majeure clauses that specifically identify “excusable delays” and include language underscoring that substantial completion will not equate to achievement of a certification level (as such certification will generally not be completed at the time the project is completed). 

When addressing insurance and bonding matters each project participant must evaluate and determine which policy will best cover “green” claims. Each of the types of policies available to the project team have their limitations or advantages:

Errors and Omission policies, procured by design professionals, generally will not provide coverage for warranties or guarantees, nor provide coverage for “green experts.” 

Builders’ Risk policies, procured by owners, generally will not include construction defects coverage. 

A Commercial General Liability policy, generally procured by contractors, presents coverage issues turning on questions such as: Is failing to meet a sustainable objective an “occurrence” that caused “property damage”? Does obtaining to meet green certification level equate to performing professional service? What about the mold and EFIS endorsement exclusions? 

When reviewing these types of policies, therefore, it’s important to bear in mind that obtaining a “green” endorsement will not cover guarantees to meet certain sustainable third party certification. 

Claims

When claims in green projects arise, they generally allege breach of contract, negligence, and misrepresentation (“Greenwashing”). These claims generally allege failure to meet or diligently pursue a green certification (such as failure to meet a LEED certification), failure of a product to provide the desired result (such as a bamboo roof that leaks), or failure to timely construct the green project (due to green products/materials delays).

Parties seeking to limit damages may try to contractually limit the timing of when claims can be filed and thus help to mitigate the unknown long-term performance risks. Parties may also seek to limit liability up to the level of insurance coverage or to the level of fees.  Furthermore parties may also agree to mutually waive consequential damages resulting from, e.g., termination of leases, breach of loan agreements, or the loss of tax credits, profits or reputation. 

Experienced teams support successful sustainable projects

Finally, what can parties do to reduce and manage the risks discussed above? Certainly educating the key players early and often is paramount as it helps to secure the owner’s buy in and maintains the project team engagement. Carefully choosing the best project delivery method, the proper allocation of risks, selecting the appropriate certification consultant and the commissioning and re-commissioning avenue are all necessary. Lastly, parties can also reduce their risks by ensuring timely notice and opportunities to cure and properly document issues that arise.  In the end retaining the right team experienced in executing a well-integrated approach to every aspect of the green project can often prove to be the most critical factor in a successful sustainable project.

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Daniel A. Dorfman is Chair of the Construction Law Practice at Fox, Swibel, Levin & Carroll LLP, a full-service boutique business law firm based in Chicago, Ill. Daniel has a national practice representing owners/developers, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, specialty trades, and construction suppliers on their most important construction projects – both on the front end in drafting and negotiating complex construction agreements, and on the back end litigating and trying to verdict (when necessary) commercial construction disputes of all kinds when they arise. Daniel, a LEED® Green Associate, also has a focus in sustainable (“green”) building and the renewable energy markets. Daniel can be reached by email at [email protected]. 

Contractors get creative with green solutions

Recycling options can benefit homeowners, contractors, and community members as well as the earth

With this issue addressing issues of sustainability, environmental friendliness and recycling, we turn to a couple of contractors to see what might be percolating in the green arena for them. 

Nadine Edelstein, owner of NTCA member Tile Design by Edelstein located in Vashon, Wash., addresses the recycling issue with a program she’s dubbed, “No Tile Left Behind.” Edelstein said, “It’s enabled me to pull a LOT of material out of the waste stream, and then I am able to make creative spaces for clients with it. I don’t charge them for the material, but they pay me to design with it.”

Edelstein’s original hex concept made from her No Tile Left Behind program.

Edelstein was asked to create a feature wall for a new local salon and used No Tile Left Behind material to create it.

“I was thrilled when I found out that the branding was around the concept of the hive,” she said. “Several years earlier I had created a concept wall for a local group tile show. I cut kite shaped tiles from tile and stone (from No Tile Left Behind) and arranged them into a dimensional wall of hexagons for the show’s entry. Of course I saved all the tiles and hoped I would find an imaginative client. 

“Then along came The Hive! I had to tweak the color palette and add some more pieces but I was finally able to give the piece a place in the real world,” she said.

The wall Edelstein created for The Hive salon, using “waste” material.

Another recent No Tile Left Behind project was a shower for a previous client of Edelstein. “I was able to utilize glass, ceramic, and porcelain in a blue/green color palette to create a large scale mosaic for their master bathroom remodel,” she said.

“Fortunately, I have a large studio,” she said. “So I am able to store the rescued tile and stone until I can find them a new home.”

Another “Green” perspective

Another “green” perspective on recycling comes from appropriately named NTCA member Phil Green, owner of PGC Construction, Remodeling and Design in Gilberts, Ill. He’s also the creative genius behind the “Back Butter Buddy” tool, a tile-centric Lazy Susan that sits atop a bucket and allows large tiles to be turned more ergonomically. He’s putting his innovative mind to work on the recycling issue and he’s outspoken about the need for novel solutions. 

Glass, ceramic and porcelain from Edelstein’s No Tile Left Behind tiles created this stunning shower.

“We in the tile/remodeling industry generate a fair amount of waste materials during the course of our projects. Even the cartons and bags from our tile and thinset become something that we need to deal with,” he said.

“As the planet gets more and more cluttered with debris from a ‘disposable-minded’ society we NEED, MUST, ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO do our personal fair share to chip in and become part of the solution. Many programs already exist, and new ones are on the horizon that look for alternatives to bagging and shipping everything to the dump.”

Green detailed  a few things that his company has chosen to do to help: “When we demo a kitchen or bath we do it in such a way as to not damage the reusable products from the project,” he said. “Sure, sledge hammers work, but they are just to add drama on the DIY/HGTV shows. We take cabinets, countertops, faucets, light fixtures, doors, and even old paint to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. For any valuable products, I fill out a donation sheet and give it to my homeowners as a tax write off. They appreciate it and it means less in the landfill. Win, win!”

Cuts and broken tiles are the perfect materials for mosaic projects.

Cuts and broken tiles make excellent materials for mosaic projects, Green has discovered. “I love the look of mosaic designs, and once again the tile gets a new life and is not buried in some hill,” he said.

“I would suspect most towns have a recycling program along with their normal garbage pick-up,” he added “I try to bring cardboard and plastic home to be disposed of in my personal container. I am also lucky enough that I can have an open burn pit at my home. I take paper and wood products home and burn them there. If I get any metal from my jobsite – other than copper and aluminum – I bring that home too, separate it from my normal waste and set it aside. I know that the ‘scrapper’ will drive along on garbage pick-up day, and if I can help him make a couple of extra pennies, I do. 

“Every town also has a recycling drop-off center for scrap materials such as copper and aluminum,” he said. “I accumulate these metals and make the trip, even if just for gas money, but I know these products too will be melted down and be reborn.”

Green knows this isn’t an exhaustive list of solutions, but it’s a start for contractors who want to be earth-conscious. “That is my GREEN perspective,” he said. “I guess I’ve always been Green without realizing it.”

The latest with Green Squared® – Certified Product Searchability

Earlier this year at Coverings, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) announced a partnership with Ecomedes, creator of an online database of product information relating to environmental attributes and certifications. The objective of this partnership is to establish ways for designers, purchasers, and users of tile and related installation materials to more easily obtain product information needed to help fulfill their environmental goals. 

The immediate deliverable of the TCNA-Ecomedes partnership is a Green Squared Certified® product search page which has been incorporated into the Green Squared website. Previously, searching for Green Squared Certified products involved contacting approved Green Squared certification agencies or inquiring with manufacturers. Now, an up-to-date listing of certified products is housed in one place and managed by Ecomedes, who interfaces regularly with participating manufacturers and their Green Squared certification agencies. Plus, each entry within the Green Squared Certified database contains valuable product information that is especially relevant to green building project leaders, architects and designers. These include downloadable certificates, EPDs (environmental product declarations, if available), and additional educational resources from WhyTile.com. Users of the library have the option to filter Green Squared Certified products by manufacturer, certification agency, or Green Squared Certified products that additionally have EPDs.

For sure, establishing a flagship library of Green Squared Certified products is important, but the benefits don’t end there. Green building specifiers and purchasers use a variety of broader construction product locator tools. If Green Squared Certified tiles or installation materials aren’t ‘on the menu’ of any given tool, they will not be considered, regardless of their eligibility, the quality of information provided, or how well-known the products are. With Ecomedes hosting the Green Squared Certified product library, the tile industry is well-positioned with a partner that can facilitate an increased number of eligible products being ‘on the menu’ for consideration in North American green building projects.

All information within the Green Squared Certified product database is syndicated with Ecomedes’s master database, Fulcrum (fulcrum.ecomedes.com), which is the green product library used by many of the largest architectural firms and purchasing organizations in the US. Furthermore, Ecomedes has partnered with some of the largest purchasing organizations in the country, including the GSA and California Energy Commission, to develop proprietary libraries that contain only products that satisfy a particular purchaser’s needs. As an example, Ecomedes is the exclusive host of the online product library used by Federal purchasing officials to find certified green products: https://sftool.ecomedes.com/. With Green Squared Certified products entered into Ecomedes’s database, there is inherent uptake into libraries created proprietarily by Ecomedes for purchasers. 

In today’s day and age of database positioning, information partners are extremely important. According to Ecomedes, they “connect buyers and sellers with better data to make a purchasing decision and get the right information needed for projects.” To that end, they are a leader in green building, and the tile industry is well-positioned having them as a partner in Green Squared.

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, the Green Squared website recently received a facelift. For more information about the program and direct linkage to the Green Squared Certified product library, visit GreenSquaredCertified.com.