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Navigating LEED hero

Navigating LEED for Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Posted on the 4/20/2022 by Karndean Designflooring

The United States Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program is the most widely used green building system in the world. In order to achieve LEED certification, a project must earn a certain number of points by following standards that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor air quality (source: USGBC).

With climate change, health and environmental sustainability at the forefront of commercial design today, earning LEED certification ­­is more relevant than ever. Whether you’re planning an office complex, residential development or hotel, a LEED-certified building will attract environmentally conscious tenants, employees, residents or visitors.

Reclaimed Maple in Pike Motorworks multifamily housing

Pike Motorworks in Seattle, WA met LEED criteria by specifying Karndean Designflooring Reclaimed Maple

As a longtime USGBC Member, Karndean Designflooring is committed to our involvement with environmentally conscious organizations and staying up to date on the latest developments in green building education. Historically, vinyl may not be the first building material that comes to mind as sustainable. However, today’s luxury vinyl flooring – particularly Karndean Designflooring – is not only sustainable but can help your project earn LEED v4 points.

MR: Environment Product Declarations Option 1: Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
EQ: Low-Emitting Materials Category 3: Flooring via FloorScore® certification

Each of our three product constructions (gluedown, loose lay and rigid core) has its own Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), making projects eligible for LEED v4 points under Materials and Resources: Environmental Product Declarations. These EPDs include a complete Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of our products. The in-use or service life of our planks and tiles can exceed 35 years and typically account for 80% of the environmental impact of the product. What’s more, any non-adhered pieces of loose lay and all our rigid core planks and tiles may be picked up and reused or recycled. In fact, at our US facilities we recycle more than 200,000 pounds of pre-consumer cutting waste each year.

Projects that specify Karndean Designflooring may also earn points through Indoor Environmental Quality: Low-Emitting Materials, as all Karndean products and adhesives meet the strictest standards for indoor air quality and are FloorScore® certified as low emitting in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This certification is issued by an independent laboratory, demonstrating compliance with the emissions criteria of the California Section 1350 Program. In addition, our adhesives are all either water-based or solvent free and have extremely low VOC emissions. The use of low-VOC materials contributes to occupant health and well-being. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor chemical contaminants, including VOCs, can cause sick building syndrome.

 U.S. Green Building Council LEED logo Verified by SCS Environmental Product Declaration logo  NSF Sustainably Certified logo  FloorScore certification logo

Currently, the use of Karndean can also earn projects a point under Pilot Credits: Certified Multi-attribute Products and Materials via our NSF/ANSI 332 certification. Most Karndean products are certified to this standard, which evaluates and certifies the sustainability of resilient floor coverings across the entire life cycle, including both environmental and social aspects of the production and use of LVT.

Interested in learning more? Visit our Programs and Certifications webpage or contact your Commercial Business Manager.