CI-2009 IEQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems

  • Use either inert or certified flooring

    IEQc4.3

    Resilient flooring, rubber flooring, and prefinished wood flooring all must be FloorScore or Greenguard Gold certified. Carpeting and carpet cushion need to be CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus or Green Label certified (respectively).

    In order to meet the credit requirements, any adhesives or finishes applied to flooring materials also need to meet the applicable requirements of IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2. Wood, concrete, and other flooring installed raw need not be certified as long as any coatings and finished applied to them meet the requirements of IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings

    Both designers and contractors have to understand the rules

    While this is a construction-phase credit—and the contractor will need to ensure that VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate.-compliant adhesives, sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. and coatings have been applied to flooring systems—it can be dealt with primarily during the design phase by choosing specific manufacturers and flooring products for the contractor to use. Allocating adequate time for product research, and identifying compliant flooring products before construction begins, helps to ensure that the right products are used. 

    This is an all-or-nothing credit, but as long as each flooring product meets one of the applicable criteria under either Option 1 or 2, the requirements will be covered. 

    Make sure the contractor and subcontractors know what information to look for. Don’t allow them to use products that merely claim to be low-VOC. Find the manufacturer’s data stating that carpets are Green Label Plus, carpet padding is Green Label, and hard-surface flooring is FloorScore or has been tested by an accredited lab and complies with the California Department of Health Services protocol.

    Carpet testing samplesCarpet samples like these are tested in closed chambers for emissions levels. Samples are fit into trays covering their edges, to avoid skewing results. Photo – Berkeley Analytical Associates Products certified to the Greenguard Gold standard (previously known as Greenguard Children and Schools) meet the California Department of Health Services protocol, but beware: the generic Greenguard standard does not. (See Resources for links to products). 

    Carpet samples like these are tested in closed chambers for emissions levels. Samples are fit into trays covering their edges, to avoid skewing results. Photo – Berkeley Analytical Associates

    Only 20% of product cut sheets selected at random need to be uploaded to LEED Online to document this credit although it is best to keep all product cut sheets on file in case the credit is audited.

    FAQs for IEQc4.3

    Should track-off mats being used on the project to meet IEQc5 requirements be included in IEQc4.3 credit requirements?

    There is no definitive information from USGBC on this one way or another. It is recommended that project teams do their best to find low-emitting options for IEQc5, and that IEQc4.3 compliance is recommended. However, LEEDuser has heard that project teams have had success not including track-off mats, such as the type with grilles and small strips of carpeting. Also, mats that are removed for cleaning are not permanently installed and thus not subject to credit requirements. Carpet tiles may be used as track-off mats, and are available with the requisite certification.

    If I have no flooring products in the scope of my project, can I earn this credit?

    This situation is not definitively addressed by USGBC. However, because the credit requires the use of flooring products that meet specific requirements, it makes sense to assume that flooring must be used.

    How do I handle a polished concrete floor?

    The concrete is not considered under the credit requirements because it is not a flooring product. Any coatings used to finish the concrete would be applicable under IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.2.

    Should mineral-based finish flooring products (without any integral organic-based coatings and sealants) and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring be documented on the IEQc4.3 LEED Online form, even though they are exempt from certification requirements?

    According to LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10267, the project team should mark the form to indicate an Alternative Compliance Path, and include a narrative with a statement that the project is applying the April 14, 2010 addenda, as well as the manufacturer and specific product description of the product claiming the exemption. Manufacturer documentation for each product claiming an exemption is not required.

    On a renovation, should flooring that is previously installed be subject to the credit requirements?

    No. The credit requirements only refer to flooring installed within the project scope.

    One flooring adhesive we are using falls under both IEQc4.1 and IEQc4.3, and is over the VOC limit. We are using the VOC budget method to meet IEQc4.1 requirements, but are we automatically disqualifed from IEQc4.3?

    Technically speaking, the IEQc4.3 credit language would not allow you to earn the credit in this situation. The budget method is not referenced in IEQc4.3. However, there has not been an official ruling on this from USGBC, and a case could be made through a narrative or a LEED Interpretation for earning the credit.

    Are throw rugs subject to the credit requirements?

    While finding low-emitting throw rugs would be a good idea, they would not be considered "permanently installed" and so would not be subject to credit requirements.

    If a ceramic tile receives a top coat after it is manufactured, is it exempt from the credit requirements?

    No. A tile or similar product that is coated after being manufactured must meet the credit requirements for flooring product certification.

    The credit requirements are allowed to exempt unfinished wood flooring from the credit requirements, but wood flooring is almost always finished. This is confusing!

    Yes, it is odd. All the same, unfinished flooring is exempt, while finished flooring must meet relevant requirements.

    I have an international project and my flooring products aren’t tested using any of the above standards. How can I tell if they still comply?

    International products may comply through the German AgBB/DIBt testing method, which is followed by GUT, EMICODE, and Blue Angel. If using the AgBB/DIBt test results, select the 3, 7, or 14 day time point. You should also check that the test parameters match the California Department of Health Services protocol—if not, USGBC will allow you to multiply the test results by a factor of 0.7 to determine compliance.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Design Development

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  • Consider using low-emitting flooring materials and systems.


  • Review the table shown in the Bird's Eye View, and the credit language, for low-emitting requirements for different flooring materials.  


  • The cost premium for low-emitting flooring varies. Carpet, for example, should not have much of a premium, if any. Many hard-surface flooring materials such as concrete and wood are typically low-emitting themselves, and simply need a low-emitting finish, which is unlikely to have much of a cost premium. With higher-end flooring products, the cost of credit-compliant and non-compliant products should be comparable for all types of flooring. 


  • Durability and performance of flooring materials that are compliant with this credit should not be an issue, compared with conventional materials. 


  • Carpeted officeBolyu's Flair carpet tile contains 85% recycled content backing and matches the company's broadloom product. Photo – Beaulieu CommercialCarpeting all of your regularly occupied spaces will make earning this credit easier, because compliant carpeting is easy to find and should be available without a cost premium. FloorScore-certified hard-surface flooring, on the other hand, is harder to find as there may be limited variety and availability. However, consider durability as part of your design—hard-surface flooring offers better durability than carpet.


  • FloorScore lists a few compliant products on its website, but a limited number of manufacturers that have had their products tested by FloorScore. Products certified under the Greenguard for Children and Schools program are also okay, because that standard meets the California Department of Health Services protocol. Beware: the generic Greenguard standard does not meet this protocol.


  • Resilient flooring, rubber flooring, and prefinished wood flooring all must be FloorScore-certified. Solid wood flooring, ceramic tile, concrete, and other flooring installed without binders or coatings need not be certified, but all coatings and finished applied to them must meet the requirements of IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings.

Construction Documents

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  • Make sure low-emitting flooring requirements have been integrated into the construction specifications.  


  • Guidance on incorporating LEED specifications into construction documents, along with samples, is available from MasterSpec and from the Whole Building Design Guide (see Resources).


  • It is best to require subcontractors to supply all LEED-required VOC information on the products they purchase at the time they are submitting products for approval. This way contractors do not wait until the end of construction to supply information, and you have the opportunity to review products for LEED compliance before products are purchased.


  • If possible, incorporate in the specifications specific, compliant low-emitting products by product line and manufacturer. 


  • Contracts for contractors and subcontractors should include their responsibility for ensuring that products they supply comply with LEED’s requirements.


  • Low-emitting requirements can also be incorporated in a more comprehensive IAQ management plan (required for IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction) specifying low-emitting flooring systems to control a source of construction pollution.


  • Achieving this credit can also help achieve IEQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy, if your project pursues the air-testing option for this credit. Using low-emitting flooring products improves your odds of passing the air quality tests. 


  • Polished  concreteUnfinished concrete floors in mechanical rooms are not covered by this credit. Floor finishes like this low-VOC siliconate polished concrete finish are covered, however. Photo – ConspecThe credit only applies to flooring products installed inside. You can exclude flooring or decking in exterior spaces. Unfinished flooring, including floors in mechanical, electrical, and elevator service rooms also are not included. 


  • Hiring construction teams with LEED experience is helpful, as is reviewing LEED requirements and responsibilities with the contractor during the bidding process. Construction teams without LEED experience can be successful with this credit, but will require more training and a closer eye on quality control to make sure compliant materials are used and that items are documented correctly.  


  • As accountability is key to successfully implementing low VOC materials, contractors and subcontractors should be contractually required to provide LEED submittal product information. 

Construction

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  • Research compliant, low-emitting products before construction begins. If product decisions are made after construction begins, with less time to carefully review data sheets, there is a much greater risk of using a non-compliant product. 


  • A master spreadsheet helps ease information collection for subcontractors, giving them a road map of exactly what types of information to collect for each product.  


  • Preparation Before Construction Begins


  • The general contractor (GC) should be oriented to all LEED-related issues, including IAQ management, low-emitting materials, environmental material tracking tools, construction waste management, and so on. A list of acceptable products for each use type, and the list of VOC limits, should be provided to aid subcontractors in product selection. 


  • The GC should hold orientation meetings with the subcontractors to review the LEED responsibilities related specifically to their trades. This exercise helps to build trust and is crucial for obtaining buy-in from all participants in the process.


  • Coordination and communication among the GC, subcontractors and design team early in the process can minimize scheduling delays and pushback from subcontractors.


  • Give the GC and subcontractors the following tools to help them track materials data for all MR and IEQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access.)

    • Materials Calculator:  This is a master tracking spreadsheet that the GC can use internally to compile product information received from the subcontractors. The spreadsheet tracks LEED values across multiple LEED MR and IEQ credits.
    • Environmental Materials Reporting Form: This is a material tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values for products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing. 
    • Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form: This is a VOC tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.
    • Low-Emitting Material Limits: These tables, found with each credit here on LEEDuser, summarize the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and flooring products. When subcontractors search for low-emitting products, they should consult these charts.

  • When researching low-emitting products, double check that the manufacturer’s printed information is not misleading. A common example is a product cut sheet that states: “This is low-emitting flooring” without providing the product’s certification status and number. You need a copy of the flooring certification to demonstrate the product’s compliance. 


  • You’ll have to document flooring adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings twice—once for IEQc4.1 or IEQc4.2, and again for this credit.


  • The MSDS for flooring adhesive, sealant, or coating might just list the chemical contents without providing an overall VOC g/L number. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for a VOC number.  


  • The VOC Budget method described in IEQc4.1: Low Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants and IEQc4.2: Low Emitting Materials—Paints and Coatings is not available for this credit.


  • The GC should be aware of any warranty issues that may exist if alternative adhesives or sealants are used. For example, a carpet company’s warranty may insist that a specific carpet adhesive that doesn’t meet the credit requirements. In this case, you’ll have to choose whether to forgo the credit for the sake of the warranty, to get the manufacturer to approve a low-emitting alternative, or to find an alternative product that complies with this credit.


  • During Construction


  • Throughout construction, the GC collects copies of flooring certifications and VOC data from subcontractors for all flooring adhesives, sealants, and coatings. VOC content is measured in grams per liter (g/l), and VOC levels can be found on each product’s MSDS.  


  • The GC functions as the overall quality assurance provider for this credit. Responsibilities include conducting weekly reviews of subcontractor product safety data sheets and tracking forms, as well as spot checks in dumpsters to determine which products are actually being used.


  • Assign someone to be responsible for inputting the subcontractors’ tracking forms into the master spreadsheet. A LEED consultant or an administrative assistant in the GC’s office may be the best choice for this role. 


  • Review subcontractor product suggestions ahead of time to avoid the purchase of inappropriate materials and eliminate the need for costly change orders.


  • Streamline documentation and research by keeping a master spreadsheet of all items being tracked for each material across MR and IEQ credits. For example, you may need to ask the carpet manufacturer for regional manufacturing and extraction locations for MRc5, recycled-content information for MRc4, and the CRI Green Label Plus information for this credit—all for one carpet selection. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample tracking spreadsheet.)


  • Schedule the installation of absorptive flooring systems so that they are protected from construction air contaminants. This is required if your project is pursuing IEQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan—During Construction. For example, carpet tiles installed before walls are painted will absorb VOCs from the paint, and then offgas over a longer period.


  • It is usually a good idea to do a “mini air flush” (if your project is not attempting IEQc3.2) before occupancy to help remove any lingering VOCs from the construction process. This can be as simple as putting industrial sized fans in the window and pumping in fresh air overnight or running the HVAC exhaust on high for a few days. (See IEQc3.2: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—Before Occupancy if the team wants to do a full flush-out for an additional LEED point.)


  • Transfer all the data collected in the master material tracking spreadsheet to the LEED Online form and upload the product cut sheets.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Keep a list of compliant flooring systems used on the project so that O&M staff can use these products for future renovations.


  • Follow specific maintenance practices for the flooring products used. Follow a green cleaning and maintenance policy that limits products with VOCs and other indoor pollutants.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors

    IEQ Credit 4.3: Low-emitting materials - flooring systems

    1 Point

    Intent

    To reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

    Requirements

    Option 1

    All flooring must comply with the following as applicable to the project scope:

    • All carpet installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements:

      • Meets the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus1 program.
      • Maximum VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. concentrations are less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. The additional VOC concentration limits listed in Section 9.1a must also be met.
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.
    • All carpet cushion installed in the building interior must meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program.
    • All carpet adhesive must meet the requirements of IEQ Credit 4.1: Adhesives and SealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., which includes a volatile organic compound (VOC) limit of 50 g/L (0.4 lb/gal).
    • All hard surface flooring installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements:
      • Meet the requirements of the FloorScore2 standard (current as of the date of this rating system, or more stringent version) as shown with testing by an independent third-party.
      • Demonstrate maximum VOC concentrations less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice.
      • Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following:
        • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point
        • Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points.

          If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.

      Mineral based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic-based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing requirements. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealersSealers are coatings applied to either block materials from penetrating into or leaching out of a substrate, to prevent subsequent coatings from being absorbed by the substrate, or to prevent harm to subsequent coatings by materials in the substrate. must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit.

      • Concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes such as sealer, stain and finish must meet the requirements of South Coast Air Quality Management District SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County.) Rule 1113, Architectural Coatings, rules in effect on January 1, 2004.
      • Tile setting adhesives and grout must meet South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168. VOC limits correspond to an effective date of July 1, 2005 and rule amendment date of January 7, 2005.
      • For carpet adhesive, concrete, wood, bamboo and cork floor finishes, and tile setting adhesives, compliance can be demonstrated with test results of:
        • Total volatiles fraction, based on one of the following, provided that water and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168:

          • ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services D2369
          • EPA method 24
          • ISO 11890 part 1
        • Total volatile organic compounds fraction, based on one of the following, provided that all VOCs with a boiling point up to 280°C (536°F) are included, and exempt compounds are subtracted from total volatiles test results and the mass VOC content is calculated consistent with SCAQMD Rule 1113 and Rule 1168.
          • ASTM D6886
          • ISO 11890 part 2

        1 The Green Label Plus program for carpets and its associated VOC emission criteria in micrograms per square meter per hour, along with information on testing method and sample collection developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) in coordination with California’s Sustainable Building Task Force and the California Department of Public Health , are described in Section 9, Acceptable Emissions Testing for Carpet, DHS Standard Practice CA/DHS/EHLB/R-174, dated 07/15/04.
        2 FloorScore is a voluntary, independent certification program that tests and certifies hard surface flooring and associated products for compliance with criteria adopted in California for indoor air emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) with potential health effects. The program uses a small-scale chamber test protocol and incorporates VOC emissions criteria, developed by the California Department of Public Health.

        OPTION 2

        All flooring elements installed in the building interior must meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda. Mineral-based finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut stone without integral organic based coatings and sealants and unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any IAQ testing requirements. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts, finishes and sealers must be compliant for a mineral-based or unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for credit.

        Credit substitution available

        You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Clearly specify requirements for product testing and/or certification in the construction documents. Select products that are either certified under the Green Label Plus program or for which testing has been done by qualified independent laboratories in accordance with the appropriate requirements.

    FOOTNOTES

    1. The Green Label Plus program for carpets and its associated VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. emission criteria in micrograms per square meter per hour, along with information on testing method and sample collection developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) in coordination with California’s Sustainable Building Task Force and the California Department of Public Health , are described in Section 9, Acceptable Emissions Testing for Carpet, DHS Standard Practice CA/DHS/EHLB/R-174, dated 07/15/04.

    2. FloorScore is a voluntary, independent certification program that tests and certifies hard surface flooring and associated products for compliance with criteria adopted in California for indoor air emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) with potential health effects. The program uses a small-scale chamber test protocol and incorporates VOC emissions criteria, developed by the California Department of Public Health.

Organizations

Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) — Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers

Support on incorporating LEED requirements into specifications. 


Floorscore

The FloorScore program, developed by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) in conjunction with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), tests and certifies flooring products for compliance with indoor air quality emission requirements adopted in California. 


GreenGuard Environmental Institute (GEI)

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM.  As an ANSI Authorized Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments, and buildings.


Scientific Certification Systems, Inc.

A global leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development.

Publications

South Coast Air Quality Management District - Rules and Regulations

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the smoggiest region of the U.S. We are committed to protecting the health of residents, while remaining sensitive to businesses.


Greenguard Children & Schools

Searchable List of Compliant products.

Technical Guides

Standard Practice For the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions From Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers

This is the referenced California standard that sets out the procedures and specific criteria for conducting VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. chamber tests.


MasterSpec “Specifying LEED Requirements Reference Book and CD ROM

A guide to specifying for LEED projects, with samples.

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and IEQ credits. It helps teams develop a roadmap of what information needs to be tracked for different products. It can also be used early on to create the baseline budget and ensure the products that are being used will apply to the various credit thresholds.

Environmental Materials Reporting Form

This is a materials tracking form that helps subcontractors record the environmental values of products they purchase. This can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing.

Low-Emitting Materials Reporting Form

This is a VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the low-emitting qualities of the products they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. for filing. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Jobsite Signs

Products with VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content not meeting credit requirements for VOC levels can inadvertently get used on the jobsite. A sign like this sample helps remind subcontractors and construction workers of their responsibilities.

Product Cut Sheets

Look to product cut sheets for information on the certifications and VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. content of flooring and adhesives or coatings associated with flooring. The example here of a tile clearly states that it is FloorScore-certified, but the VOC level for the tile adhesive is not given, and will need to be requested from the manufacturer.

Letter to Contractor for MR and IEQ Credits

Use a letter like this sample to orient the contractor to their responsibilities for all MR and IEQ credits. This letter is an introduction that can be customized for the credits your project is pursuing.

LEED Online Forms: CI-2009 IEQ

Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

Flooring Materials Tracking Form

Provide this form to contractors or other team members to track flooring materials used on the project, and LEED compliance.

127 Comments

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Maria Papiez Sustainability Lead EwingCole
Mar 28 2017
LEEDuser Member
71 Thumbs Up

20% product sheets still required?

Project Location: United States

Hello. I do not see reference in the current version of LEED Online credit forms to upload 20% of product cutsheets. This general guidance is included in several credit descriptions here on LEED User. Has this requirement changed, or is it just not stated? Thank you.

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Expert 4399 Thumbs Up

For documentation requirements, I usually follow the Reference Guide for requirements - LEED OnLine does not specifically tell you what documentation is required to be uploaded.

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Maria Papiez Sustainability Lead, EwingCole Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

John-David - thank you for the quick response. The LEED IDC 2009 Reference Guide provides guidance, "7. Documentation Guidance," but doesn't state specifics. It refers to LEED Online - "Refer to LEED Online for the complete descriptions of all required documentation." (pg 346) Is there another place in the reference guide where I should look? Thank you.

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Expert 4399 Thumbs Up

Not that I know of other than to search interpretations. My suggestion would be to provide the 20%, and keep all documentation as back up.

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Maria Papiez Sustainability Lead, EwingCole Mar 29 2017 LEEDuser Member 71 Thumbs Up

It looks like with the recent rounds of credit form updates for v4 and v2009, the cutsheet uploads have been removed/changed for some credits.
http://www.usgbc.org/articles/new-forms-online-leed-2009-and-leed-v4-pro.... I found this in a post from Michelle Reott (March 14, 2017). Thank you again for your quick feedback.

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Edgar Arevalo
Mar 15 2017
Guest
54 Thumbs Up

Does FloorScore apply to subfloor surfaces?

Project Location: United States

I have a project where I received a submittal for a subflooring hard surface material. Since this is not the surface that is to be exposed to the interior space, with or without carpet or other finishes, should it still comply with FloorScore standard? I ask because when i reached out to the manufacturer, he said that since it is subflooring it does not need to meet the FloorScore standard.

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Brent Ehrlich Products and materials specialist, BuildingGreen Mar 15 2017 LEEDuser Expert 418 Thumbs Up

Hi Edgar, it would not be covered by FloorScore, but it would still have to meet CDPH Standard Method v1.1.

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Alicia Costas Freire
Oct 24 2016
LEEDuser Member
35 Thumbs Up

Rug

Project Location: United Kingdom

Hello,

I am working on a project where it is proposed to lay a rug directly on top of the raised floor in some areas. As, whilst this will act as a floor finish, it is a rug and therefore a lose item, I assume that it does not need to meet the requirements of the credit. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks!

Alicia

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Andres Schwarz Principal, NRG-AR Oct 24 2016 LEEDuser Member 268 Thumbs Up

Hi Alicia,

We can refer to the above quote on the bird's eye view: "Are throw rugs subject to the credit requirements?

While finding low-emitting throw rugs would be a good idea, they would not be considered "permanently installed" and so would not be subject to credit requirements." I hope that helps.

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Anne-Claire BARBERI Project Manager ARP-Astrance
Mar 22 2016
Guest
82 Thumbs Up

Flooring systems products available in China

Project Location: United Arab Emirates

Hello,

My project is located in the UAE, but I am looking for flooring systems products available in China that would comply with LEED Retail CI v2009 credit requirements?

Can anyone recommend any providers that would sell compliant products? Or any product reference?

Thank your for your help.

Anne-Claire

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Carla Lopez Director of Valuation & Advisory CBRE
Mar 06 2015
Guest
119 Thumbs Up

CONCORE Raised Access Floor Panel.

Dear all,
Does raised floor must meet the FloorScore requirements?
We'll be using CONCORE Raised Access Floor Panel; the product comes laminated.
Its % Volatile by Volume equals 0%; it does not own a FloorScore certificate.
Any opinion or experience on this?

Reference: http://tateinc.com/pdf/product_guide.pdf

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Andres Schwarz Principal, NRG-AR Mar 20 2016 LEEDuser Member 268 Thumbs Up

Hi Carla. The term "Raised floor" has not been fully addressed in the credit's language. In v4, there is a list of all applicable products (http://www.usgbc.org/node/2634658?view=guide#) but it does not address specifically raised floor. I guess this is because it depends on the type of tile. From the spec sheet you mention, there are some that would qualify, for example, the epoxy-coated ones. For further guidance, it woudl be wise to check the threads on this page, on Jun 19, 2014 and Jan 04, 2012

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Bernardo Ruiz Montoya
Dec 16 2014
Guest
77 Thumbs Up

Hi, I believe I already know

Hi,

I believe I already know the answer but I want to make a double check with you. I'm working on a project that installed a rubber floor that is Greenguard Gold Certified for Low VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. Emissions instead of Floorscore. I believe that the project still complies with the intent.

What do you think?

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Akos Brandecker Director, Living Building Consultancy May 05 2015 LEEDuser Member 295 Thumbs Up

Bernardo - you are correct. Greenguard Gold or Greenguard Children & Schools certification is acceptable in lieu of FloorScore (these are CA 01350 compliant).

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Rezkar Abdulmajeed Architect/LEED AP SANA Associates LTD
Nov 14 2014
Guest
250 Thumbs Up

Low-Emitting Materials: Flooring IEQ c4.3

The requirements of this Credit exempts any mineral based finishes from Floor score certification such as tile, terrazzo, marble.....
Can someone direct me if the Ceramic tile is included in this exemption?

Thanks

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Rezkar Abdulmajeed Architect/LEED AP, SANA Associates LTD Nov 20 2014 Guest 250 Thumbs Up

I would like to add something here, I just got the a porcelain flooring product shop drawing from METEOR. The product is manufactured in Span. I wondering if this product is certified by Floorscore. Also, if there is VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. coating/sealer integrated with the finish. The product literature does not have so much information..

Thanks

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Andres Schwarz Principal, NRG-AR Oct 24 2016 LEEDuser Member 268 Thumbs Up

Hi Rezkar,
If the ceramic tile does not have any integral organic-based coatings and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid., then it is exempt. As per LI #10267, exempt products do not require manufacturer documentation.

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Carla Lopez Director of Valuation & Advisory CBRE
Oct 30 2014
Guest
119 Thumbs Up

Porcelain Tile - LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors.

Under LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors porcelain tiles are not mentioned but since these tiles are man made, do they need to meet FloorScore requirements or are they exempted?

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LEEDme STRATEGIE SRL STRATEGIE SRL Nov 03 2014 Guest 462 Thumbs Up

Mineralbased finish flooring products such as tile, masonry, terrazzo, and cut
stone without integral organic-based coatings and sealantsA sealant has adhesive properties and is formulated primarily to fill, seal, or waterproof gaps or joints between 2 surfaces. Sealants include sealant primers and caulks. (SCAQMD Rule 1168. )Sealants are used on wood, fabric, paper, corrugated paperboard, plastic foam and other materials with tiny openings, often microscopic, that may absorb or discharge gas or fluid. and
unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring qualify for credit without any IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors.
testing requirements. However, associated site-applied adhesives, grouts,
finishes and sealersSealers are coatings applied to either block materials from penetrating into or leaching out of a substrate, to prevent subsequent coatings from being absorbed by the substrate, or to prevent harm to subsequent coatings by materials in the substrate. must be compliant for a mineral-based or
unfinished/untreated solid wood flooring system to qualify for IEQc4.3 credit.

Giorgia - LEEDme

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Carla Lopez Director of Valuation & Advisory, CBRE Nov 06 2014 Guest 119 Thumbs Up

The project indicates the use of MARAZZI italian porcelain floor.
Would you consider porcelain tiles as a mineral based finish flooring exempted of any certification OR as a hard surface flooring that must be certified?

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Nov 06 2014 LEEDuser Member 4584 Thumbs Up

As long as the tiles do not have an organic coating they are exempt - but you still have to list them and indicate that they are exempt in an SC narrative. It's a good idea to provide a link to the cut sheet on-line so the review team can check if they want to.

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Valerie Molinski Sustainability Guru v2vert Sustainability
Aug 21 2014
LEEDuser Member
1725 Thumbs Up

Cork flooring on product doesnt meet Floorscore or CA, but.....

On a recent project, some cork flooring was specified and got through submitalls that turned out to not be Floorscore certified or CA 01350 compliant. The reason it got through is that it was scheduled for some walls in the project as pin up space materia, and therefore did not appear in the finish schedule under flooring.

Anyway, could this material be exempt from reporting under the low emitting flooring credit? Technically, it is a flooring product, but it is being used on the walls. Thoughts? Experience?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects Aug 25 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4399 Thumbs Up

True, it is not flooring technically. Do you know if it is Formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. free? Do you have an MSDS1. Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are detailed, written instructions documenting a method to achieve uniformity of performance. 2. A report that manufacturers of most products are required to make available to installers and purchasers, informing them of product information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures, the existence of potentially hazardous ingredients, and providing instructions for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of products? Since you are using it on the walls, it is still a construction material and, I would think that it should at least meet the criteria of IEQ Credit 4.4: LOW-EMITTING MATERIALS - COMPOSITE WOODComposite wood consists of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded by a synthetic resin or binder. Examples include particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), wheatboard, and strawboard. & AGRIFIBRE PRODUCTS .

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Akos Brandecker Director Living Building Consultancy
Jun 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
295 Thumbs Up

Raised Access Floors (specialist)

Hi All,
My understanding is that raised access floors (RAF) don’t fall under IEQc4.3 as it is the finish material that needs to comply (as highlighted by Susann and Lauren in an earlier thread).

However, I am not sure how to approach specialist data centre/ computer room RAFs which come complete with factory applied vinyl, linoleum, HPL, or rubber. In this case does the whole product need to comply with CA 01350 or only the finish material? I would appreciate any help.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jul 26 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Akos, I would agree that the raised floor structure does not need to apply, but in a data center where it is all one package, I think you would have to get certification for the floor component as part of the package, or for the system as a whole.

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Catherine Adams Architectural Associate Astorino|CannonDesign
Apr 04 2014
Guest
78 Thumbs Up

Wall Base Material

Under IEQc4 table 4-6, the only option in the Product Type drop-down for wall base is specifically for "Rubber Wall Base". Does this mean other types of base (i.e. vinyl) don't need to be documented, or should they be documented as "Flooring: Vinyl"?

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John-David Hutchison, LEED AP BD+C, PMP Sustainability Consultant, CSV Architects May 16 2014 LEEDuser Expert 4399 Thumbs Up

I would opt for the "Rubber Wall Base" option.

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Susan Di Giulio Project Manager Zinner Consultants
Oct 16 2013
LEEDuser Member
2130 Thumbs Up

Our clients want to use a

Our clients want to use a 100% cashmere goat hair carpet tile made by Tretford in Great Britain in a special conference room. (That's going to feel spectacular on the feet!) No, of course Thetford has never applied for Green Label Plus, but they have the following credentials: BRE Global Listed ENP 419, UKAS Product Certification, ISO.
I am not sure how to proceed to find out the equiivalence to Green Label, or if it is even possible. Can someone get me started down the right path?

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Oct 16 2013 Guest 6893 Thumbs Up

Susan - unfortunately the BRE listings/certifications don't correspond with the requirements in EQ c4.3. While Green Label Plus is the main requirement for carpets - if you could prove that your flooring met the CA 01350 requirements, you could probably get the credit, but that takes product emission testing as well.

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Vince Briones Sustainable Design Manager Atkins
Aug 01 2013
Guest
313 Thumbs Up

Custom wood base - offsite millwork finishes included?

Hi all,

Just seeking confirmation as a situation pertaining to hardwood floor base. Do finishes applied in an off-site millwork workshop to stain/seal hardwood used as finished wood base subsequently installed in the LEED project need to be logged for IEQc4.3 purposes? I don't see that distinguished in the credit or addenda language and assumed that off-site finishes would be included under SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. criteria in this case.

Any thoughts/experience with this?

thanks!

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Oct 16 2013 Guest 6893 Thumbs Up

This is tricky - typically if a finish is applied off-site, then it doesn't need to meet criteria spelled out in the low-emitting materials criteria (EQ c4s). But if a finish is applied to a piece of flooring prior to installation, then does that mean that the fundamental product (the floor) has essentially changed. If so, then that complete product would need to meet the criteria in EQ 4.3. Unfortunately I don't think that I have great direction for you on this area - as on a good portion of credits, it might come down to the view of the LEED reviewer.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 16 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Vince, if the product is delivered to the jobsite prefinished, then the credit requirements here do not apply.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 16 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I take it back.... Josh kindly contacted me offline to question my judgement here. The entire finished flooring product in this case would be subject to the credit requirements, which would indeed complicate matters. To avoid having to test the entire product, you could contact GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). or submit a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide and find out if application offsite of a compliant finish would meet the intent here.

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Esther Izquierdo Energy efficiency team leader ARMENGOL & ROS CONSULTORS I ASSOCIATS, SLP
Jun 27 2013
Guest
88 Thumbs Up

PVC for disabled access

In our CI project the architect will specify carpet as a finish to the existing raised floor. However where access for disabled is provided PVC will be specified.
Would PVC fall under the general "floor finishes" description above?

Will a building with PVC specified be likely to achieve this credit? As it's a small portion of the flooring finish, could we justify using it because of the disabled access??

Many thanks for your help.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jul 09 2013 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Àngel,

Vinyl flooring would fall under a hard surface flooring material. There are PVC products that are FloorScore certified.

There are three products that come up here when you search for PVC flooring: http://www.scsglobalservices.com/certified-green-products-database?scsce...

CFL1. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) – light source in which the tube is folded or twisted into a spiral to concentrate the light output; CFLs are typically 3 to 4 times as efficient as incandescent light bulbs, and they last 8 to 10 times as long. 2. Small fluorescent lamps used as more efficient alternatives to incandescent lighting. Also called PL, CFL, Twin-Tube, or BIAX lamps. (EPA) 3. A light bulb designed to replace screw-in incandescent light bulbs; they are often found in table lamps, wall sconces, and hall and ceiling fixtures of commercial buildings with residential type lights. They combine the efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience of standard incandescent bulbs. Light is produced the same way as other fluorescent lamps. Compact fluorescent bulbs have either electronic or magnetic ballasts. Wood Flooring Limited, Lammett, and DeZign offer FloorScore PVC flooring.

As farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). as I know there are not any exceptions associated with disabled access.

Good luck!
Lauren

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María Fernanda Aguirre Architect LEED AP BD + C - LEED AP ID + C Renato Miranda and Associates
May 04 2013
Guest
498 Thumbs Up

What about Greenguard instead of Floorscore

We have a project pursuing LEED CI and the project team is considering to install laminate flooring which is Greenguard certified but not Floorscore. If Greenguard certification is addressed in other credits can it be possible we can present it instead of Floorscore?.

Thanks in advance,

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment May 04 2013 Guest 6893 Thumbs Up

The product would need to be GREENGUARD Children & Schools/UL GREENGUARD Gold certified to qualify. This certification shows compliance to CA 01350 and USGBC has accepted for all low-emitting criteria for years.

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María Fernanda Aguirre Architect LEED AP BD + C - LEED AP ID + C, Renato Miranda and Associates May 04 2013 Guest 498 Thumbs Up

Thanks so much, seems we must need to look for another product as it is just Greenguard certified.

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David Vu Project Manager Brae Burn Construction Company
Apr 23 2013
Guest
60 Thumbs Up

Stains

Do Concrete Stains need to be FloorScore Certified. Would it be fine if they just meet the SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. 1113?

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Dwayne Fuhlhage Sustainability and Environment Director, PROSOCO, Inc. Apr 23 2013 LEEDuser Member 2528 Thumbs Up

Concrete stains count as coatings and are regulated under SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. Rule 1113 and other state and national regulatory systems. This class of product would not be included in the scope of FloorScore.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Mar 20 2013
LEEDuser Member
9056 Thumbs Up

Aluminum Flooring

Okay so what about aluminum flooring? It's not a mineral. So it doesn't appear to be explicitly excluded. Yet, there are no binders or resins to be concerned about. Is this type of flooring subject to the requirement?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I would submit it as exempt, but include an exlanatory note. It seems like it should be exempt but no one thought to put "uncoated metals" in the addendum.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Mar 21 2013 LEEDuser Member 9056 Thumbs Up

Well, the small hitch is that it does have a coating - aluminum oxide. Though I see that coating is possible on wood flooring, it does not appear to be an "organic based integral coating". So I'm still thinking exempt. Would you concur?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 22 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Aluminum oxide coatings, I believe, need a carrier of water or solvent. Seems like we have a potential emitter of VOCs. I'd include it.

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Michael Smithing Director - Green Building Advisory, Colliers International Sep 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 4584 Thumbs Up

A project I'm working on has stainless steel skirting. As skirting is considered a flooring product, it would appear that this needs to be included in the documentation. My understanding is that stainless steel generally does not have a coating and thus should qualify for an exemption. Is that correct?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 11 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Michael, I would check with the supplier or manufacturer. It's not uncommon for stainless steel to have a coating for easier maintenance, as it can be an absorptive surface. Just Google "coated stainless steel" if you don't believe me.

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SOHA YAMANI LEED Projects Coordinator Sustainable Solutions
Jan 14 2013
Guest
792 Thumbs Up

French VOC labeling rule

I have an HDF that is which have the following emissions level of TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. (class valid for the French VOC labeling rule) : Class A

Does that make it comply for this credit ?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 14 2013 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Soha,

I would need more information to assist. Assuming that this is a hard surface flooring product then the options are to comply with FloorScore Certification testing requirements or to meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice requirements (see above for more details). Class A within the French regulations seems to indicate that the the product is <15000 TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. but you would need to be sure that it complies with either Option 1 or Option 2 above.

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SOHA YAMANI LEED Projects Coordinator, Sustainable Solutions Jan 15 2013 Guest 792 Thumbs Up

Hello Lauren ,

Thank you so much , also kindly find below the link for the product used for more data regarding the product

http://professionals.tarkett.com/products/laminate/laminate-pro/select-933

when i sent for them asking about vocA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. they sent me a certificate , stating that emissions level of TVOCThe sum or total of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from a product or measured in a space under certain defined conditions. (class valid for the French VOC labeling rule) : Class A

I was wondering also is there any way that i can compare between the requirements of California department of public health standard practice , and the french voc regulations

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Soha,

I don't know of any direct comparisons. Maybe other LEEDusers may know? Another approach would be to go back to the Manufacturer and request that they give you the exact VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. in g/L.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

The latest addenda has the following guidance: All hard surface flooring installed in the building interior must meet one of the following requirements: Meet the requirements of the FloorScore standard (current as of the date of this rating system, or more stringent version) as shown with testing by an independent third-party. Demonstrate maximum VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. concentrations less than or equal to those specified in the California Department of Health Services Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda, using the office scenario as defined in Table 7.5 within the practice. Maximum VOC concentrations meet the California requirements specified above based on the following: California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method V1.1-2010 using test results obtained at the 14 day time point Projects outside the U.S. may use the German AgBB/DIBt testing method and all testing methods based on AgBB/DIBt method (GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) using test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day or 14 day time point. For caprolactam, if test results obtained at the 3 day or 7 day time point is used, the emission concentration must be less than ½ of the concentration limit specified above because the emission may not have peaked at the measured time points. If a European testing method (AgBB/DIBt GUT, EMICODE, Blue Angel) had used parameters for calculating test results different from those specified in the referenced California method, then the European test results for carpets or floorings need to be converted into California air concentrations by multiplication with 0.7.

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Esteban Martinez LEED Consultant Green Loop
Oct 23 2012
LEEDuser Member
329 Thumbs Up

Cushion - Green Label program

We are confused about carpet padding requirement. In our case, the project is about to use Milliken carpets that meet CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus program. However, Milliken carpet cushion does not state compliance with CRI Green Label program. Since the modular carpet is CRI Green Label Plus Certified, is it assumed that the carpet cushion complies with the credit requirements as well ? - Is the carpet cushion CRI Green Label program applicable only to independly manufacured carpet cushions ?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Oct 29 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

In short - yes. Is your carpet's padding incorporated as part of the carpet itself? If so, then your modular CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. GLP carpet should be just fine.

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Esteban Martinez LEED Consultant, Green Loop Oct 31 2012 LEEDuser Member 329 Thumbs Up

Yes, It is incorporated as part of the carpet. Thank you very much for your help.

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Melissa Decatur
Aug 02 2012
Guest
218 Thumbs Up

Wall Base-Flooring EQ4.3 included

Should the wall base material be included in the EQ4.3 credit for Flooring or is it only for resilient, stone, and carpet?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Aug 31 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Melissa,

The LEED-CI 2009 Reference Guide provides some clarification for this question on page 343, under Option 1 which states:

"All hard surface flooring must be certified as compliant with the FloorScore standard (current as of the date of this rating system, or more stringent version) by an independent third-party. Flooring products covered by FloorScore include vinyl, linoleum, laminate flooring, wood flooring, ceramic flooring, rubber flooring and wall base"

In the Reference Guide wall base is referenced within this section. Additionally, the credit is referencing "Flooring Systems" which would suggest inclusion of more than just the direct flooring surfaces but also the wall base.

Under the Definitions section of the LEED CI 2009 Reference Guide "hard surface flooring" includes wall base and "associated sundries".

So - to answer your question - I do think that your wall base should be included and listed and compliance can be obtained through all of the means mentioned (Option 1 and Option 2) within the credit. Additionally, any adhesives should comply with SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. Rule 1168.

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Petr Lhoták Sustainability Consultant, Skanska Czech Republic Sep 17 2012 LEEDuser Member 2117 Thumbs Up

Hi.
We just recently recieved a comment from our review tema on this issue that we should include all wall base materials and adhesives.

Petr

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Nandana Kumar Senior Manager LEAD Consultancy & Engineering Services
Jun 12 2012
Guest
449 Thumbs Up

is Reach compliance equivalent to floor score?

Our client has proposed tarkett flooring products that meet REACH complaince standards. Can this be considered equivalent to floorscore?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Nandana,

Right now only FloorScore is accepted. Alternatively the product could meet the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Public Health Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda.

Lauren

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jun 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

This seems to be a pretty good summary of the relation of european standards and LEED:
http://www.eurofins.com/product-testing-services/highlights/green-buildi...

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Tanmay Tathagat Environmental Design Solutions
Apr 23 2012
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536 Thumbs Up

FloorScore Alternative Compliance Path

I am seeking clarity on the alternative compliance for FloorScore certified materials. Per the User Guide, "100% of non-carpet finished flooring must be FloorScore certified, and must constitute atleast 25% of the finished floor area." Does this mean, if the non-carpet (i.e.Hard Surface floor) area is less than 25% of the total finished floor, it does not have to be FloorScore certified?

In my project, only about 8% of the finished floor area has hard surface flooring while the remaining area is carpeted. So was wondering if it needed to comply with FloorScore requirements?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Tanmay,

My understanding is that your hard surface flooring, even if only 8% of your finished floor area, must also be FloorScore (or tested to show compliance) in order to meet this credit. Your carpet would also need to be CRIColor-rendering index, or CRI, is a scale of 0 to 100, used by manufacturers of fluorescent, metal halide, and other non-incandescent lighting equipment to describe the visual effect of the light on colored surfaces. Natural daylight is assigned a CRI of 100. Green Label Plus.

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Tanmay Tathagat Environmental Design Solutions
Apr 23 2012
Guest
536 Thumbs Up

Ceramic Tile, applicable areas for credit compliance

The credit language mentions that "all flooring materials" should comply with this credit requirements. Since the intent of this credit is about the effect of indoor air quality on occupants, I have the following queries:

1. The LEED boundary of my project includes the lobby and restrooms located in the building core. Since these areas are "non-regularly occupied spacesEnclosed space intended for human activities, excluding those spaces that are intended primarily for other purposes, such as storage rooms and equipment rooms, and that are only occupied occasionally and for short periods of time. Occupied spaces are further classified as regularly occupied or nonregularly occupied spaces based on the duration of the occupancy, individual or multioccupant based on the quantity of occupants, and densely or nondensely occupied spaces based on the concentration of occupants in the space.", do the flooring materials used in these areas need to comply with this credit requirements?
2. The lobby area has natural stone flooring and the entire restroom area has ceramic tiles. In the case of having to comply, is it correct that ceramic tiles qualify without certification? Additionally, I would like to know if the cement grout used for laying the ceramic tiles (restrooms) need to comply with VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. requirements?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Tanmay,

All flooring materials in your project need to be included, not just regularly occupied spacesEnclosed space intended for human activities, excluding those spaces that are intended primarily for other purposes, such as storage rooms and equipment rooms, and that are only occupied occasionally and for short periods of time. Occupied spaces are further classified as regularly occupied or nonregularly occupied spaces based on the duration of the occupancy, individual or multioccupant based on the quantity of occupants, and densely or nondensely occupied spaces based on the concentration of occupants in the space. with flooring.

The tiles comply without testing or certification. Grouts have been discussed a lot in this forum. I would look for low-VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. options despite the fact that it is not necessary (in my opinion) to include grout.

Lauren

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner ArchEcology, LLC
Apr 09 2012
LEEDuser Member
9056 Thumbs Up

Cork Plank Flooring

Is cork plank flooring a hard surface flooring requiring FloorScore certification? I do not see it specifically listed as a "hard surface" nor do I see it excluded.

The reference manual reflects a separate requirement for "concrete, wood, bamboo and cork flooring" sealersSealers are coatings applied to either block materials from penetrating into or leaching out of a substrate, to prevent subsequent coatings from being absorbed by the substrate, or to prevent harm to subsequent coatings by materials in the substrate. to meet the SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. requirements, much as grout and mortar are listed separate. However, mineral-based flooring is explicitly excluded while cork is not unless it is considered a solid wood?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Hi Michelle,

It does look like there is one FloorScore cork product available from these guys: http://www.capricork.com/

If you go here: http://www.scscertified.com/products/index.php you can search for cork FloorScore products and then get this product.

Mediterra

Capri Cork LLC

Product Category: Flooring; Cork

Certification: FloorScore®

Certification Period: May 1, 2011 - April 30, 2012

Registration Number: SCS-FS-02476

Contact:
Margaret Buchholz
Office: 630.832.5792
buchholz@capricork.com
WebSite

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Apr 09 2012 LEEDuser Expert 19971 Thumbs Up

Also, to answer your question more direclty, I do believe that if you have cork in your project and you're hoping to achieve this credit then your cork needs to be Floor Score certified. Additionally, its coatings needed to comply with SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. requirements.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Apr 10 2012 LEEDuser Member 9056 Thumbs Up

Morning Lauren,
Thanks, that was my impression. I appreciate the confirmation and the pointer toward a compliant product.

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Josh Jacobs Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment Apr 10 2012 Guest 6893 Thumbs Up

Also remember that FloorScore is not the only compliance pathway - showing that a product is low emitting by passing the CDPH VOCA volatile organic compound (VOC) is a carbon compound that vaporizes (becomes a gas) at normal room temperatures. VOCs contribute to air pollution directly and through atmospheric photochemical reactions (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides and carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) to produce secondary air pollutants, principally ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate. Emission Standard (CA 01350) is an option as well. A number of programs show compliance to this - including GREENGUARD Children & Schools which has 48 cork products that would qualify for this credit (http://greenguard.org/en/SearchResults.aspx?CategoryID=1&SubCategoryID=1...) - and a number of test labs are qualified to do the emission testing for flooring.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Apr 10 2012 LEEDuser Member 9056 Thumbs Up

Hi Josh,
Thanks for the reminder. I just wanted to be sure before I began the dance that the cork flooring actually needed to meet the testing protocol requirements. Appreciate it.

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