NC-v2.2 EQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Carpet Systems

  • A pretty easy credit, with minimal additional cost

    EQc4.3 requirementsThe simplest way to meet this credit is to make sure that all your carpet, carpet padding, and carpet adhesive meet the standard designated in the credit requirement. Carpet is required to meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (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, carpet pad only needs to meet the CRI’s Green Label program, and carpet adhesives need to have a VOC maximum of 50 g/L. , Compliant carpet and carpet padding is readily available at minimal or no cost premium. This credit does not cover any other flooring types, aside from carpet. So, if your project just has a little bit of carpet the credit requirements are even easier to meet. 

    Both designers and contractors have to understand the rules

    While this is a construction-phase credit—and the contractor will need to ensure that carpet, padding and VOC-compliant adhesives have been purchased and installed—it can be dealt with primarily during the design phase by choosing specific manufacturers and products for the contractor to use. Allocating adequate time for product research, and identifying compliant carpet products before construction begins, helps to ensure that the right products are used. 

    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 and carpet padding is Green Label certified.

    You’ll have to document flooring adhesives twice—once for EQc4.1 and again for this credit. Enter the same VOC data for flooring adhesives in the LEED submittal template for EQc4.1, and EQc4.3. 

    Product cut sheets don’t need to be uploaded for credit documentation but it is best to keep all product cut sheets on file in case the credit is audited.

    Not just about carpet

    Although the credit requirements only address carpet, you can still earn this credit even without carpet.  There is 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 (7/31/09) allowing an alternative compliance path by installing flooring products that meet the California Department of Health Services (DHS) Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers, including 2004 Addenda. The FloorScore program, which has certified many different products and product types, meets the California standard, and can be used to earn this credit.

    What about walk-off mats?

    Project teams often ask whether walk-off mats included for EQc5 must comply with EQc4.3. USGBC has advised LEEDuser that while the v2.2 reference guide suggests that carpet used for EQc5 should be considered under EQc4.3, there is no official language or ruling on the topic. That leaves it up to individual projects to get a CIR, a 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., or just wing and see what happens. Some projects have been successful without including these mats, while some have used mats that meet the requirements.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Design Development

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  • Consider using low-emitting carpet and carpet padding.


  • Low-emitting carpet should not have much of a cost premium, if any. 


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


  • Compliant carpeting is easy to find. Consider purchasing compliant carpet and padding that also has a high recycled content too. This will contribute to MRc4 – Recycled Content as well as EQc4.3.

Construction Documents

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  • Make sure low-emitting carpet, padding, and adhesive 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 low-emitting 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 EQc3.1: Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan—During Construction) specifying low-emitting carpet to control a source of construction pollution.


  • Achieving this credit can also help achieve EQc3.2: Construction IAQ Management Plan—Before Occupancy, if your project pursues the air-testing option for this credit. Using low-emitting carpet improves your odds of passing the air quality tests. For the air testing credit, you may want to consider purchasing all flooring systems as low-emitting and not just carpet as required by EQc4.3. See the credit requirements of IEQc4.3 for NCv2009 for details on low-emitting flooring systems.


  • The credit only applies to carpet installed inside the building. 


  • 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-emitting materials, contractors and subcontractors should be contractually required to provide LEED submittal product information.

Construction

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  • 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 EQ credits. (See the Documentation Toolkit for access to all of these tools.)

    • 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 EQ 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: This document summarizes the maximum VOC limits for different types of adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and carpet. When subcontractors search for low-emitting products, they should consult this chart.


  • Research compliant, low-emitting carpet, padding and adhesive 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.


  • 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 carpet” 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 twice—once for EQc4.1 and again for this credit.


  • The MSDS for flooring adhesive 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 EQc4.1: Low Emitting Materials—Adhesives and Sealants is not available for this credit.


  • The GC should be aware of any warranty issues that may exist if alternative adhesives 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 carpet certifications and VOC data from subcontractors for all flooring adhesives. 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 EQ 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.)


  • 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.  


  • Schedule the installation of carpet systems so that they are protected from construction air contaminants. This is required if your project is pursuing EQc3.1: 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 off-gas over a longer period.


  • It is usually a good idea to do a “mini air flush” (if your project is not attempting EQc3.2) 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 EQc3.2: 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 submittal template.


  • Product cut sheets are not required to be included in your LEED review but it is best to keep these until the project is certified, just in case this credit gets audited.

Operations & Maintenance

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


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

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations Version 2.2

    EQ Credit 4.3: Low-emitting materials - carpet systems

    1 Point

    Intent

    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

    All carpet installed in the building interior shall meet the testing and product requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program.

    All carpet cushion installed in the building interior shall meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label program.

    All carpet adhesive shall meet the requirements of EQ Credit 4.1: VOC limit of 50 g/L.

    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.

    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 & Rug Institute (CRI) in coordination with California’s Sustainable Building Task Force and the California Department of Health Services (DHS), are described in Section 9, Acceptable Emissions Testing for Carpet, DHS Standard Practice CA/DHS/EHLB/R-174, dated 07/15/04. This document is available at: www.dhs.ca.gov/ps/deodc/ehlb/ 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./VOCSA volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 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./Section01350_7_15_2004_FINAL_PLUS_ADDENDUM-2004-01.pdf. (also published as Section 01350 Section 9 [dated 2004] by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools [www.chps.net]).

     

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 VOC chamber tests.


MasterSpec “Specifying LEED Requirements Reference Book and CD ROM

A guide to specifying for LEED projects, with samples.

Carpet Systems Tracking Form

Use this form to track your carpet systems' compliance with the credit requirements.

Materials Calculator

Teams can use this tool to track all materials across various MR and EQ 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.

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.

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 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. Use it specifically for earning IEQc4 credits, but in conjunction with documentation for for MR credits.

Carpet Systems Tracking Form

This is a  tracking sheet that helps subcontractors record the sustainability data of carpet sytems they purchase and can be distributed to each trade subcontractor and submitted to the GC for filing.

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 GC for filing.

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.

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. Use it specifically for earning low-emitting materials credits, but in conjunction with documentation for MR credits.

Jobsite Signs

Products with VOC 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 VOC 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.

LEED Online Sample Template – EQc4.3

 

This template is the flattened, public version of the dynamic template for this credit that is used within LEED-Online v2 by registered project teams. This and other public versions of LEED credit templates come from the USGBC website, and are posted on LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. You'll need to fill out the live version of this template on LEED Online to document this credit.

 

USGBC

Official LEED Online Forms

Construction Submittal

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

29 Comments

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Richard Woodward Associate GKV Architects
Mar 14 2013
LEEDuser Member
89 Thumbs Up

Area rugs / Loose mats

We are working on a new hotel which will have loose rugs in the rooms. Please confirm that these can be excluded from the requirements of this credit as they will fall under soft furnishings - similar to bed spreads, cushions etc rather than construction scope.
NC v2.2 2009

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 14 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Richard, we have an answer for this in the FAQs on the 2009 version of this credit.

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant Sustainable Design Consulting
Oct 12 2012
LEEDuser Member
2064 Thumbs Up

Carpet in temporary construction office within the building

The contractor installed a low-budget carpet from a local building supply retailer in the temporary construction office currently located within the LEED project building (not in accordance with the project manual specifications). It is unknown whether this carpet is 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 or not, but will be removed and down-cycled by the new carpet supplier for the tenant fit-out when it is time to renovate that part of the building. If it is temporary, does it need to be included in the EQc4.3 documentation?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Oct 15 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Hi Linda,

I have asked around the office here a bit and I don't know of a specific 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 for guidance on this issue; however, other LEEDusers: feel free to chime in here if you know something I don't know.

My understanding is that this carpet would not technically fall under the realm of this LEED-NC v2.2 credit. You raise an interesting question because the very act of installing something only to take it out and down-cycle it is a very wasteful act (you know this, of course, not trying to admonish your team).

One thing that I've always told my project teams is that your LEED-NC certification represents a snap shot in time. Unlike LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. certification, a LEED-NC certification represents some very good work for a period of time but it is up to the project team to fully carry this into the work done before you officially start this project and even after the LEED plaque is on the wall.

As a side note, I know that LEED v4 is looking into providing credit for using less. For instance, LEED v4 offers up to nine points for using less material, using the right materials, and using the best materials.

So - for a short answer - I think you're technically not going to lose this point in this case. It's great you raise the general issue so that other projects can try to avoid this from happening in the future.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 15 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Lauren raises some good issues and points well to the ambiguity here. So I would second what she said, and add a couple more thoughts.

If the building is going to be certified with this carpet in place, I would think you should include it.

As a brainstorm, one way to skirt the issue would be for that temporary office to be stripped of finishes like this before you consider it "final" for your LEED submission, rather than waiting for the tenant fit-out.

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Terry Squyres Principal GWWO Inc./Architects
May 25 2012
LEEDuser Member
868 Thumbs Up

VCTT product

Does anyone know if GBCI has accepted (or rejected) Hybrid Resilient/VCTT products, such as Tandus "Median" Powerbond Cushion Resilient Vinyl Cushion flooring, as a CARPET product for credit EQ4.3 (NCv2.2)?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google May 28 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Hi Terry. Since this project is registered under LEED-NC v2.2 and not LEED-NC 2009, I haven't heard of this being done. Do you have any other non-hybrid carpet in your project that complies with 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? If so, I'd use that product to assist in you meeting this credit. And I wouldn't include this hybrid product in your submission. If you don't have any carpet in the project besides this product, I might try an alternative compliance path by showing that your resilient flooring product is Floor Score (or meets the alternative compliance path for testing under EQc4.3 of LEED 2009).

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Geraldine Seguela RAIA Architect/Sustainability Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Mar 11 2012
LEEDuser Member
721 Thumbs Up

Carpet backing

Does carpet backing defined as carpet padding/cushion? and if so does it need to meet the 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 Program?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Mar 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Hi Geraldine,

Yes, that is right.

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Geraldine Seguela RAIA Architect/Sustainability, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Mar 13 2012 LEEDuser Member 721 Thumbs Up

Hi Lauren,
So that means almost every carpet will need to meet the 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 Program and the Green Label Plus Program since most carpets have backings. Do you agree?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Jan 16 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Yes, that is the intent of the credit—for all carpeting to meet the relevant 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 requirements.

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Suzanne Allerton Architect W2A Design Group
Feb 09 2012
Guest
1026 Thumbs Up

Green Label instead of Green label plus

Has anyone had a Green label product accepted for this credit?
Perhaps with supplemental information? and what categories would
have to be updated?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Feb 10 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Interesting. I have never seen this done. I think they are fairly strict about the carpet being 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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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Feb 17 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Agreed, Green Label is weaker than GL+.

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Suzanne Allerton Architect W2A Design Group
Jan 24 2012
Guest
1026 Thumbs Up

seam sealer

I am wondering if anyone has had success with this credit with a small
amount of carpet seam sealer that exceeds the VOC limits ?

Is it possible to use the budget calculation and compare the adhesive to the seam sealer?
What is the actual VOC limit for seam sealer?

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Jan 24 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Suzanne, I would imagine that you could use the VOC budget methodology from EQc4.1 here for the adhesive component of EQc4.3. I actually haven't seen that done before but it seems very logical as this credit references EQc4.1 in its stated requirements for adhesives.

I am guessing that the seam sealer's VOC limit would be the limit for "carpet adhesives" which is 50 g/L. Other folks in the LEEDuser.com community, feel free to correct me I'm wrong.

Alternatively, is there a way for you to ensure that your carpet seam sealer meets the carpet adhesive VOC limits or is there a particular reason that necessitates a higher VOC level?

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Linda Davisson Senior Consultant, Sustainable Design Consulting Oct 12 2012 LEEDuser Member 2064 Thumbs Up

We opt to not include the carpet seam sealer in LEED documentation altogether as it is not addressed by the SCAQMD reference standards. If you read the definitions associated with the various categories within the reference standards, you will find that they do not address carpet seam sealer, which is neither a carpet adhesive (EQc4.1) or "other sealer" (EQc4.2).

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Oct 30 2012 Guest 8080 Thumbs Up

I would classify seam sealer as other. Although it is not clear from the definitions in the various standards, it is clear to me the flooring adhesives means adhesives use to adhere a flooring to a solid flat surface. Seam sealing is not the same thing.

I will also say there are low VOC seam 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. available. Shaw "Carpet Seam Sealer 4000" has 0 VOC content.

Some definitions.

SCAQMD:
INDOOR CARPET ADHESIVE is an adhesive used during the installation of a carpet that is in an enclosure and is not exposed to ambient weather conditions during normal use.

SCAQMD:
CARPET PAD ADHESIVE is an adhesive used for the installation of a carpet pad (or cushion) beneath a carpet.

Green Seal Standard GS-36:
Indoor Floor Covering Installation Adhesive. Any adhesive intended by the manufacturer for the installation of carpet, resilient tile, vinyl tile, vinyl backed carpet, resilient sheet and roll, or artificial grass that is in an enclosure and is not exposed to ambient weather conditions during normal use.

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Jonathan Weiss
Feb 02 2011
LEEDuser Member
2191 Thumbs Up

Testing requirements for hand knotted rugs

We are working on a project that is specifying hand knotted rugs. The manufacturer has contacted 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. to see if they can get their rugs certified, however CRI has said they do not certify hand knotted rugs (these are large scale rugs).

Does anyone know if it would be possible to to get testing done by a qualified independent laboratory and still meet the intent of the credit?

Would we need to email the "Standard Practice fo the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources using Small-Scale Environmental Chanbers" specification to the manufacturer so they can get the product tested?

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this kind of process before.

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Reinhard Oppl Director VOC Testing, Eurofins Product Testing A/S Feb 03 2011 Guest 2014 Thumbs Up

Question is whether the term "carpet" in LEED NC v 2.2 includes hand knotted rugs. If not, then there is no way. But if this can be answered yes, then any qualified independent testing lab could perform a test following 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 specifications just without certification, such as our lab (Eurofins), or several other labs throughout the US and in Europe. The manufacturer should just ask for testing of the rug as carpet for LEED NC v2.2 EQc4.3. The lab then should know how to test. Please note that the testing lab will have to cut out a small piece for testing which will destroy the test piece as such.

For full disclosure - I am Director VOC Testing at Eurofins Product Testing A/S, the world-wide largest such testing laboratory.

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Nov 04 2011 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Hi Jonathan,

Interesting question. I have had some projects with carpets that were not eligible for 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. and we decided to then exclude them from our documentation altogether. For instance, I was working on an airport and there was a vertical carpet application around luggage turn styles. Also, I know that LEED generally excludes requiring that walk-off mats with carpet inserts be included within this credit.

However, in this case, it would be best to have the carpet tested to see if it meets the requirements.

I realize you asked your question back in February. Out of curiosity, what did you end up doing?

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Anita Louey LEED Project Manager Bovis Lend Lease
Dec 29 2010
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187 Thumbs Up

EU GUT certification be valid instead of Green Label Plus?

Hi we are considering to use a carpet that has got the GUT certification from Europe and they have provided us a comparison of Green Label Plus vs GUT which states that it satisfies all the requirements as per the comment in LEED "..”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”. Do you know if this is valid art acceptable by LEED?

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Reinhard Oppl Director VOC Testing, Eurofins Product Testing A/S Dec 29 2010 Guest 2014 Thumbs Up

This will depend on the underlying test report which will be based on testing after 3 days. If it showed that all 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 LabelPlus limit values after 14 days are passed, and that all emissions are much lower than CRI Green LabelPlus limit values after 1 day, then GUT certainly will be equivalent as requirement, or even more stringent.

When checking this, please note that GUT testing is done at much lower ventilation rate, meaning that test results are higher than any results obtained from CRI Green LabelPlus testing. This means: If all results of a GUT test comply with CRI Green LabelPlus limit values then there is a good safety distance in this statement.

For details on GUT limit values please see
http://www.pro-dis.info/emission-test00.html?&L=0.

For full disclosure, I am Director VOC Testing at Eurofins Product Testing A/S, the largest world-wide supplier of VOC emissions chamber testing, and I am based in Denmark.

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Ricardo Sobral Technical Services Director Lend Lease (AR) S.A.
Aug 25 2010
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679 Thumbs Up

CRI certificate requiered?

I have come across several provider that state in their 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 or commercial brochures that they comply with 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., merely citing a Green Label Plus (glp) certification number. My question is if we are obliged to send a copy of this certificate or if it is enough to just send the MSDS / commercial brochure. Thanks in advance!

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Lauren Sparandara Sustainability Manager, Google Aug 30 2010 LEEDuser Expert 15968 Thumbs Up

Hi Andres,

You'll only need a cut sheet from the manufacturer that states that the product is 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. I've never heard of any LEED projects ever actually needing a certicate with the certification number.

Lauren

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John Ambert
May 27 2010
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78 Thumbs Up

re: Resilient Flooring Substitution for Carpet

I have recently been informed that Resilient Flooring can be used to achieve this credit if Carpet systems are not used in the project. I searched previous CIRs and found the GBCI has accepted two alternative compliance paths for this credit: FloorScore Certification program or testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services (DHS) Standard Practice for the Testing of Volatile Organic Emissions from Various Sources Using Small-Scale Environmental Chambers.

My question is : Does VCT (Vinyl Flooring) or SDT (Statis Disipative Tile) qualify in either of these categories? I have not found information that would substantiate or disprove this. Your thoughts / experiences would be greatly appreciated

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 27 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

John, you're right about the alternative  compliance path—this is discussed in a little bit more detail above in the Bird's Eye View tab.

FloorScore's website has information on certified products—there are several VCT products. I don't know about SDT.

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Robert Hink Principal, LEED Faculty, The Spinnaker Group Oct 13 2010 LEEDuser Member 640 Thumbs Up

I have a project with only mineral based/inert flooring, natural stone and porcelain tile. For v2009, USGBC released the addenda allowing these flooring options (tile, masonry, cut stone, etc.) to qualify without further testing for v2009 IEQc4.3. (Any adhesives or 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. still subject to other credits)

Does anyone know if this is acceptable under v2.2 as part of the alternative compliance path or are the testing/FloorScore requirements are still in place?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 15 2010 LEEDuser Moderator

I think the FloorScore requirements are still in place for v2.2 officially, but I think you could include a narrative explaining a choice to exclude those materials based on the LEED 2009 requirements, and it should be approved.

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