How To Develop Interior Product Standards

Interior Products, LEED-CI, Standards   June 8, 2010

Today's tip is about how to develop interior product standards. If facility managers don't have a systemized way in which they select interior products, developing standards can help streamline the decision-making process, saving time and money.

First, check the overarching policies of your organization to make sure there are specific purchasing requirements regarding chemicals or substances that may not be allowed into that organization's facilities. This is often the case with health care facilities.

Next, as cost and performance will always be the most important criteria for product selection, develop some minimum performance standards for each product. You could specify a minimum warranty term acceptable, for instance.

Then, develop criteria in other areas important to the organization – sustainability for instance. Here, you could consult the LEED rating system and green product certifications like Energy Star, Greenguard or Green Seal. LEED often references these green certifications, which provide verification that a product meets a particular standard for sustainable performance – low volatile organic compound emissions, for instance.

Finally, write standards for the manufacture and end of life of the products. The idea of an environmental life-cycle assessment, where you delve into how a product is made and what happens after its useful life is over, is gaining momentum as a way to separate products that are truly environmentally responsible.


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