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NSF International Releases Carpet Standard
Architects, designers and end users now have one standard to identify carpets that have a reduced environmental impact
NSF International introduced the first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard – NSF 140-2007, Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard for environmentally preferable building materials – at Greenbuild 2007 in Chicago. A joint committee under the guidance of NSF International, a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited public health organization, developed the new standard through a documented consensus process.
The joint committee includes end users, architects, interior designers, and state and federal agencies responsible for procurement practices – specifically the California Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Task Force’s Carpet Subcommittee, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), carpet and rug manufacturers, and academics and non-governmental officials. The consensus standard was built upon scientific principles and feedback from prior efforts.
The standard includes a rating system with established performance requirements and quantifiable metrics throughout the supply chain for: public health and environment; energy and energy efficiency; bio-based, recycled content materials; environmentally preferable materials; manufacturing; and reclamation and end-of-life management.
The unified standard for sustainable carpet is voluntary, inclusive, based on life-cycle-assessment principles, and offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact – silver, gold and platinum. By defining environmental, social and economic performance requirements, the standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry.
Users can apply the standard to any carpet product, but it is primarily intended for evaluation of commercial carpet products by providing a product-evaluation methodology complementary to emerging commercial green-building standards. The standard applies to carpets for all types of buildings, including commercial office, education, government, healthcare and hospitality.
The first carpet products certified to the approved standard are expected to be available in the marketplace by the second quarter of 2008.