Why are third-party standards and certifications still a critical part of product selection for buildings?
If you think about it, almost everyone is actually a professional purchaser, even in our personal lives. We buy things, such as food, cars, energy, phone service, etc. The reason that we can make these decisions in mostly an expedited fashion is because we each have our own internal mental checklist of what is most important to us — calorie count, gas mileage, use of alternatives, data plan, etc. But people who develop specifications or who are also purchasers in their professional lives are mostly living by someone else’s checklists. They need to make sure that dozens of requirements are met before a final decision is made. Stringent, science- based, third-party standards and certifications help facility managers communicate the justification for a purchasing decision in an easy and concise manner to a large group of decision makers. It also allows FMs to quickly and easily weed out products that don’t meet any desired minimum sustainable or health standards for a specific project. This frees up time to focus on other project details, while providing reassurance that the product specified meets the relevant requirements.
Answers provided by Josh Jacobs, Technical Information and Public Affairs Manager, UL Environment.
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