Ceramic Tile in the International Green Construction Code

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I just returned from the annual tile industry management conference. While it’s about as exciting as it sounds, I return every year for the networking and education. In years past, the education on greenbuilding has been pretty elementary, but this year Bill Griese gave an excellent, in-depth presentation on tile’s role in sustainable construction. A few key points:

  • The International Green Construction Code, which was just released in draft form last week, is a gamechanger. It will displace many of the greenbuilding standards since it is intended to be a code overlay adopted by municipal governments. In other words, it becomes law. And law is a much more powerful inducement to participation than an opt-in standard.
  • Tile gets credit for its positive impacts on indoor air quality. Or more precisely, tile surfaces do not require the same testing after installation that mold harboring, VOC emitting surfaces do.
  • The IGCC also encourages the use of high-reflectance outdoor hardscapes. In other words, for parking lots, sidewalks and other exterior hardscapes, light tiles that reduce the heat island effect are privileged over darker materials.

There was much more in the presentation, which I’ll pass along in time. Suffice it to say, tile finally seems to be getting the credit it deserves for being the greenest floor covering.

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