Sustainability and Storefloors
Sustainability is generally defined as the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. The three tenets of sustainability are environmental legacy, economic strength and social responsibility, all geared toward meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. We are experts at disseminating the interpretive intent of sustainability as well as sourcing “sustainable floor coverings” that meet the required design intent.
Storefloors will work to provide our clients the education, expertise, products, and finally, the assurance that the flooring they select truly meets the specifications of their sustainability program. We recommend products that contribute to or comply with various certification credits and support our customers’ sustainability mission, while maintaining their design intent. In addition to flooring selection, Storefloors can assist you with reclamation and recycling of existing floor coverings.
Storefloors and its employees realize the importance of protecting our environment and acting responsibly to conserve our natural resources. We are committed to making a positive impact. Here are some sustainable steps we take:
- Outdated or unused flooring samples are either returned to the manufacturer for re-circulation or donated to local design schools where the materials are used for student projects.
- Only green non-toxic cleaning products are used in our offices.
- Recycling, conservation of energy, water, paper and boxes are standard practice.
- Storefloors’ employees are known to use mass transit and have even relocated to minimize environmental impact and commute time.
At Storefloors, being green is a team effort. We are committed to serving as a resource to the design community by providing information on sustainability initiatives, standards or certifications. If you would like more information or would like to discuss green flooring options, please contact us.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests and has a direct impact on the harvesting of wood flooring materials. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.
Many wood flooring manufacturers promote the FSC certification of their products as part of their green initiative. The Lacey Act protects our forests by prohibiting the import or export of timber that has been illegally harvested.
LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
The USGBC created LEED as an internationally recognized certification system of green buildings. It is the national “benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance while promoting a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”
A big change in LEED v4 is the introduction of three new Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits to increase market transparency about the sourcing and contents of building materials: environmental product declarations, sourcing of raw materials and material ingredients.
The Living Building Challenge (International Living Future Institute)
The Living Building Challenge™ is a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that define the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today. The core underlying principle of the Living Building Challenge is that buildings should mimic nature and natural systems.
The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. This compilation of Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable building project, of any scale and any location—be it a new building or an existing structure.
NSF/ANSI140 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet
NSF/ANSI 140 is an industry-wide unified standard for sustainable carpet that was developed to aid the building industry, architects, designers and end users in the United States on how to identify carpets certified for having a reduced environmental impact. This ANSI-accredited standard applies to carpets for all types of buildings in the US, such as commercial office, education, government, healthcare and hospitality, etc.
WELL Building Standard (International WELL Building Institute (IWBI))
The WELL Building Standard® is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and wellbeing.
WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute, a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment. The WELL Building Standard® is third-party certified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which administers the LEED certification program.
It is a collaboration of the International Living Future Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council, and focuses on the health and well-being of people in a building. It measures building performance through a holistic approach using technologies, design strategies and key building operations to address key building parameters. In addition, the WELL BUILDING STANDARD requires post-occupancy WELL commissioning to verify key performance measures.
Cradle to Cradle (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute)
Cradle to Cradle is a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free. The model is not limited to industrial design and manufacturing; it can be applied to many aspects of human civilization such as urban environments, buildings, economics and social systems.
In the cradle to cradle model, all materials used in industrial or commercial processes—such as metals, fibers and dyes fall into one of two categories: “technical” or “biological” nutrients. Technical nutrients are non-toxic, non-harmful synthetic materials with no negative effects on the natural environment; they can be used in continuous cycles as the same product without losing their integrity or quality. Biological Nutrients are organic materials that, once used, can be disposed of in any natural environment and decompose into the soil, providing food for small life forms without affecting the natural environment.