A quick guide to Eco-credentials

January 7th, 2019 - Technical - Inspiration - Blog
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Eco Credentials and what they mean for your project.

There are many factors that can contribute to a tile being classed as ‘eco friendly’. While some of these factors, such as the percentage of recycled content, are reasonably self explanatory, others can take a little more deciphering. With the eco world being flooded with acronyms, labels, certifications and constantly changing standards, relevant eco credentials have become an ever moving target.

We here at Eco Friendly Tiles stay on top of these new and emerging certifications by keeping a step ahead of the game. We already work with factories that have verified EPDs, a majority of our products use recycled content and we are working our way towards more cradle to cradle products. But it’s no good us adding these credentials to our tiles if you, our customer, is unclear on exactly what they mean. We have compiled a list of our most up to date eco credentials so that our clients are able to make an informed decision when selecting a product.

EPD – Environmental Product Declaration

In a nutshell, an EPD is a voluntary document that has been verified and registered and contains information regarding the environmental impact products will have over their life cycle. This will inform a consumer about the eco credentials of their product and allow it to be easily compared with other potential products.

Many of Eco Friendly Tiles products come with an EPD to provide our clients with transparency when they are selecting a product. Our Shannon and Shannon Cove ranges all have an EPD which makes them one of our top eco-conscious tiles.

BREEAM – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.

A BREEAM certification takes into account the entire process of a build from concept to completion. At various stages assessments will be completed by a qualified and licensed BREEAM Assessor to ensure the build is meeting its required standards.
BREEAM standards create a holistic criteria for the built environment lifecycle. It considers questions such as; are the materials used in the build eco-friendly? Will the building use renewable/ sustainable energy? Does it take into account the health and well-being of it’s tenants? Plus many more which can vary depending on the build.

Many of Eco Friendly Tiles products contribute to a build gaining a BREEAM certification. Each product is clearly labelled and easily searched through the Eco Credentials section in our search criteria.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

USA based LEED is recognised world wide as a symbol of green building. It has a rating system to suit any style of build. LEED certification is awarded through a credit based system, the more credits a build gains, the higher the certification. These credits can be awarded for a multitude of things such as rainwater management, light pollution reduction, thermal comfort and the level of recycled content to name a few. These credits allow builds to customise their certification, while a list of base prerequisites form the more general, minimum criteria a build must meet before moving forward.

Eco Friendly Tiles has a number of products that can contribute towards a build gaining it’s LEED certification. All of our products that contribute to LEED come from a registered Green Building Council factory. They can contribute to credits gained for low-emitting materials, thermal comfort, recycled content, raw material sourcing, distance travelled and more.

Ska – is an assessment method developed specifically for interior applications and fit outs.

Run by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), it provides a set of criteria that ensure a re-fit is carried out in an environmentally sustainable way. Often the eco skeleton of a building will very rarely be changed during its life time, however the interior of the same building could have multiple re-styles, refits and renovations in the same amount of time.

It is most applicable when, for example, a floor or floors in a multi-storey need to be re-fitted in an eco friendly way but the original building may not be eco friendly in itself. Ska provides a list of ‘good practise’ measures that can be applied to everything from transport to water. This ensures that the re-fit will be carried out in an environmentally responsible way.

Just like with LEED and BREEAM, Eco Friendly Tiles has products that contribute to Ska. The criteria is different for floor and wall so be sure to double check the right product has been selected. The criteria generally covers tiles that have either been reused, have a degree of recycled content, an EU eco label or an EPD assessed using ISO 14025.

 
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