6 Floor Design Specifications You Need For Next LEED Project
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) construction and renovation, for residential and commercial spaces is a common trend in the industry today. Designers, architects, and builders are seeking high quality, environmentally friendly products that can support LEED certification. Finding the right products can be time consuming and costly.
But there is an easier and better way to specify flooring for your interior designs – find a source, and a manufacturer that provides flooring solutions, and affordable styles, that are a natural fit for LEED requirements. Generally speaking the flooring you choose can fall into one or all of the following categories: materials and resources, indoor environmental air quality, and innovation and design process. Let’s look at a few design specifications that can help determine if the flooring is suitable for your LEED project.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
The term “carbon footprint: has become a bit more mainstream in recent years, bringing awareness to the amount of energy that goes into creating a product. One example of reducing the cabon footprint of a product, is heeding a reduced footprint mandate, like the one Torlys upholds for its hardwood flooring, to manufacture 30 times more hardwood flooring from a single tree as compared to conventional manufacturers of solid hardwood flooring. That significantly affects the embodied energy in Torlys products, as the manufacturing process—from sourcing material to delivery to the end-user—is mindful of the resources used and works to keep them to a minimum.
Using a recycled product is a natural fit for any LEED eligible products. Look for products made from 100% recycled cork, and since cork is an easily renewable wood resource, you can feel doubly good about it. Even if the product is not 100% recycled, like Torlys laminate floors are made from 79% recycled wood. You also don’t need to feel limited to cork or hardwood or laminate, manufacturers like Torlys offer other unique solutions like wide plank leather – made from 100% recycled leather from reclaimed from belts, purses, jackets, and shoes.
Another attribute to look at is the presence of chemical glues and VOC content – the less, the better, if they have NONE, that is the best. These characteristics are all present in Torlys Smart Floors products, and they also meet or exceed California’s Indoor Air Quality Standards, which are among the most stringent in the world. It is also a good idea to know how the floor is manufactured and how it will need to be installed, does it require nails or sanding, or glue to install – this means no chemicals, no off gassing , and no sawdust for a cleaner interior. Another feature of Torlys floors is their patented Uniclic joint. Watch the video below to learn more from the SmartFloorStore.com official mascot – and wood floor officianado – Bulldog Bo.
Next to reclaimed flooring, choosing floors made sustainably harvested materials is a wise choice for LEED projects. By choosing to use flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (aka “FSC), you know that the flooring is made from responsibly managed forests. As you may have guessed, Torlys Smart Floors delivers options for this design feature too.
Long-Term Durability and Reusability
One of the most overlooked design attributes of a new floor, when considering the many options available today is long term durability, the recommended care and maintenance plan, and damage protocol options when something happens to the floor. For example, Torlys Smart Floors are dent- and stain-resistant and if damage does occur, the Toryls’s Bulldog™ tool can be used to replace a single board, which saves times, money, and valuable resources.
And, have you considered the product you are using to clean your floor? All sorts of harmful chemicals can go into your household floor cleaner, but you can find products, like those available from Torlys Smart Floors, that are LOW VOC, biodegradable, low odor and more, and keep your floor looking beautiful and home healthy.
Lastly, have you ever heard of taking your flooring with you when you move – its true! With Torlys Smart Floors, when you install them in residential installations, the entire floor can be moved and reused up to three times without damaging the joint or the adjoining surfaces.
Innovation in Design is a somewhat new “category” for LEED products, but gives manufacturers the opportunity to showcase unique design attributes that make a product unique, but also still environmentally friendly. For example, Torlys CorkPlus™ is an environmental innovation that includes a cork underlay used for acoustic insulation. Microban®, an antimicrobial protection, is integrated into the cork backing to prevent mold and mildew, for superior indoor air quality.
Are you looking for flooring for your LEED project, why not download our free color catalog to start exploring design ideas. You’ll find styles from elegant leather flooring, to traditional hardwood, and wide plank laminate and vinyl flooring you’ll never guess isn’t real wood!