Green Label / Green Label Plus
Helping Improve Indoor Air Quality
By Chris Moline, LEED AP (CI)
The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label and Green Label Plus standards are specifically referenced in the LEED rating system for Commercial Interiors certification by the US Green Building Council. But, even if you are a homeowner not going for “Platinum”, you can benefit from the knowledge that these CRI standards mean you are getting the best for your indoor air quality dollar investment.Anyone who has gone for certification (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum) of a tenant space under the LEED CI track has more than likely considered how carpet, carpet cushion, and any adhesives used impact credits.
In order to be considered for credit under EQ 4.3 – Indoor Environmental Quality 4.3 – Carpet Materials, carpet must meet the CRI Green Label Plus standard. Carpet cushion must meet CRI Green Label standards. Any adhesives used should be referenced under EQ 4.1, Adhesives and Sealants, and meet SCAQMD 1168 standards (GS-36 if aerosol adhesives are used).
FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE CARPET AND RUG INSTITUTE’S WEBSITE:
Carpet can be wrongly blamed for contributing to asthma and allergy and for emitting high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Studies have shown that carpet is better at trapping allergens than hard surface, such as tile or hardwood, because carpet fibers catch particles and allergens that fall to the floor. When allergens are trapped in the carpet, they cannot circulate in the air for you to breathe. Proper cleaning with a CRI-tested and approved vacuum effectively sucks up the dirt and dust from the carpet, locks it in the machine and keeps it out of the air.
New carpet may also have a “new carpet smell.” Scientific studies show that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment. In fact, carpet emits less VOCs than other products such as paint. Further, these emissions clear very quickly. The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet dissipate within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation — even sooner with open windows or doors.
CRI offers Green Label and Green Label Plus testing and certification to indicate carpet, carpet backings, cushions and adhesives that emit low VOCs. In fact, Green Label carpet program has such a positive impact on the indoor environment that the American Lung Association approves its use in its Healthy Homes programs. Additionally, the Green Label Plus program tough standards exceeds the green building requirements dictated by California schools.
So if you are concerned about asthma, allergies or VOCs, be sure to ask about Green Label and Green Label Plus carpet, cushion and adhesive options.