Another trip around the sun, and we are celebrating Earth Day (April 22nd) with calls to appreciate and responsibly care for our natural resources. Along with greater awareness is a growing desire for sustainable use solutions. Earth Day is a time to evaluate how our actions impact the environment we live in — and how we can minimize that impact.
Once again, we’re reminded of the environmentally friendly benefits of ceramic tile: Ceramic tile is made from local, naturally occurring materials, is energy-efficient, is available with recycled content, and is reusable as clean fill. Additionally, the simple fact of tile’s longevity also means that ceramic tile has less of an environmental impact than surface materials that must be replaced more frequently.
When choosing tile and installation materials, look for the Green Squared Certified® mark to ensure your choices have been certified as sustainable products.
What Is Green Squared?
Green Squared® is the North American tile industry’s sustainability standard and certification program that establishes multiple-attribute criteria throughout the entire life cycle of products involved in tile installation. The program requires a consistent sustainability assessment of varying product types, giving consumers single sustainability evidence to look for.
The Green Squared Standard
The Green Squared standard is based upon American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A138.1: Green Squared – American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles, and Tile Installation Materials.
ANSI A138.1 includes a host of criteria common to green building products to address the fact that no single environmentally friendly attribute can make a product sustainable. As such, the standard encompasses all of the following elements:
- Product characteristics
- End of product life management
- Progressive corporate governance
The Green Squared standard is unique in that it doesn’t apply to a single product alone, but rather a full range of the products involved in tile installation, including:
- Ceramic and glass tiles
- Powder goods, such as grouts and mortars
- Paste and liquid installation products, such as trowelable membranes and liquid polymer additives
- Panel installation products, such as underlayments and backer boards
- Sheet installation products, such as waterproof membranes and crack isolation membranes
These inclusions make the Green Squared standard the only standard in the building material industry to address an entire installation system of products.
Green Squared Certification
Products that have been verified by a third party to meet ANSI A138.1 requirements are able to achieve Green Squared Certification. Manufacturers seeking certification must apply to one of two approved certification bodies, UL Environment or SCS Global, after which they as an organization, their facility, and their product will be evaluated.
If the manufacturer’s product(s) meets all of the requirements for certification, they are approved to use the Green Squared Certified® mark on that product(s), its packaging, and/or its promotional literature. This mark is an easily recognizable reference point for home and business owners, designers, and architects as they shop for tile products, making it easy for them to ensure they are choosing sustainable options.
Green Building Program Credits
Why choose Green Squared Certified products?
In addition to giving you the knowledge that you are making sustainable choices and minimizing your impact on the environment, Green Squared Certified products can help you achieve green building program credits. People often choose to participate in green building programs for code or regulatory compliance or the tax incentives associated with them, as well as to design more energy- and cost-efficient buildings.
Green Squared Certified products can help you achieve green building credits through the following programs:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED v4.1)
- Green Globes ANSI/GBI 01-2019
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Standard (ICC 700)
- International Green Construction Code (IgCC) Powered by ASHRAE Standard 189.1
- Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
- GSA P-100 Building Standards
[Related: Guide to Going Green With Ceramic Tile]
Recent Installations of Green Squared Certified Tile
Green Squared Certified tile benefits all types of industries and applications, but don’t take our word for it: See how Green Squared Certified tile has helped the following projects achieve sustainability while also meeting their functional and aesthetic needs.
Pensacola International Airport
Pensacola International Airport (PNS) in Pensacola, Florida chose 18” x 36” Green Squared Certified porcelain tile planks for its renovation of the flooring in the center concourse.
Just as the tile’s sustainability made it a natural choice for a location engaged in environmental preservation, its durability made it perfect for the airport’s highest-traffic area. The choice of a sandstone look and texture and creative addition of pelicans and seagulls into the design went the extra mile to establish a coastal aesthetic.
A high-end apartment complex near Dallas, Texas, Beckett Park wanted to modernize the pool area to create an idyllic haven for guests while also promoting sustainability. Ceramic tile stood out because of its durability, fade resistance, and slip resistant options. Beckett Park chose two colors of Green Squared Certified porcelain tile create a checkerboard pattern for the pool surround.
As a world-leading manufacturer of fasteners, Bossard Group required a material for its new customer showroom that would live up to its reputation for quality, innovation, and sustainability. Ceramic tile emerged as the best choice due to its environmental friendliness as well as its durability, which would be necessary to meet the high traffic demands of the space.
Green Squared Certified tile met all of Bossard Group’s needs while also enabling them to customize a modern aesthetic that worked with their branding.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Winter Park, Florida needed to design a new building to replace its aging facility. The project designers wanted to find a material for the building facade that was long-lasting and also met the spiritual tenets of the congregation.
The congregation chose Green Squared Certified porcelain tile for its longevity, low maintenance, ingredient transparency, design integrity, and also selected a product with a 20% recycled content composition. The designers went with stone-look tile in a horizontal grid to elongate the building.
Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools
Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools’ culinary arts program required a comprehensive commercial kitchen for students to work in. As in any commercial kitchen, the flooring was an important choice and would need to be low-maintenance and long-lasting.
Ceramic quarry tile has long been the go-to choice for kitchen flooring because of its longevity, durability, hygiene benefits, slip-resistant options, and heat and flame resistance. It was a natural choice for the culinary arts program to select Green Squared Certified quarry tile for the entire floorspace. Plus, the school received the added benefit of having sustainable flooring.
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
When the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) in Issaquah, Washington decided to sponsor a community wall project with an artistic tile mosaic, they knew that minimizing their environmental impact would be a top priority. As such, they used recycled mosaic glass tile as well as Green Squared Certified grout.
Now, the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery’s mosaic wall helps inspire the community to engage in salmon conservation efforts, without using any materials or practices that harm the Pacific Northwest salmon ecosystem.
T.A. Brown Elementary School
As a modern Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning facility, T.A. Brown Elementary School in Austin, Texas was designed with sustainability in mind. The designers wanted to achieve at least a two-star rating from the Austin Energy Green Building Program, and ideally a LEED Silver Rating as well.
Green Squared Certified tile was an obvious choice to help the school meet these goals, especially as the tile also met the school’s need for a durable and low-maintenance material that could handle high traffic and a chemical-free, nontoxic material safe for students.
As you can see, Green Squared is helping everyone from manufacturers to designers to consumers celebrate Earth Day, every day.
For help finding Green Squared Certified products, visit Green Squared. And, for more information about the sustainability of ceramic tile, explore the following resources: