- THE MAGAZINE
Working in coordination with California's Sustainable Building Task Force and the Department of Health Services, Indoor Air Quality Section, the carpet industry voluntarily upgraded its Green Label testing program to meet or exceed testing protocols used by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), designed to help achieve good indoor air quality. Green Label Plus represents the fourth time in the 12-year-old program that the Carpet and Rug Institute has enhanced its carpet testing standard, a measurement by which manufacturers continue to reduce product emissions.
"Consumer health and safety is our highest priority," said Werner Braun, president of the Carpet and Rug Institute. "Green Label Plus once again sets the highest standard for indoor air quality and ensures that customers are purchasing one of the lowest emitting products on the market."
Under the agreement between the Carpet and Rug Institute and the California agencies, Green Label Plus will be accepted in lieu of Section 01350, the CHPS low-emitting materials criteria for use in schools. A school that selects such materials qualifies for points. Twenty-eight points are necessary to qualify as a CHPS school. The CHPS website has a Green Label Plus link, which lists manufacturers and carpet products that have been tested and are considered as 01350-equivalent and meet or exceed the CHPS Low-Emitting Materials Credit 2 for use in a typical classroom. The CRI website listing is consistent with the "09680 Carpet" section of the CHPS Compliant Materials Table on the CHPS website.
"This effort is a perfect example of the environment and the economy operating as two sides of one coin," said Terry Tamminen, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
"The Sustainable Building Task Force is very pleased to see that a year- long dialogue between DHS and CRI resulted in a win-win program," said Stephan Castellanos, state architect, chair of the Sustainable Building Task Force and the CHPS board. "Such partnerships between private industry and state government in reducing emissions from building products, ultimately will lead to healthier building occupants. Enhancement of high performance, healthy buildings is consistent with Governor Schwarzenegger's environmental policy."
The CRI Green Label testing program assures customers that approved carpet products meet stringent requirements for low chemical emissions. Green Label Plus was designed for architects, facility administrators and others who want greater assurance of good indoor air quality. Every carpet receiving Green Label Plus certification has been tested for emission levels for all chemicals as required by Section 01350, plus six additional chemicals, utilizing a 14- day test. Subsequent annual tests will target 13 chemicals, and quarterly tests will measure for the total level of volatile organic compounds (TVOC).
The emissions standards are based on stringent criteria outlined in Section 01350. Green Label Plus expands on Section 01350 in several respects, including annual testing for the specific chemicals, a chain of custody process, and an annual audit of the testing laboratory.
Air Quality Sciences, an Atlanta-based, independent laboratory -- the only lab certified for Green Label Plus -- that employs the most up-to-date, dynamic environmental chamber technology, will perform testing for Green Label Plus.
"Architects, interior designers, government specifiers and facility administrators who prefer green building products just need to look for the green and white logo displayed on carpet samples," noted Mr. Braun. "The Green Label Plus logo will signify that the carpet product has been tested and certified by an independent laboratory and has met stringent criteria for low emissions."
He added, "The new Green Label Plus program is just one example of the Carpet and Rug Institute's leadership in the best practices of sustainability. We are committed to advancing innovations and solutions that are consistent with long-term social, environmental and economic responsibility."