Anderson, S.C.—Tile Council of North America (TCNA), the trade association representing producers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials and related products in North America, has entered into what it calls a transformative collaboration to provide industry-wide material ingredient transparency.
This collaboration, covering the ingredients from which ceramic tile and cementitious grouts and mortars are made, will produce a Material Ingredient Guide that includes Certified GreenScreen Assessments of at least thirty of the raw materials most commonly used by the North American tile industry.
“The result of this collaboration within the tile industry will push the market forward and spark even greater innovation and consideration for healthier indoor environments,” said Wes Sullens, director of LEED for the U.S. Green Building Council. “This work provides the marketplace with key information needed by those pursuing LEED green building certification as they select products.”
Existing programs for material ingredient disclosure, such as the Health Product Declaration and the Declare Label, already provide vehicles for individual manufacturers to report what goes into their products. Building on these efforts, the North American ceramic tile industry’s Material Ingredient Guide will serve as a unified source to better understand the raw materials regularly used by the ceramic tile industry. “We want transparency to be synonymous with ceramic tile,” said Bill Griese, TCNA’s director of standards development and sustainability initiatives.
“This initiative meshes very well with the industry’s WhyTile.com educational campaign,” said Dan Marvin, senior vice president of operations for Ironrock and chairman of TCNA’s Green Initiative Committee. “The Material Ingredient Guide highlights what we have been advocating for many years—that the naturally occurring ingredients broadly used by the ceramic tile industry are ones you have heard of, ones you can pronounce, ones you can feel comfortable using in construction and living with day after day.”
The Material Ingredient Guide, anticipated for completion by Fall 2020, is being authored by Tennessee-based WAP Sustainability Consulting, a leading consortium of sustainability experts who have extensive familiarity with the ceramic tile industry. The guide will build on the industry’s early adoption of transparency programs by seeking to unify and add perspective to the nearly 1,000 existing product transparency documents already created by ceramic tile, mortar and grout manufacturers. Participating manufacturers will be clearly identified within the Guide and will have the ability to update their products’ proprietary documentation with validated and industry-supported data, making such products eligible for contribution at the highest level to green building programs such as LEED v4.1.
The outcome of the Material Ingredient Guide will be two-fold. First, the library of GreenScreen Assessments for the 30+ raw materials most commonly used by the industry will be accessible by participating manufacturers. From this library, manufacturers will be able to compile third party-verified material ingredient disclosures for their products-virtually on demand—when requested by the design community. Second, the Guide will provide manufacturers, specifiers and designers with the information necessary to fully understand the industry’s material ingredient reporting and capitalize on opportunities for optimization credits in the LEED v4.1 rating system.
“With this project, it is expected that the North American ceramic tile industry will become responsible for the largest number of third party-verified product ingredient reports in the market,” Griese added.