Badges of Quality
Guest AVA Advisor
Commercial Product & Marketing Manager North America, AVA® by Novalis® Innovative Flooring
Melissa Quick has over 30 years of experience in the commercial flooring industry and she attained her LEED GA to gain general knowledge of green building practices and how to support others working on LEED projects.
Download our brochure “Sustainability is closer than you think”
Environmental concerns over the years.
In 1931, the concern became the use of asbestos as a building material. In 1971, it was exposure to lead paint. More recently, it has been the health effects of radon and formaldehyde gases as volatile organic compounds leaching from household materials into the air. As technology has advanced the manufacturing of materials that go into construction, so too have the concerns regarding the effects those materials can have on our health.
Because we spend so much time indoors each and every day, whether in our homes or where we work, our wellbeing depends on the vigilance of everyone from architects and designers to product developers and manufacturers to engineers and contractors to ensure the healthiest environments possible.
Testing and disclosure
In recent years, there has been tremendous growth in the testing and certification of materials and processes regarding their safe use in our indoor environments in the United States and abroad. We believe third party testing is the only true way to objectively assess the product efficacy. As a manufacturer, Novalis® takes this very seriously. We make all of the flooring products, including our AVA® commercial LVT and make it a policy to be completely transparent about what goes into our products. All of this comes with a high price tag and can be time consuming, but we believe in our commitment to the environment and will continue to strive to make the best quality product on the market and always take the necessary steps to meet certifications, be compliant and always be transparent.
Understanding “badges of quality”
However, with the prolific growth of product certifications for sustainable manufacturing practices, it can seem a bit overwhelming. There are some that we consider absolutely essential to our products and the needs of the customers who specify and design with these products. You’ll see these badges on our product pages, spec sheets, in our ads and on our cartons, but you may not be familiar or knowledgeable about some of them. Here’s a brief snapshot on each and why they are important to us and to you when it comes to specifying LVT.
AVA® supports this communications platform that helps designers better understand the materials they are specifying for their projects. In this way, Novalis® voluntarily discloses pertinent information for all AVA® flooring products regarding its lifecycle and the impact its use has on people. Mindful MATERIALS actually links various declarations and certifications together to make it easier and more accurate for the designer to properly assess the suitability of the product to the project by means of a searchable database powered by Origin. Learn more at Mindful Materials.
FloorScore® is probably the most widely known indoor air quality certification standard in the world. Founded in 1984, SCS Global Services began third party testing and certification services and is now a trusted industry leader, partnering with independent, ISO-17025 accredited labs around the world. FloorScore® has been testing since 2005 for VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) that have short term and long term adverse effects on health. Learn more at FloorScore.
EPD® Environmental Product Declaration
Administered by UL® (and others) to independently verify and register, the EPD® is a standardized, voluntary declaration of the product’s lifecycle environmental impact. This includes information about raw material acquisition, energy use and efficiency, emissions and waste generation. Learn more at EPD.
Declare™ calls itself “The nutrition label for products” because what goes into a product has a direct consequence on its affect on the health of occupants. It focuses on specifics important to commercial specifiers, such as product ingredients, percentage of recyclable content, and possible potential hazards, to name a few.
As with EPD®, participation for this ingredient transparency is voluntary and is administered by the International Living Future Institute. Its aim with Declare™ is to create transparency in the building marketplace “for a greener, healthier environment for construction workers, business employees, and customers alike.” Learn more at Declare.
HPD® Health Product Declaration
Another transparent disclosure AVA® and all of Novalis® flooring products adhere to is HPD®. HPD® provides information regarding any potential chemicals of concern against those listed on GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals and other lists. HPD’s are recognized by LEED v4, WELL, Google Portico and Living Product Challenge building schemes. Learn more at HPD.
SCS Indoor Advantage® Gold
Indoor Advantage® Gold certification from SCS Global Services means that Novalis products meet indoor air quality standards, certified to SCS-EC10.3-2014 v4.0. and conforms to standards for private office, school classroom and private residence parameters. According to the SCS website: “The Indoor Advantage and Indoor Advantage® Gold standard aligns with both ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 and X7.1, and CA 01350. It is recognized by the EPA and GSA, and qualifies for many building rating systems, including LEED v4, BREEAM, WELL Building, and Living Building Challenge.” Learn more a SCS Global.
GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Gold
GREENGUARD certification gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, contributing to the creation of healthier interiors. GREENGUARD Gold certification (formerly known as GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification) offers more strict certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals (such as children and elderly), and ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. Learn more at Greenguard.
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals for the European Union, beginning in 2006. It safeguards the production and use of chemicals and the impact of those substances on health and the environment. Information about the chemicals that go into products is shared up and down the supply chain so customers are completely aware and can allow retailers to work with manufacturers to substitute or completely remove harmful chemicals. Because Novalis® is distributed throughout the world, its products are always REACH compliant. Learn more at Reach.
These are just a few of the efforts we make to provide our customers with a safe and environmentally responsible floor. For more information on our complete environmental approach at AVA® by Novalis® Innovative Flooring, check out our Environmental page, download our brochure “Sustainability is closer than you think” or investigate our certifications, listed as links on our Tech Info page.
Questions or comments? Let us know by going to the contact page!