HOW TO SELECT GREENER FLOORING
*What is Greener Flooring?
*Is it flooring made from re-cycled or sustainable materials, with a lower impact on the Earth’s environment?
*Or is it flooring with the best result for your family’s health?
*It can be a combination of both, the following should help your selection
How Green is Carpet?
Carpet has been a popular floor covering for years because it feels good underfoot, insulates and improves a room’s acoustics. From the beginning of the green movement, carpet manufacturers have been at the front lines proclaiming the sustainable characteristics of their product.
Carpeting made from recycled materials and natural sources–such as plastic soda bottles, wool, cotton and corn sugar–are the greener option. Before you purchase, check with your manufacturer to be sure they maintain eco-friendly practices.
Some carpets, including those made from synthetic materials such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester and are backed with latex, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane. Look for carpets made from natural or recycled materials.
Carpet Melbourne Direct stock carpet from manufacturers who have highly effective EMS- Environmental Management Systems.
The following links will take you direct to the Environmental pages of some of our leading suppliers
www.feltex.com/residential/r_redbook_green/ with exceptional stain, soil, wear and colourfast protection^ puts Redbook green® carpet in a field of http://www.victoriacarpets.com.au/about-us-single.asp?ID=421
Carpet & Allergies
- There’s a lot of conflicting research about whether people with allergies should have wall-to-wall carpet.
- Allergies are often caused by house dust mites, which thrive in warm, humid environments and are commonly found in carpet, bedding, soft furnishings and clothing.
- However, there’s also a growing body of research that suggests carpet actually traps the dust mites rather than allowing them to become airborne and is therefore more beneficial to allergy sufferers.
- While research continues, many experts are still advising those with allergies to install hard floor coverings that can be easily cleaned, and floor rugs that can be washed and exposed to sunlight.
- House dust mite allergies have also been linked with an increase in the frequency and severity of asthma.
- The Asthma Foundation of NSW recommends:
- If you want carpet, low-pile varieties are better as there’s less area for dust mites to build up.
- Vacuum at least once a week, using a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filter, or install an externally ducted vacuum cleaning system. At the very least, use double-walled vacuum bags.
- While vacuuming, people with allergies should wear a mask and keep doors and windows open.
- People with allergic reactions should stay out of the room for 20 minutes after vacuuming to give the dust allergens time to dissipate.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)
In recent years, incidents have been reported where occupant’ health and comfort problems have been associated with VOC’s in their homes, workplace, or with other buildings.
These cases were qualified as a “Sick-building Syndrome (SBS) or a Building Related Illness (BRI)”
Research shows that building materials play a significant role in causing such problems.
What are VOC’s?
VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions consist of a range of volatile organic compounds, which at room temperature may be released from materials or products in the form of gases. Some of the common sources of VOC’s in the indoor environment are:
1. Cleaning agents and polishes
2. Cosmetics and deodorants
3. Building materials. (e.g. adhesives, laminates, caulking compounds.)
4. MDF (medium density fibreboard)
5. Furniture, drapery and floor coverings
6. Office Equipment (e.g. Photocopiers and laser printers)
Carpets and VOC emissions
As part of the manufacturing process the carpet is baked in a finishing oven at 150 to 170 degrees Celsius, which drives off most of the volatile chemicals including solvents in adhesives and raw materials, leaving a product that has a low VOC content. When compared with other building materials with significant indoor exposure, carpet is a minor contributor to VOC emissions. Approximately 90% of all VOC’S discharged from carpet dissipate within 2 days of installation.
After 96 hours, carpet VOC emissions fall to less than 1% of the initial value.
(See SKBrown report “Indoor air pollution Lowering emissions of Chemical released from Manufactured products HAZMAT Conference 2003)
Look for carpets that comply with the industry’s highest VOC standard, the Green Star Label program administered by the
Environmental Certification Scheme
Carpet Institute of Australia
The Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS) is an environmental labelling scheme for textile floor coverings. It is an extension of the internationally recognised Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS). Certified products must comply with a range of performance criteria and have a current ACCS grading.
The ECS allows for 4 levels of product certification which requires licensees of the scheme to satisfy incrementally more demanding performance criteria.
Textile floor coverings certified under ECS Levels 2, 3 and 4 certification may achieve points under the Materials category in the Green Star environmental rating tools for buildings. See table below and for further information, visit: www.gbca.org.au/green-star/
|ECS||GBCA Recognition Level|
|Level 2||Level C|
|Level 3||Level B|
|Level 4 (with 2 options)||Level A|
ECS Certificates for each named ECS certified product
can be obtained by clicking on the name in the downloaded excel sheet below.
A list of ECS certified textile floor coverings may be accessed via the following link.
Level 2, 3 and 4 certified products will be added to the listing as and when they are approved.
Carpet Underlay – Recycled
Airstep offers a unique range of recycled textile underlays Cushion Bond, Cushion Pad, Premier Pad and Protecta Pad. This range is made predominantly from recycled fibres from the carpet, garment and plastics industries and recycled clothing. They are manufactured by The Smith Family, a not-for-profit organisation. The textile underlays have an 85% recycled content, which is both post-industrial and post-consumer, helping to minimise the amount of waste that would normally go into landfill.
Foam underlays are also made with a high content of recycled material, therefore helping to reduce landfill.
Before you make a decision on carpet, have you considered..
…The shipping/manufacturing location, the closer, the better.
…Modular tiles with eco backings. Tiles are much easier to replace than ripping out all of the carpet in a room. They can be pretty stylish, too.
Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to make across-the-board assumptions when it comes to carpets and other building materials. All carpets are not created equal. Some types are quite sustainable, whilst others are very far from it.
Wood and Bamboo have been a highly sought-after flooring types in recent years, we have supplied and installed 1000’s of metres, but don’t completely rule out carpeting. You might be pleasantly surprised at all of the options available in terms of colors, texture and patterns. On top of that, carpet can be very affordable, and as long as you do your research, it can be pretty green, too.
The experienced staff at Carpet Melbourne Direct can help you work through all the Green Options provided by several leading carpet manufacturers.
Sustainable Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo has also gained a reputation as an eco-friendly, highly renewable source of material. Compared to wood it grows much faster because bamboo is a grass not a wood. Moso Bamboo is the primary species used for the manufacturing of flooring and plywood. Moso bamboo can grow up to 1.20 metres in 24 hours. It takes about 3-5 years for bamboo to reach full maturity. Traditional hard woods can take 20-120 years to mature.
Bamboo can be harvested without the need to replant because the root system is left intact when it is harvested. The rhizome root structure has the ability to hold the soil in place preventing erosion. Rhizome root structures are horizontal stems that grow below the surface and help a plant reproduce vegetatively. Plants with rhizomes will colonize or spread laterally.
Bamboo reaches maturity in five years which is the optimal age to harvest. In a sustainably harvested forest only 20% of the forest is harvested annually allowing for 100% harvest in a five year period. In its natural environment it will need no irrigation, no pesticides, and no fertilizer. Bamboo has few pests so pesticides are not required. Bamboo can sequester up to 70% more carbon per year than a hardwood forest. All these factors keep the carbon footprint low.
Bamboo comes in a variety range of colours to suit any decor. It is increasingly in demand commercially, offering excellent and long-lasting performance as a floating floor.
One of Australia’s fastest growing flooring products, Bamboo is prized for its sustainability, durability and stylish appearance.
Bamboo is the only solid timber floor that can be floated, and with a Janka rating of 15, is harder than most Australian timbers, making it suitable for almost any application.
Carpet Melbourne Direct have supplied and installed Bamboo flooring for many years, we have a vast range of colours backed with a 25 year residential and 10 year commercial warranty.