RESEARCH GUIDE: GREEN LABELS & CERTIFICATIONS
Find explanations of different types of U.S. and international green building standards, green product certifications, and green building rating and certification systems, with links to relevant codes, standards and organizations.
HPDs (Health Product Declarations) detail the material contents and potential health hazards of building products in a standard way that allows you to compare the eco-friendliness of products and materials. The HPD Collaborative provides the standard format and instructions to companies; each individual vendor is responsible for completing and publishing HPDs for their products.
EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) detail the life-cycle environmental impact of a product in a standard way that allows you to compare the eco-friendliness of products and materials. All EPDs are publically available and free to download.
In this 8-minute video, Arup engineer Frances Yang explains how to get what you need from environmental product declarations (EPDs).
Quarriers and processors of natural dimension stone certified as meeting the NSF/ANSI 373 standard comply with certain requirements in the areas of water use, site management, land reclamation, energy, waste management, chemicals management, human health and safety, and innovation.
Furniture pieces with BIFMA’s level certification are independently certified to meet certain standards in the areas of material selection, energy usage and emissions, human and ecosystem health, and the company’s social responsibility.
Products with Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certification do not use any substance on the C2C Banned List of Chemicals, and are rated in five categories: safe materials, continuous reclamation and re-use of materials, clean water, renewable energy, and social fairness.
Products with the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to meet current ENERGY STAR standards. Standards are raised as technology improves, so an ENERGY STAR certification always indicates better-than-average energy efficiency.
Flooring products with the FloorScore IAQ (indoor air quality) Certification are independently certified to meet California’s indoor air quality emission requirements.
Products with the FSC label are independently certified to come from responsibly managed forests that meet environmental, ethical, and economic standards.
Products with the Green Seal label are certified to meet environmental standards specific to each product category (paints, adhesives, lamps, windows, etc.), throughout the life cycle of the product.
Tiles and tile installation materials with the Green Squared certification are independently certified to meet certain standards in the areas of product characteristics, manufacturing, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation, throughout the life cycle of the product.
GREENGUARD certified products are interior products and materials that have low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The GREENGUARD Gold standard requires testing for additional chemicals and lower total VOC emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.
Furniture and building materials with the Indoor Advantage certification are independently certified to meet California’s indoor air quality emission requirements.
Commercial carpet products certified as meeting the NSF/ANSI 140 standard comply with certain requirements throughout the life cycle of the product in the areas of public health and environment, energy and energy efficiency, environmentally preferable materials, product manufacturing, reclamation and end-of-life management, and innovation.
Resilient flooring products certified as meeting the NSF/ANSI 332 standard comply with certain requirements throughout the life cycle of the product in the areas of product design, product manufacturing, long-term value, end-of-life management, corporate governance, and innovation.
Commercial furnishing fabrics certified as meeting the NSF/ANSI 336 standard comply with certain requirements throughout the life cycle of the product in the areas of fiber sourcing, safety of materials, water conservation, water quality, energy, air quality, recycling practices in manufacturing and end of use, and the company’s social accountability.
Wallcovering products certified as meeting the NSF/ANSI 336 standard comply with certain requirements throughout the life cycle of the product in the areas of raw material inputs, indoor air quality, product recyclability, energy use, product distribution, recycling infrastructure support, waste minimization, and the company’s corporate governance.
Products and services with the WaterSense label have been independently certified to be at least 20% more water efficient without sacrificing performance.
New homes with the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to use 15-30% less energy than typical new homes.
Available for new construction, existing buildings, and interiors, Green Globes certification indicates that the project demonstrates a commitment to the reduction of environmental impacts and the improvement of water, energy and environmental efficiency.
New homes with the Indoor airPLUS label are independently certified to use construction practices and product specifications that minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. To be eligible for the Indoor airPLUS certification, a home must first earn the ENERGY STAR Certified Home label.
Available for new construction, existing buildings, interiors, ongoing building operations, and neighborhood development, LEED certification recognizes sustainable design and construction in commercial and residential projects.
To meet the Living Building Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.
New homes with the WaterSense label are independently certified to use approximately 20% less water than typical new homes.
Available for new construction, existing buildings, and interiors, WELL certification indicates that spaces have been designed to improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of its occupants
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