A Natural Choice
Tile, marble, stone, pavers and terrazzo solutions offer immediate and measurable impact that lead to the creation of sustainable buildings. Interior and exterior systems made of these materials play an important role in impacting up to 43 LEED credit points in the design of LEED projects. Integrated design is key to maximizing sustainable solutions and opens up the door to early strategies that allow tile, marble, stone and terrazzo systems to play a role in impacting energy requirements and improved indoor air quality.
Recycled-content tile can be used for floors, countertops and walls, and may be made from either recycled glass or wastes from mines or factories. Tiles come in two varieties — ceramic and glass. Ceramic tiles may be made from factory waste (known as post-industrial waste) generated by the production of conventional tiles. Some manufacturers produce tiles that contain 50 percent to 100 percent in-house manufacturing waste — waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.
Breathe Easy with Tile
Another characteristic of environmentally preferable products is based on a consumer-driven emphasis on indoor air quality. Tile and related installation materials are conducive to clean and healthy indoor air. Since tile is fired at high temperatures, there are no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be released into breathable air. Being VOC-free, tile can contribute towards LEED EQ Credit 4.3. Tile is also a hypoallergenic surface covering that is inhospitable to dust mites, mold, germs, and bacteria. It is easily cleaned, often with warm water only, and harsh chemicals are generally not needed. Low and zero VOC tile adhesives are available from grout and mortar manufacturers.
For LEED projects, the use of low-emitting tile adhesives can contribute towards LEED EQ Credit 4.1. Furthermore, many grout and mortar manufacturers have incorporated dustfree technology into their products. This, in conjunction with little to no VOCs, results in cleaner job sites and healthier work and living conditions.
Lifecycle Cost Benefits
Cost savings are yet another reason why tile is routinely preferred over other surface coverings. Per square foot, tile is the least expensive long term option of all floor coverings. It costs less to maintain, and more information on the environmental benefits of ceramic tile can be found.
In "Tile is the Natural Choice," available in the 2009 TCA Handbook. 72 www.tileletter.com v 2009 when properly installed, has the lowest cost per year. Lifecycle and lifecycle costs are an important part of building green. Tile's long lifetime makes it the most economical choice of all surface coverings.
Building Green with Tile, Tile Magazine, May/June 2009 Issue
Using Ceramic Tile Makes it Easy to Be Green, Floor Focus, August/September 2009 Issue
Tile is the Natural Choice, Brochure by TCNA Green Initiative
Building Green with Tile, Informative Presentation by TCNA
Understanding LCAs and Their Relation to Tile, Informative Presentation by TCNA
The Green Side of Tile, Ceramic World Review/Tile International, April 2010 Issue
Green Building Standards, Green Product Standards, and the Tile Industry, TileLetter August 2010 Issue
LEED Certified Projects:
• Department of Information Services
Regular Communication within the industry gives us unlimited access to a number of resources immediate as needed.
WA State Conference of Mason Contractors
Tile Council of North America
International Masonry Institute
Ceramic Tile Institute of America
Tile Council National Association
Marble Institute of America
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
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