The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), headquartered in LaGrange, Georgia, was established in 1976 as an industry trade association of manufacturers of resilient tile and sheet vinyl flooring products for both commercial and residential applications and suppliers of raw materials, additives and sundry flooring products. RFCI has a long-standing reputation among its members for effectively responding to issues affecting the resilient industry and adapting to changes in the flooring industry.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PROCESS
In 2008 RFCI initiated a strategic management process designed to insure that the organization is focused to serve the long-term needs of the resilient flooring industry. The result of this work is a well defined RFCI Mission supported by overarching goals.
Regular members of RFCI consist of major manufacturers of resilient flooring produced in North America. Present members account for the vast majority of resilient flooring sales in the North American market. Associate members consist of overseas manufacturers of resilient flooring sold in North America, companies supplying raw materials and additives used to manufacture resilient flooring in North America(e.g. PVC resin, plasticizers), and companies producing sundry flooring products (e.g. adhesives). Officers serving on the RFCI Board of Directors consist of the Chairman of the Board, the Vice Chairman of the Board and the Secretary/Treasurer. Officers are elected from representatives of RFCI Regular member companies to two-year terms. The RFCI Board of Directors also appoints a President to manage the Institute and its strategic initiatives.
INDUSTRY GUIDELINES AND VOLUNTARY STANDARDS
The Institute engages in developing industry guidelines, and voluntary flooring standards, and specifications to ensure a high standard of quality for consumers and specifiers. Today, there is a wide range of guidelines and voluntary standards including those established through ASTM International, an organization that provides a global forum for the development and publication of international voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. RFCI is a leader in the development of guidelines and voluntary standards that allow the industry to be in the forefront of sustainability.
In 2005 RFCI introduced FloorScore®, a voluntary certification program that identifies flooring products that meet stringent indoor air quality (IAQ) requirements for low emitting building materials. FloorScore was developed by RFCI in conjunction with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an internationally recognized third party evaluation, testing, and certification organization. Introduction of this program followed a four-year review by resilient flooring manufacturers of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions through a product testing program designed by third party experts. The FloorScore® program is a building materials emissions testing program that requires both independent laboratory testing and third-party certification to show compliance with California Section 01350 emissions limits for specified VOCs and includes third party-certified site audit and documented control system requirements.
In 2007, a draft standard for trial use that addresses sustainable resilient flooring products was introduced by RFCI in conjunction with NSF International, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization who is a world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety. In March, 2010 the NSF American National Standard 332: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Resilient Floor Coverings was finalized under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards-setting process and can now be used to certify the sustainability attributes of resilient flooring. The standard provides a means for designers, architects, facility managers and purchasers to evaluate the sustainability of a range of products. These include vinyl composition tile, sheet vinyl flooring, vinyl tile, rubber sheet flooring, rubber tile, linoleum sheet flooring, linoleum tile, polymeric flooring, resilient wall base and resilient stair treads.
RFCI TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
This committee, comprised of leading industry scientists and technical specialists from all RFCI member categories, plays a key role in the development and implementation of technical guidelines and voluntary standards and responding to regulatory requirements. To help ensure that RFCI resilient flooring manufacturers and suppliers stay abreast of regulatory and other technical requirements, members of this committee participate in worldwide standards organizations, and other organizations that impact the flooring industry. Included in these organizations are, ASTM International (ASTM), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Green Building Institute (GBI), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), The Vinyl Institute, The Flexible Vinyl Alliance, and The North American Coalition on Green Building.