What’s your flooring’s FloorScore®?
Is your flooring promoting healthy indoor air quality? How do you know? It’s easy to find out. Just look for the FloorScore® seal. If you see FloorScore®, you can breathe easier. Literally.
FloorScore® was developed by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) together with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to test and certify flooring products for compliance with indoor air quality emission requirements adopted in California.
What is FloorScore® IAQ Certification?
When it comes to indoor air quality, a primary concern is the emission level of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs). FloorScore® IAQ Certification means that a flooring product is indepentantly certified by SCS to comply with the volatile organic compound emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 Program. Hundreds of resilient flooring materials and their adhesives bear the FloorScore® seal. This seal tells you that the products have been independently certified by SCS to comply with the volatile organic compound emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 standard. Any product that has met these stringent standards is a product that will contribute to good indoor air quality. The FloorScore® certification means healthier, cleaner air. And that means healthier humans.
What environmental programs recognize FloorScore® certified products?
U.S. Green Building Council LEED Rating System
LEED for New Construction (NC)
LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI)
LEED for Core and Shell (CS)
LEED for Healthcare (HC)
LEED for Schools
LEED for Homes
LEED for Existing Buildings (EB)
Green Guide for Health Care
ANSI/GBI 01-2010 Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings
ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings
NAHB ANSI National Green Building Standard
Collaboration for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
CSI Green Format
HBN Pharos Project
NSF/ANSI 332-2010 Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Floor Coverings
Florida Green Home Standard
City of Scottsdale Environmental Rating System
EPA Tools for Schools Program
Why everyone should care about indoor air quality.
IAQ is important because, if you’re like most people, you spend around 90% of your time indoors. If you’re breathing poor quality air, you could be facing a higher risk level for a variety of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and more serious long-term conditions.
If you work in an office or have children in school where new flooring is installed – or if you are simply concerned about indoor air quality – the FloorScore® seal means you can “breathe easier” because the floor meets the requirements of California Section 01350 which has been adopted by Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).
Healthy air contributes to better learning in schools, improved productivity in offices and more comfortable homes. Poor IAQ can be a factor in a variety of health problems, such as headaches and dizziness and more serious long-term effects.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) in a building depends on many factors, including:
How well the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system and filters are maintained,
How well and how often the rooms are cleaned,
The people, activities and furnishings in the building,
The outdoor environment, and
Surfaces and finishes throughout.
In terms of IAQ, one issue is the emission level of particular volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many currently available hard surface flooring materials and their adhesives are certified under the FloorScore program.
SCS is an internationally recognized third-party evaluation, testing, and certification organization. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of the economy, including consumer products, the energy industry, manufacturing and retail, and home improvement and construction.
As a third party independent certification firm, SCS audits and determines whether products qualify for the FloorScore® seal by meeting the requirements of SCS-EC-10.3-2014 v3.0. Under this program, SCS (1) reviews all VOC emissions test reports for particular products generated by independent testing laboratories; (2) determines whether those test results meet the California Section 01350 requirements for listed VOCs; and (3) conducts periodic manufacturing plant inspections to review product formulas, processing, and quality control to ensure the continuing integrity of the FloorScore® seal.
The product certification program includes requirements for:
Laboratory testing for emissions of volatile organic chemicals
Development and use of a Documented Control System
In short, what does FloorScore® require?
To earn the FloorScore® seal, a flooring product must satisfy the requirements of the SCS-EC-10.2-2007 Environmental Certification Program – Indoor Air Quality Performance, which includes:
testing demonstrating compliance with emission concentrations for listed VOCs under California Section 01350;
manufacturing facility on-site audits and yearly surveillance audits;
annual product re-testing;
product record keeping; and
a documented quality control plan.
Why does IAQ matter to me?
If you’re like most people, you spend over 90% of your life indoors.
Can IAQ really be improved?
Certainly, with any or all of these five strategies:
improve the HVAC system design and maintenance
ensure adequate ventilation with clean air
improve air filtering
schedule maintenance or remodeling for minimum impact
control the sources of VOCs
Are some people more sensitive to VOCs than others?
Yes. During installation when VOC levels can be higher, people who are sensitive to odors or chemicals should avoid the area. Floorscore certification does not include the installation process.
Why is hard surface flooring recommended for classrooms, offices and homes?
Hard surface floors are easy to clean and maintain because they provide a one-dimensional surface that doesn’t absorb odors, spills, dust or soil. They also don’t easily retain moisture, which can promote the growth of microorganisms, such as dust mites and mold, that can contribute to poor IAQ.