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Green Squared: Three years later, so far, so good

Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

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Almost three years after its inception, Green Squared, the initiative developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) to recognize and certify sustainable products for the North American tile industry, is maintaining its importance, according to ceramic executives.

Flooring’s first sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, Green Squared was developed by TCNA under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process and recognizes manufacturers for environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility across a broad range of indicators, covering environmental product characteristics, product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end-of-product life management, progressive corporate governance and innovation.

According to Bill Griese, standards development/green initiative manager, TCNA, the standard has strengthened the tile industry’s presence in the green building community. “With continued influence and an emerging presence in today’s green building standards and rating systems, awareness of the standard and the demand for Green Squared-certified products are on the rise. This has resulted in increased A&D familiarity with Green Squared.”

Today, he noted, the use of Green Squared-certified products can directly contribute toward points or compliance in three major standards/rating systems: Green Globes for New Construction, NAHB National Green Building Standard and ASHRAE 189.1. The tile industry, in collaboration with several other flooring categories, is “working to establish similar references to Green Squared and other flooring industry programs in LEED and the International Green Construction Code.”

Green Squared certification was developed by TCNA to acknowledge products verified by an independent third party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1. Products certified under Green Squared are allowed use of the Green Squared certified mark, an easily recognizable label that helps architects, designers and end users choose products that meet the industry’s range of sustainability criteria.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), which evaluated the first three certifications for products from Crossville, Interceramic and Metropolitan Ceramics by Ironrock, was among the first third-party certifiers accredited by TCNA to conduct evaluations under the standard.

Noah Chitty, technical services manager, Crossville, said Green Squared has allowed the tile industry to be part of the sustainability conversation in a way that was not possible before. “Since its inception, we’ve seen a major shift from single-attribute criteria to transparency and broader sustainability ideas.”

While discussions of potential revisions to LEED are ongoing, references to Green Squared in the International Green Construction Code were preliminarily approved in May, and the International Code Council’s final action on this decision will take place next month.

“Professionals are still waiting for the sustainability community to decide how multi-attribute systems will be recognized in LEED,” Chitty explained, “but they seem to appreciate that the standard has been developed.”

As Lori Kirk-Rolley, vice president, brand marketing, Dal-Tile, noted, since its introduction, Green Squared has made sustainable product selection easier than ever. “It’s more than just a labeling program; it represents North America’s consensus on what is required for a tile to be truly sustainable through measurable and verifiable criteria for products possessing a full range of social and ecological attributes. This means sustainable product specification is now easier, faster and more consistent across the industry.”

Daltile and American Olean were among the first brands to endorse the Green Squared program in 2012. All of the company’s U.S. facilities, as well as its Monterrey, Mexico, operations, were included in the third-party audit process, Kirk-Rolley noted, so architects and designers can be confident Dal-Tile products meet the standard’s requirements.

“This standard is helping us better assist our customers in the specification of tile products that meet both the sustainability and usability needs of the spaces they create,” she added. “The certification offers a clear definition of what the industry defines as a green product, thereby making it easier for our customers to identify environmentally friendly products for their flooring needs.

“It means when our customers choose a Dal-Tile product for their sustainable projects,” Kirk-Rolley added, “it isn’t just an easy decision; it’s one they can make with confidence.”

In 2013 Dal-Tile completed all the necessary process changes, and now 100% of its Daltile and American Olean branded products meet the Green Squared certification to the new ANSI Standard–A138.1 Sustainable Tile & Installation Materials.

Sean Cilona, marketing director, Florida Tile, said the domestic tile industry needed Green Squared in order to create an independent body that can substantiate environmental claims made by manufacturers. “It has been a great way for us to differentiate ourselves and our products from foreign competitors and give each of us another solid selling point when promoting ourselves to an increasingly environmentally conscious market.”

Regarding its progress, he noted, Green Squared is something that is still making its way through the marketplace and into the hands of the end user. “It has been a great step toward some of the third-party certifications that are part of the LEED v4 program.”

For Crossville, Green Squared means the company can focus more on an overall sustainability message instead of having to chase individual criteria. “It allows us to focus on a broader set of goals, which is good for us and our customers,” Chitty said.

Crossville adopted process-based standards in sustainability years before Green Squared, he explained, “and through third-party evaluations we certified our processes instead of products. Green Squared provided validation of this approach and broadened the concept to involve all aspects of the company, not just the production process.”

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What the future holds

As Griese noted, the tile industry is historically rooted in stringent consensus standards and, therefore, is continuously pushing for improvement in the field of sustainability. “This means Green Squared will evolve over time to raise the bar for product sustainability—from manufacturing requirements, to materials and resources, to product use phase and end of life—all with a focus on the environment and society.”

With today’s focus on product transparency and a growing demand for facts to back up sustainability claims, it is possible that Green Squared will become even more prevalent. “It’s likely that industry-wide life cycle reporting initiatives and environmental product declarations (EPD) will be tied into the overall Green Squared message,” Griese concluded.

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Digital inkjet technology: A revolutionary development

How it’s changing the industry one tile at a time

Volume 27/Number 21; March 3/10, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.49.50 AM“It will revolutionize the industry.” “It’s a game-changer.”  “The business is never going to be the same.”

When it comes to new products and innovations, we’ve heard it all before. But just how many times has a real change actually happened? It is a rare instance when something new turns out to be truly revolutionary in changing the way things are done in any given industry. But, in ceramic tile, there is one fairly recent development that has done just that.

With the advent of digital inkjet technology, manufacturers can make their products look like anything they want. In developing new designs, product surfaces have become works of art, canvasses on which product designers can now work their magic. Today, any shade of color, texture or pattern can seemingly be achieved. The digital process is, in fact, a revolutionary development in the world of ceramic tile. Continue reading Digital inkjet technology: A revolutionary development

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Ceramic state of the industry: Rise in consumption yields growth

Nov. 18/25 2013; Volume 27/number 15

By Louis Iannaco

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One of Dal-Tile’s newest ColorBody porcelain tile collections, Santino, features a sleek, contemporary visual in large format sizes, including 18 x 36 and 24 x 24.

After enduring several years of economic uncertainty, which included rising raw materials costs, low-cost goods from China infiltrating the market and ongoing installation issues, industry executives are looking at the current and future state of the industry with a steadily growing confidence. Continue reading Ceramic state of the industry: Rise in consumption yields growth

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Florida Tile’s Milanowycz inducted into CTDA Hall of Fame

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Florida Tile’s Dave Milanowycz holds CTDA Hall of Fame plaque at Total Solutions Plus (TSP) 2013.

Bonita Springs, Fla.—Dave Milanowycz, director of sales for Florida Tile, is the 2013 Ceramic Tile Distributor’s Association (CTDA) Hall of Fame inductee. The award was presented in late October during the industry’s annual Total Solutions Plus (TSP) 2013 convention here, which was held jointly by the CTDA, the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA). Continue reading Florida Tile’s Milanowycz inducted into CTDA Hall of Fame

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Total Solutions Plus: Tile Contractors Association joins NTCA, CTDA, TCNA

Attendance tops 500 for first time

Nov. 4/11 2013; Volume 27/number 14

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.27.24 PMBonita Springs, Fla.—Four years into its existence, Total Solutions Plus (TSP) keeps getting bigger and better. The joint convention of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA), held here Oct. 26–29, saw the addition of the Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA) as a convention host as the event hit the 500 mark in attendance for the first time. Continue reading Total Solutions Plus: Tile Contractors Association joins NTCA, CTDA, TCNA

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Tile companies emphasize green initiatives

Sept. 16/23 2013; Volume 27/number 11

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.13.52 PMAs consumers learn more about the benefits of product sustainability, tile associations and producers are increasingly embracing the concept of answering the green call through the creation of initiatives, programs and product offerings leading to a market that has now become permeated with environmentally friendly products.

With ceramic and porcelain tile already considered an ecofriendly product, the segment has raised the bar with what can still be achieved regarding sustainability. According to Bill Griese, standards development and green initiative manager for the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), with the recent approval of LEED Version 4, much attention is now given to new and significantly revised standards for products. “These requirements encompass several new concepts, which have been maturing over the past few years and, in fact, have already taken effect within several other green building standards and rating systems. Continue reading Tile companies emphasize green initiatives

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Mediterranea achieves Green Squared certification

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 4.17.24 PMMediterranea, a leading manufacturer of porcelain tile in the USA, has announced that its StonePeak production facility in Crossville, Tennessee has attained Green Squared certification from the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

ANSI A138.1 Green Squared is the American National Standard Specification for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles, and Tile Installation Materials.  The standard addresses not just product characteristics, but also manufacturing, end of product life management, corporate governance and innovation. Continue reading Mediterranea achieves Green Squared certification

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Filippo Marazzi recognized as Tile Person of the Year by TCNA

Gianni Mattioli, left, president and CEO of Marazzi USA and Mauro Vandini, CEO Marazzi Group.

Marazzi USA is proud to share the news that Filippo Marazzi was honored  posthumously as Tile Council of North America’s (TCNA) 2013 Tile Person of the Year in an award ceremony during Coverings 2103 in Atlanta. Prior to his death in November of 2012, Marazzi was chairman of the board and president of Marazzi Group and had been widely recognized as a dynamic leader within the international tile arena. TCNA is one of the most influential ceramic tile trade associations on the continent. Continue reading Filippo Marazzi recognized as Tile Person of the Year by TCNA

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Tile & stone show set to make Atlanta debut

By Louis Iannaco

Volume 26/Number 24; April 15/22, 2013

Coverings 2013 is sure to be the most exciting tile and stone super show ever, noted show director Karin Fendrich of National Trade Productions (NTP), the management company for Coverings, as the biggest tile and stone market in the U.S. comes to Atlanta for the first time in its 20-plus year history.

Coverings is on track to have more than 900 exhibitors from over 50 countries when it opens at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 29, running through May 2. “There is no fee to visit the show,” she explained. “And unlike many other events, there is no charge to attend the nearly 70 educational sessions, either. Continue reading Tile & stone show set to make Atlanta debut