The shift to life cycle thinking supports the selection and specification of building materials that protect the environment, improve the lives of the people who produce the goods, and safeguard the health of the people who use them. It represents a holistic approach, examining the impacts of a product from raw materials, through production, use, and final disposal – from cradle to grave.
We spend a lot of our time indoors — up to 90% of our day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – which is why indoor air quality is such an important consideration for engineers, designers and product manufacturers.
One strategy we can both deploy focuses on low-emitting materials. Designers can select materials that reduce off-gassing, or the release of chemicals that degrade indoor air quality. As a product manufacturer, we can provide flooring, accessories and adhesives that exceed industry emission standards, and provide third-party certification by FloorScore®. FloorScore certification assures that products support healthy indoor environments by meeting strict chemical emission limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Because Armstrong resilient flooring is easy to clean, it does not harbor dust, mites, and other allergens. Increasingly, facility managers are choosing hard surface flooring because it is easy to clean and maintain. The CDC also provides recommendations for the use of hard flooring in certain commercial spaces. For example, the CDC recommends non-porous, hard surfaces to reduce infections in healthcare environments*.
* CDC and ICAN. Best Practices for Environmental Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities in Resource-Limited Settings. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; Cape Town, South Africa: Infection Control Africa Network; 2019.