Washington, D.C.-based Green Seal has launched its Architectural Insulation Standard (GS-54) to make it easier for the market to identify green insulation products that work and protect human and environmental health. It sets challenging yet achievable requirements that reflect environmental leadership among products currently available or emerging in the U.S.
GS-54 is the only up-to-date insulation standard developed specifically for the U.S. market. Its criteria cover significant impacts across the life-cycle stages of several types of insulation. It also provides a clear and specific guideline for product design.
The major requirements in the standard include: ASTM performance specifications; health and environmental requirements for recovered content, global-warming potential, VOC emissions and restricted substances; packaging requirements; consumer information and labeling requirements for installation instructions, safety procedures, protective equipment, hazard warnings and product stewardship.
The standard covers various products, including blankets, boards, blown-in, foams and reflective insulation. It provides criteria for materials, such as fiberglass, mineral wool, polyurethanes, polystyrenes, cellulose, fabrics and others that provide thermal resistance.
A lack of information available to purchasers and consumers about the sustainability of insulation, growing market trends and the role insulation plays in green building were factors in the creation of the standard.
“More than 40 organizations and professionals concerned about insulation participated in the development of this leadership standard,” says Green Seal’s President and CEO Arthur Weissman, Ph.D. “These included representatives from the environmental, science and health communities, industry trade groups, manufacturers, purchasers, government, NGOs and academia. This level of involvement suggests there is a real need for this standard’s guidelines on what makes insulation products more sustainable.”
“Green Seal’s insulation standard criteria represent the environmental leadership choices that are currently available to purchasers,” adds Ann Blake, Ph.D., an environmental and public health consultant. “This new standard has successfully found the balance between where the industry is and where we would like it to be. These sustainability tools must be practical for mainstream purchasers to take action and to inspire the development of more environmentally preferable options.”
Green Seal’s certification process based on its standards involves an in-depth review of product data and manufacturing procedures, including an onsite audit of manufacturing facilities. Periodic monitoring is required to maintain certification.
To learn more about green insulation and the health and environmental impacts of insulation, visit www.greenseal.org/insulation. For those interested in a free download of the standard and to apply for certification, visit www.greenseal.org/gs54.