The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced wallcoverings certified under NSF/ANSI 342, Sustainability Standard for Wallcoverings, are eligible for credits under the latest iteration of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED v4).
This applies to various types of wallcoverings, including:
- alternative polymer and alternative polymer-coated;
- paper; and
- natural fiber.
“We are pleased USGBC has expanded LEED to include NSF/ANSI 342 as an accepted certification program,” says Sean Samet, executive director of the Wallcoverings Association (WA). “The wallcoverings industry is continually working to reduce the environmental impact of its products, and is proud of the industry-wide effort that developed this multi-attribute standard. The third-party certification provides accountability and transparency to all aspects of the product’s manufacture and distribution.”
Products certified under NSF/ANSI 342 are eligible for one point under LEED’s Pilot Credit, Certified Multi-attribute Products and Materials, which is intended “to encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts.”
In other words, wallcoverings can only earn points if they demonstrate good performance on multiple levels across their life cycle. They must achieve environmental, economic, and social benefits not only while in use, but also in the raw material extraction stage, the manufacturing process, during distribution, and at end of life. Both the manufacturer and the distributor must qualify for the product to achieve success.