Eco-Building Information

With so many competing and confusing eco-labels out there, it has become hard to keep track of which green certification systems apply to which products, which labels are industry standards and which ones are recent start-ups. To help you distinguish GreenGuard from Green Seal, we've compiled a glossary of the most important labels and terms in contemporary green interior design.

Eco-Design Terms

Carbon-Neutral Design
A design process that doesn't produce greenhouse gases or contribute to global warming during any part of its life cycle, from production through consumption and disposal.

Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA)
A process to assess the environmental impact of a product or service throughout its entire life cycle, from manufacturing and production through consumption and disposal.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
A measurement of the cleanliness of indoor air based on the amount of particles, dust, mold, gases, and pollutants present.

Volitale Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures under normal conditions to vaporize and enter the atmosphere - a process called ‘offgassing.’ Common VOCs such as formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, and gasoline can be found in paint, paint thinners, carpeting, furniture, and household cleaning products.

Zero-Energy Design
A description for buildings and products that have no net energy consumption over a typical year. Most ‘zero-energy’ products consume energy but create their own power through local renewable sources.

Eco-Labeling Terms

Climate Cool
A certification system for products and services developed by the Climate Neutral Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Cradle To Cradle (C2C)
A design philosophy and certification system developed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart to evaluate products based on their energy use, materials, and potential for disassembly and reuse.

CRI Green Label
The Carpet and Rug Institute is a nonprofit trade organization that sets standards for the carpet industry. The CRI Green Label tests carpeting, cushions, and adhesives to help specifiers identify products with low VOC emissions.

Energy Star
A national certification system developed by the EPA to promote energy efficiency in consumer products and homes.

FSC Certification
The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent international nonprofit organization that evaluates forests and certifies the wood and paper products produced by responsibly managed forests.

An independent nonprofit certification system that tests and ranks products based on their particle/vapor emissions (off-gassing) and contribution to indoor air quality.

Green Seal
An independent nonprofit organization that sets environmental standards for a wide variety of consumer products and services.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
A measurement of the cleanliness of indoor air based on the amount of particles, mold, dust, gases, and pollutants present.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is an open, publicly reviewed set of standards that measures sustainable construction and ranks green buildings and interiors on a five-tier scale.

Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard (SCAS)
A global carpet standard for environmental friendliness developed by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS).



“We have not inherited the world from our forefathers — we have borrowed it from our children.”
Kashmiri proverb

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter and stay informed about the newest technologies in eco-flooring products.

Site Design by Radar Marketing Group