Overview and Background
TCNA's Green Initiative Committee, a volunteer group of industry stakeholders, began drafting Green Squared® in 2009. The draft standard was further developed and finalized by the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) A108 which represents manufacturers, distributors, installers, green building professionals, and other relevant interests. The result was ANSI A138.1 Green Squared - American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles,Glass Tiles, and Tile Installation Materials.
ANSI A138.1 is modeled after other respected green building product standards. Since being green today involves much more than use of recycled materials, energy efficiency, or any other single attribute, ANSI A138.1 takes a multi-attribute approach to sustainability. The standard addresses product characteristics, manufacturing, end of product life management, corporate governance, and innovation, and it establishes the spectrum of environmental and social criteria most important to today's green building world. Some criteria are mandatory, and others are elective. To meet ANSI A138.1, a product must meet all mandatory requirements and obtain a minimum threshold of elective credits. Credit weighting of each elective is based on ANSI ASC A108 dialogue which took into consideration both stringency and environmental relevance.
ANSI A138.1 covers a variety of products including ceramic and glass tiles, powder goods (grouts, mortars, etc.), liquid and paste installation products (trowelable membranes, liquid polymer additives, etc.), panel installation products (backer boards, underlayments, etc.), and sheet installation products (crack isolation membranes, waterproof membranes, etc.). This allows the industry to offer installed systems of conforming products, the first offering of its kind by any building material industry.
The establishment of ANSI A138.1 facilitates the specification of sustainable tiles and installation materials. Despite the inherent sustainability of many tile products, prior to Green Squared, they were often left out of consideration for many green building projects because the industry had no multi-attribute sustainablity standard. Now, architects, specifiers, and consumers have a valuable tool which establishes a consistent approach to the evaluation and determination of product sustainability.