February 2011

Green Advantage Certified Professionals need to stay informed about the latest products and processes. Jason Teliszczak, a Green Advantage Certified Professional - Commercial/Residential and CEO of JT Environmental Consulting, Inc. in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, shared two new certification programs that deliver green products of interest to building practitioners.

level™ Certification The Business and Furniture Manufacturing Association (BIFMA) launched third-party certification for furniture in June 2009. Recognized by LEED, level™ allows furniture manufacturers to identify individual products for certification but only after the company and its processes are demonstrated to be safe and green by one of six different third-party registrars. Companies need to show adherence to current environmental practices. Meeting ISO 14001 certification is one way to provide certainty that a company already follows environmentally safe practices and thus, expedites the level™ approval process.

Use of level™ complements LEED certification. While LEED focuses on creating a green structure - the exterior and the interior paints and finishing, level™ certifies the furniture for the building's interior. In fact, LEED certified structures using level™ can earn LEED Innovation credits. The end user or design professional benefits since level™ ensures that both the products and processes are green. An additional benefit is that the office or homeowner need only to purchase the product; no paperwork is needed. Finally, level™ furniture can be used in existing or new homes and offices.

The list of certified products includes a mix of U.S. and foreign-owned companies. All products are listed on the level™ Web site.

Green Concrete with Green-Star certified plants

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) has also created a third-party green certification to recognize environmental excellence at individual facilities across the country and worldwide. NRMCA launched the Green-Star program in February 2008, with 161 U.S. plants designated as Green-Star certified as of November 2010. To earn the Green-Star certification, plants need to demonstrate their green standards and processes. Green-Star auditors conduct a third-party review to ensure that facilities have implemented solid Environmental Management Systems (EMS) under ISO 14001 or otherwise. An EMS must also have in place a program for continual improvement in key environmental areas of concern for the concrete industry. Facilities need review every two years to maintain certification.

Green-Star certification can also complement LEED if green concrete can be sourced locally. Use of green concrete may also earn a LEED Innovation credit.

More information map and listing of all NRMCA Green-Star plants worldwide.

Thanks to Jason Teliszczak, CEO of JT Environmental Consulting, for this article idea. For more information, please contact Jason at www.JTEnvironmentalConsulting.com.