To select a flooring specification with a lower embodied energy than the typical specification. The floor type specification matching the actual building design must be entered in the software.
The design team must select the specification that most closely resembles the floor finish specified. Where there are multiple specifications the predominant specification must be selected.
The following is a list of the specifications included in EDGE. The user must always try to select the specification that most closely resembles that of the building design.
|Ceramic Tile||The advantage of tiles is that they are hard wearing, which minimizes the maintenance required. However, tiles are not maintenance free, as the grout requires maintenance. The manufacture of tiles uses large amounts of energy due to the firing required and therefore tiles have a high embodied energy|
|Vinyl Flooring||Vinyl flooring is water resistant, low maintenance and inexpensive. It is easy to install and is durable. However, vinyl flooring has a high embodied energy and can release harmful volatile organic compounds after installation. Although durable, vinyl flooring must be laid on a flat, smooth surface. An uneven surface might cause wearing and holes which are difficult to repair, as vinyl is usually laid in a single piece.|
|Stone Tile/Slabs||Stone tiles can often be sourced locally and have low embodied energy compared to some man-made materials. However, machine cut and polished stone tiles can be higher in embodied energy relative to other natural materials and can be expensive.|
|Finished Concrete Floor||More commonly referred to as “screed,” cement plaster is often used as a preparation layer for soft or flexible floor finishes or tiles. Cement plaster can be used as a finish layer, but it can be chipped more easily than other hard flooring options.|
|Linoleum Sheet||Linoleum, often referred to as lino, is a floor covering made from solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate. These materials are added to a canvas backing; pigments are often added to the materials. Lino can be used as an alternative to vinyl and has a much lower embodied energy.|
|Terrazzo Tiles||Terrazzo tiles are a hard-wearing option for flooring which require very little maintenance. Terrazzo floors can be laid in situ by pouring concrete or resin with granite chips and then polishing the surface. Alternatively, terrazzo tiles are manufactured in a factory before being laid onsite.|
|Nylon Carpets||Most nylon carpets have a very high embodied energy because of the large amount of energy used in their manufacture but also because nylon is made from oil. Nylon carpets have good acoustic properties and help to reduce reverberation times as well as the transfer of impact sound.|
|Laminated Wooden Flooring||Laminated wooden flooring is more dimensionally stable than solid wood flooring so it can be used in rooms prone to changes in moisture levels or where underfloor heating is used. Due to the thickness of the finish layer the number of times that it can be refinished is reduced, but the initial capital cost is lower than for solid wood flooring.|
Terracotta is fine-grained, orange or reddish-brown fired clay that is used for several construction and decorative purposes, primarily roof and floor tiles. The name comes from Italian, which means “baked earth,” as it is cooked or fired earth or soil.
The color varies slightly depending on the clay used. It is waterproof and a very sturdy material. Its durability and resistance to both fire and water make it an ideal building material. It is also lighter than stone, and it can be glazed for extra durability or to provide a wide variety of colors, including finishes that resemble stone or metal patina. Terracotta is a relatively inexpensive material.
|Parquet/Wood Block Finishes||Parquet is wood block flooring in a geometric pattern. It is available in either solid or engineered construction, both of which can be manufactured to have an aged, rustic appearance. Solid parquet wood flooring is more traditional. Engineered wood flooring is composed of layers with a wood species forming the top flooring surface, and two or more under layers of wood running at 90° to each other. The crisscrossed layers increase stability which enables the product to be installed over all types of sub floors and to be used with underfloor heating.|
|Plant Fiber (Seagrass, Sisal, Coir or Jute) Carpet||Natural flooring has low embodied energy, but it has some disadvantages. It can be sensitive to changes in environment or atmosphere; the product may expand or shrink if fitted in an area such as a bathroom or kitchen where there is a constant change in temperature. Natural fiber flooring may also stain easily. Also, grass contains its own natural oils which makes it slippery on stairs. It’s also not as hardwearing as other natural-fiber floorings such as sisal or coir.|
|Cork Tiles||Cork has low embodied energy and is environmentally friendly. It can be harvested from the same tree for about two hundred years. Harvesting is done with minimal impact on the environment and no trees are cut down to manufacture cork products. Advanced coating technology provides highly resistant and long-lasting protection even in high traffic environments.|
|Re-use of Existing Flooring||Re-using an existing material avoids the use, and therefore embodied energy, of new materials. The re-use of existing materials option in EDGE is highly desirable and assigned an embodied energy value of zero. The material must be verifiably more than five years old to be classified as re-used. The material does not have to have been sourced from the project site.|
Relationship to Other Measures
Although flooring does not affect other measures in EDGE it can impact acoustic performance.
The base case assumption is that ceramic tile flooring is specified.
|Design Stage||Post-Construction Stage|
At the design stage, the following must be used to demonstrate compliance:
At the post-construction stage, the following must be used to demonstrate compliance:
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