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  • GIGA Celebrates Local Manufacturers who Declare (LBC)

GIGA Celebrates Local Manufacturers who Declare (LBC)

  • Posted in Default
  • By Anjanette
  • Date October 21st, 2014 17:37
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  • At the early part of 2014, GIGA began working on the first two Living Building Challenge™ Certified projects in China.   Serving as the key material consultant for what is considered to be the most rigorous Certification program in the world, a large part of our role was to introduce the Certification's product labelling system to China: Declare.

    The Living Building Challenge has some of the toughest criteria for materials compliance and while listing one’s product in the Declare database is open to all manufacturers, unraveling the chemical makeup and tracing back through the chain of custody for the raw ingredients is often a daunting task.  Working with our network of innovative manufactures, GIGA helped register over 10 Declare labels with the LBC in less than 6 months - more per project than any other in the Institute’s history - shattering the perception that China is evolving slowly in terms of transparency.

    Now participating in the Declare for products program are: Koshii Woods, Tangdun Functional Wallboard, Voxflor Carpet, Clestra Hauserman, Sirewall, Plyboo, Shaw Carpet, Novalis, and Imondi.


    KoshiiWoods, the Japanese manufacturer of Thermo Wood DT, was one of the first applicants to the Declare program.  They not only registered one of their products into the Declare program, but two.  By sourcing FSC Certified wood from two different countries, Japan and Canada, KoshiiWoods made it feasible for project teams on different continents to consider their wood flooring for a project.   KoshiiWoods is currently the only Japanese manufacturer having two Declare labels for two different products.


    Tangdun Functional Wallboard was one of the first manufacturers in China to achieve LBC Red List Free Declare Status.  These bragging rights were well-deserved for the company who’s magnesium oxide wallboard takes the place of traditional construction drywall or gypsum board - both of which typically contain formaldehyde and other trace chemicals that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.  Tangdun’s Functional Wallboard also registered with the HPD Collaborative showing true commitment to product transparency.  But the most amazing attribute of the product in our opinion is the beauty of the product in its “factory finish” state.  Requiring no paint or coatings, utilizing Tangdun’s Functional Wallboard means easy installation as well as costs saving on secondary finishes that could contribute to off-gassing and VOCs.

    Voxflor, one of the only carpets made entirely in China, made significant progress this year.  The company joined the Health Product Declaration™ (HPD) Collaborative with their Greenpad™ carpet and were subsequently honored with the coveted LBC Red List Free Declare label status due to their utilization of Sorona®, the renewably, bio-based, polymer created by DuPont™.  What makes this so remarkable is that although Sorona® is produced in both China and North America, Voxflor is the only manufacturer in China using the fiber explicitly for the making of commercial carpet tile.  As a result, Voxflor’s Greenpad™ is not only manufactured locally, but in addition, 100% of the raw ingredients used to produce it are sourced from within a responsible procurement radius.  CEO of Voxflor, Mr. Gao has continued to push the envelope this year by improving upon their manufacturing plant’s waste water treatment capabilities.  Partnering with a Landscape Architect, Voxflor plans to have a constructed wetland that has the potential to clean and filter the plant’s effluent (waste) water to levels that are actually cleaner than the water coming in.

    Clestra Hauserman, the makers of single-glazed and double-glazed architectural partition systems, not only recently celebrated their 100th anniversary, but also joined the ranks of LBC Declare with their Pleinair Partition System.  The only locally produced partition system that is LBC Declare Compliant; Clestra sources all of its raw materials from within China for improved manufacturing efficiency and for responsible material sourcing.  Clestra has proven themselves a forerunner in the category of architectural partition systems by initiating plans to improve their products to the very highest of standards.  Since registering with Declare, Clestra has commenced research on innovative alternatives to synthetic spacers and any small components that are part of their product assembly. 


    The small but immensely effective R&D team at Novalis Innovative Flooring had been researching alternatives for the phthalates used in their resilient flooring products when they approached GIGAnalysis team for support.  Our combined efforts not only prompted product analysis for the purposes of Declare, but also opened the door for an HPD declaration and for a fully developed and verified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD); one of the industry’s most coveted declarations due to its transparency and thoroughness.  This level of introspection, rigorous research and testing has resulted in Novalis successfully replacing the use of phthalates as plasticizers in their production for a bio-based option.  Currently they are the first and only resilient flooring company in China to use bio-based phthalates in their entire suite of resilient flooring and according to CEO John Wu, they won’t be stopping there!


    Imondi Flooring, known internationally for their impressive client list and amazing solid wood reclamation stories, was able to register their entire Organic Range wood flooring collection under the LBC Red List Free Declare label.  Imondi is one of the few manufactures in the Declare database who offer wood flooring options that are free of added formaldehyde and are conscious of the limited forest resources available in China.


    GIGA is proud to feature all of these manufacturers and their products on GIGAbase.  The technical teams and staff of all these companies were supportive when we needed information and optimistic when we hit roadblocks.  I would personally like to offer sincere congratulations to each of them on their accomplishments.


    As the end of 2014 approaches and we take stock of the many highlights of the year, keep your eyes on vendors such as these that continue to set the bar high.  A fire has been lit under the architecture and design industry and manufacturers are striving to create more intelligent products and responding with even higher levels of transparency.


    A new standard is arising; one by which other manufacturers are going to be compelled to meet and if all goes as expected, exceed.  

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