Competition Recognizes Innovative Use of Armstrong Commercial Products

Armstrong Design will accept entries for the second annual i2r (ideas 2 reality) Design Competition beginning September 10. Architects, interior designers and specifiers will have the opportunity to showcase their creativity with sketches or installed projects using Armstrong Commercial Floors and Armstrong Commercial Ceilings.

The competition has four categories: two Idea categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls, and two Reality categories, one for flooring and one for ceilings/walls. A winner will be awarded in each category. For the idea portion of the competition, entrants can upload sketches or renderings created with Armstrong flooring or ceiling products in mind, providing them with an outlet to share creative concepts without having a finished installation. The reality portion is where entrants can upload pictures of completed projects in which Armstrong ceiling or flooring products were used. Idea winners will be chosen by online popular vote. Reality winners will be judged by a highly respected panel of International Interior Design Association (IIDA) professionals.

Submissions will be judged on the creativity of the design, the use of Armstrong products, originality of the design, and the successful incorporation of other interior products. If an idea or reality entry uses both flooring and ceilings/walls, the entrant may submit it in more than one category.

One winner from each category (4 total prizes) will receive an exquisite crystal trophy and will have the opportunity to choose either a Coalesse Hosu Chair by Patricia Urquiola, a $2,000 gift card, or $2000 cash equivalent.

And here’s an extra bonus: Armstrong will award cash prizes to two entries that demonstrate the best use of these special Armstrong products: either Clouds or Canopies in Commercial Ceilings OR Natural Creations or Rejuvenations in Commercial Flooring. Clouds and Canopies ceilings provide extraordinary drama and visual excitement. They can define a space, accentuate an area, control noise and make a serious design statement. REJUVENATIONS commercial vinyl sheet and NATURAL CREATIONS luxury vinyl tile are part of the Armstrong Continuum™ Color + Design system, which offers products designed to coordinate in both color and design with excellent durability and a UV-cured coating that provides low-maintenance options. The i2r Design Competition runs only from September 10 – September 28, 2012.

Voting opens October 1 and concludes October 8, 2012

Last year, winners in the Flooring category were: Reality Winner, Eckles Architecture & Engineering, Inc., New Castle, PA, for the McIntyre Elementary School and Idea Winner Adam Rohaly, Mount Pleasant, SC, for VCT Floor Mosaic. The Ceilings category winners were Reality Winner Vision 3 Architects, Providence, RI, for NaviNet and Idea Winner Interior Image Group, Inc., Dyer, IN, for Destinations.

For more information and to watch the video for the 2012 Armstrong “ideas 2 reality” Design Competition, visit Armstrong Commercial Ceilings or Armstrong Commercial Flooring.

Uponor Sponsors Opening of Harmon Killebrew Field for Special-needs Children

On June 26, Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Nita Killebrew, wife of the late Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, helped to celebrate the grand opening of a new ballpark for the Minnesota’s South Metro Miracle League.

The Harmon Killebrew ballpark, located in Lakeville’s King Park on Dodd Boulevard, is a barrier-free, handicapped- and wheelchair-accessible baseball and softball field designed with a cushioned, rubberized playing surface especially for special-needs children.

The new ballpark, which has been four years in the making, broke ground last September.

“Uponor is proud to be a Grand Slam Club sponsor of the new Harmon Killebrew Field,” says Richard Peick, Engineering project manager at Uponor, who was at the grand opening ceremony and was also involved in the groundbreaking last September.

Peick’s family has also gotten into the spirit of the South Metro Miracle League. His son, Zachary, has signed up to be a ‘buddy’ in the league to help children run the bases. “Many of us at Uponor look forward to donating our time to the league,” he says.

The league will offer spring/summer and fall baseball programs and can accommodate up to 240 children. For more information, visit and click on Miracle League.

Two New NSF International Programs Help Eliminate Greenwashing

NSFNSF International has begun offering two environmental programs to meet the growing demand for science-based support to verify environmental product claims. NSF can now provide Product Category Rule (PCR) development and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) verification across multiple product groups and industries.

Based on international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025), Product Category Rules define how to conduct a life cycle assessment for a particular product group and what to include in the resulting report. A life cycle assessment measures inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of a product across its lifespan, from cradle to grave. The Environmental Product Declaration is the third-party-verified report that functions like a nutrition label to explain the data generated from a life cycle assessment.

Adopted by European countries and growing in recognition in the U.S., PCRs and EPDs provide an international standard of communication to compare and report a product’s environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle. This is a benefit for organizations that manufacture and sell products internationally.

As a leading ANSI-accredited developer of more than 70 American National standards, NSF’s National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS), serves as a Program Operator for developing Product Category Rules. The NCSS develops PCRs in a transparent and open process in accordance with internationally-recognized environmental standards.

NSF’s National Center for Sustainability Standards has already begun working with several flooring trade associations on the first North American PCR for resilient, carpet, laminate, tile, and wood flooring products, including:

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)

National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)

North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA)

Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI)

Tile Council of North America (TCNA)

Other industries expressing interest in PCRs and EPDs include building products and contract furniture. If your industry is interested in product category rules or environmental product declarations, contact NSF Sustainability Standards Specialist Mindy Costello at

Collaboration Makes FDNY Firehouse Safer and Healthier

FDNY Engine 53, Ladder 43Firefighters at New York City’s Engine 53 and Ladder 43 firehouse are in better shape thanks to a charitable collaboration between Regupol America LLC, the inventor of high-performance recycled rubber surfacing materials, and installer, Abacus Sports Installations, Ltd.

F.D.N.Y. Engine 53 and Ladder 43, also known as “El Barrio’s Bravest”, houses two of the busiest companies in New York in an area known as Spanish Harlem. They are the first FDNY companies to adopt the CrossFit exercise program. In 2009, the firehouse began a search for a sports and fitness flooring company willing to replace their out-of-date gym flooring with a sustainable, health-conscious flooring option to support the program.

Regupol America and Abacus Sports Installations stepped up and donated 700 square feet, 175 tiles, of Regupol Gray Hound AktivLok and the installation. Regupol America produces the sports and fitness flooring for many CrossFit programs nationwide and is providing 12,000 square feet of its product Aktiv™ for the 2010 CrossFit games.

Rubber Flooring System Receives 2010 Nightingale Award for Healthcare Product Design

Idea, Mondo’s newest rubber flooring system, has received a 2010 Nightingale Award for Healthcare Product Design. The Nightingale Award promotes and recognizes excellence in product design that enhances the quality of healthcare.

The 2010 Nightingale Awards winners were selected by a panel of healthcare industry and design professionals. Each product was evaluated on merits of overall contribution to the quality of healthcare; functionality; quality/durability; aesthetics/style; environmental sustainability; and pricing. Innovation was also an important consideration—the product must offer some quality or feature not currently on the market and must meet an existing need.

Mondo Idea comes in colors and designs developed specifically for a variety of commercial environments, including healthcare. The innovative flooring also features patterns embedded into the vulcanized rubber during manufacturing, which is an industry first.

In addition, the flooring features outstanding slip resistance and is safe for the environment, since it does not contain any plasticizers, heavy metals, formaldehyde or asbestos. It also was designed to have a low emission of volatile organic compounds.

California Carpet Stewardship Bill Signed Into Law

Carpet recycling efforts took a step forward recently when California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the Carpet Stewardship Bill (AB 2398). The bill, which was sponsored by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, (D-Los Angeles) rewards entrepreneurs and inventors who produce marketable products made from post-consumer carpet. This makes it different from other Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation.

The bill generates revenue through an assessment of five cents per square yard of carpet sold in California. This assessment will start on July 1, 2011 and run through January 1, 2013.

The bill requires manufacturers—either singly or as a group—to establish a carpet stewardship plan with the state. Stewardship plans will include consumer education efforts, the assessment of fees, and progress measurement and reporting.

The assigns Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), a third-party nonprofit carpet stewardship organization, to serve as the carpet stewardship organization until April 1, 2015. After that date, a carpet stewardship organization appointed by one or more manufacturers, may submit their own plan.

Sto, Ardex join forces

Sto Corp., Atlanta, manufacturer of cladding, coating, and restoration systems, recently reached agreement with specialty construction materials manufacturer Ardex Engineered Cements, Aliquippa, PA, to expand concrete restoration and repair systems in the U.S.
   Ardex develops and manufactures specialty construction materials for substrate preparation, floor leveling, concrete repair, and  natural-stone, ceramic tile, and other surface material repair. They also provide training and support services.
   The agreement allows both companies to expand their building- and concrete-restoration market by offering combined product sourcing while potentially expanding warranty terms, giving customers a one-stop shop for building-retrofit projects.
“Ardex is a strong and independent, family-owned business which pursues its interests globally and acts in line with the market and the needs and wants of its customers,” said Larry Kushner, Sto’s vice president of sales.—Gary L. Parr

Two to tango: Indelval and Salto

CBC Flooring, Commack, NY, has tapped South America and Europe for inspiration. The company is now the exclusive North American source of Indelval brand rubber flooring from Argentina.
And it launched a brand of its own, called Salto Exceptional Flooring. (In Italian, “salto” means to jump or to leap. “The Salto brand is characterized by leaping into the future or forward thinking in the commercial flooring industry,” a company executive said.)
Indelval products are made with a high content of natural rubber harvested directly from rubber trees. The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

The flooring is free of PVCs, plasticizers, halogens, formaldehydes, heavy metals, and asbestos.

Rubber flooring is often spec’d for sanitary flooring in laboratories, clinics and hospitals; for conductive flooring when there is a need to control electrostatic discharges; for installations where heavy traffic requires a durable floor; for transport flooring for buses and trains; and as sports flooring, including glueless interlocking options.
The product has a good green story: the color pigments are eco-friendly, the manufacturer recycles waste from the manufacturing process, and  it uses only recyclable packaging materials.
The company says the products and installation systems will contribute to a number of LEED credits, including Materials and Resources Recycled Content 4.1 and 4.2, Reuse 3.1 and 3.2 and IEQ Credit 4.1 and 4.3 for indoor air quality.
The Salto brand “is designed to satisfy unmet market demands, irrespective of material,” said Jeff Collum, CBC’s director of flooring.
Unica, the first product in the line, is a recycled 18-inch by 18-inch limestone tile with 80% recycled content: 10% post-consumer and 70% pre-consumer recycled content. No two tiles look exactly the same. They are available in 28 colorways.
CBC says Unica is California Section 1350 compliant, the basis for many indoor air-quality certifications. The tile and installation system contribute to LEED credits, including Materials and Resources Recycled Content 4.1 and 4.2, Reuse 3.1; and IEQ Credit 4.1 and 4.3 for indoor air quality.
The product is so new that photos are not yet available. I had thought about hiring some paparazzi to stake out the factory and grab some shots. But the budget choice was paying for pix or attending Greenbuild. I’ll see you in Phoenix. Ciao. Jim Carper

Roppe’s IMPACT program recycles adhesive-coated flooring

roppeimpactRoppe Corp., Fostoria, OH, has introduced IMPACT, a rubber products recycling program, aimed at generating new uses for rubber flooring products found  in many of our oldest schools, churches, hotels, healthcare facilities, and office buildings. “We hope that this program will encourage the use of rubber flooring products among designers who have not considered rubber in the past due to the environmental concerns at the end of the product’s life cycle,” said Dee Dee Brickner, Roppe marketing coordinator.
Products are gathered at the jobsite and palletized for return to Roppe’s recycling partner, a leader in recycling non-tire rubber products in the Midwest. A proprietary process is used to recycle the rubber products. Prior to development of this process, it was not possible to recycle rubber products with adhesive attached.
The most popular products generated with the technology are municipal landscaping mulches, playground surfacing, and rubber crumb for athletic fields and other applications. Specialty products such as pavers and edgings can also be made as needed. The rubber is treated with an EPA-approved adherent paint that is available in an array of eight “dazzling” colors.—Gary L. Parr