According to Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) will recognise products certified against GECA’s Hard Surfacing Standard at Level A, entitling conforming products to 100% of available Green Star points.
The GECA standard sets an environmental performance benchmark for hard surfacing products such as natural stones, agglomerated stones, concrete paving units, terrazzo tiles, ceramic tiles, clay tiles and glass tiles.
This is the fifth GECA standard to be recognised by the GBCA under their Product Certification Scheme, which is designed to clarify best practice benchmarks and establish expectations for manufacturers and suppliers of fitout products, as well as for product certification schemes that are recognised through Green Star.
Fitout products (such as flooring and loose furniture) that have been certified for their environmental merit by a GBCA-recognised product certification scheme are rewarded in Green Star Material Calculators credits. Schemes are recognised by the GBCA on the basis of their Assessment Framework for Product Certification Schemes.
One of the earliest third-party ecolabels on the Australian market and still highly recognised, the GECA ecolabel has provided consumers and manufacturers with an independent, reliable and convenient way to make environmentally preferable choices since 2001.
GECA is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that operates to ISO 14024 principles for its Type 1 ecolabel, and is the only Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN).
The Hard Surfacing Standard has been developed by GECA in partnership with the Australian Stone Advisory Association (ASAA) and the Australian Tile Council (ATC) in the pursuit of best practice.
Proud of the association with GECA, ASAA CEO and ATC member Anthony Stock says that the GBCA recognition of GECA’s Hard Surface Standard is good news for both industry sectors given that the annual value of local stone production exceeds $100 million while the combination of ceramic tile imports and local production in 2011 exceeded 42 million square metres.
Though several major Green Star projects have featured tile or stone, there has been no opportunity to claim Green Star points for use of these products until now.
With the recognition of the Hard Surfacing Standard by the GBCA, GECA expects to see hard surface manufacturers opting for GECA certification and broadening the market to include a new range of surfaces available to Green Star projects that are eligible to earn full points.