Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) is a prerequisite for responsible architecture, so what does it mean to your project and what role do internal linings play?
The Green Star rating scheme created by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is the benchmark being used for ever increasing numbers of Projects to measure their environmental performance.
There are 3 areas where internal linings impact on Green Star:
- Sustainable Timber
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
- Formaldehyde emissions
Supawood provide lining solutions that meet the requirements of all these areas.
Supawood’s interior panels have been chosen for use in some of the highest Green Star rated buildings built in Australia in recent years. Supawood works in close cooperation with the design team throughout all stage of a project to achieve the highest rating level possible in green design. Our ability to comply with the most stringent sustainability requirements has consistently won the approval of clients.
Timber products are naturally sustainable and lock up carbon but, there is widespread concern about the effects of illegal logging of virgin forests which has prompted the government to pass the “Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2012”.
The GBCA has set out standards whereby buildings can obtain the Sustainable Timber point as being proof of no illegal or environmentally harmful logging supported by a rigorous Chain of Custody Scheme.
Chain of Custody (COC) means that there is an independently audited path from forest to end-user to ensure that anything claimed certified is actually that. What this means is that every link in the chain has to have COC certification in order to ensure that the project actually gets timber products with the specified environmental credentials.
Supawood have been certified for chain of custody since 2008 and holds chain of custody certification for both certification schemes accepted by GBCA.
Supawood’s FSC® chain-of-custody certification number is SCS-COC-001901.
Supawood’s PEFC chain-of-custody number is SCS-PEFC/COC-001901.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is the world’s most rigorous forest product labelling scheme. It is the only forest label supported by environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and The Australian Conservation Foundation, and by major forest product retailers.
PEFC (Program for the endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) endorses AFS, the Australian forestry standard which makes a very wide range of Australian timbers and veneers freely available.
Only by purchasing from a chain-of-custody certified supplier can you be sure that the timber products used are actually contributing to the environment. The assurance that the material sold is actually certified is an invoice which clearly states both the relevant FSC® or PEFC claim and the supplier’s chain-of-custody number on each line item on the invoice.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals which readily form gases at ambient temperatures and have been linked to a range of health concerns and are thus an important consideration in obtaining good internal air quality.
VOC’s in linings are typically found in finish coatings and adhesives, especially those applied on site.
All of Supawood’s products are supplied prefinished and have none or very low VOC emissions when delivered to site, well below Green Stars requirements.
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical present in timber and other natural products and is used in composite products as part of the bonding composition.
Exposure to low levels of formaldehyde does not present a health concern but exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can cause adverse health effects including significant sensory irritation, breathing difficulties and allergic contact dermatitis.
Prolonged, high level exposure to formaldehyde (such is in certain industries) has been linked to an increased risk of rare cancers. The United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) currently classifies formaldehyde as being 'carcinogenic to humans'.
Green Star aims to keep formaldehyde emissions in the occupied building at an extremely low level and calls for composite timber products to have low formaldehyde levels.
Supawood use E0 low formaldehyde boards as a standard for all our products and can supply most products in Super E0 material on request.
Is going green expensive?
Panels can be PEFC certified for no extra cost in most cases.
The extra cost of supplying panels certified in FSC® would typically be less than 5% compared to non FSC®panels in most cases.
How do I specify Linings to meet Green Star Sustainable Timber requirements?
Ensure the following sentence is in your specification: “Panels are to be FSC® or PEFC certified. Documentary evidence in the form of an invoice with each line item annotated with the PEFC/FSC® content and supplier’s chain-of-custody number must be provided to the project superintendent for project completion.”
OR If you want FSC® certification in particular:
Ensure the following sentence is in your specification: “Panels are to be FSC® certified. Documentary evidence in the form of an invoice with each line item annotated with the FSC® content and supplier’s chain-of-custody number must be provided for project completion.”
Ensure the following sentence is in your specification: “Panels are to be PEFC certified. Documentary evidence in the form of an invoice with each line item annotated with the PEFC content and supplier’s chain-of-custody number must be provided for project completion.”