Establishing sustainability criteria for products throughout their full life cycle, ANSI A138.1 is divided into five sections. In past blog entries, we reviewed the first two sections of the standard. This time, we’ll have a look at the third section, End of Product Life Management.
This section of the standard opens with the following preface:
Inherently, tile products are durable, inert, and intended to have life spans as long as the buildings in which they are installed. They are engineered to serve as permanent finishes capable of outlasting multiple generations of building occupants. Tile product end of life management is pertinent to building demolition waste and small quantities of waste generated during construction.
This preface is included in the standard as a reminder that a product is much more sustainable if its full lifespan potential is capitalized upon. When considering the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of a product, all relevant impacts are repeated each time that product is replaced within a normalized timeframe (usually, the expected life of a building). Ideally, a product’s expected service life is at least as long as the building in which it is installed, in which case its relative impacts are considered only once.
Although a tiled finish is inherently durable and typically desirable for a lifetime, there are some scenarios where end of product life must be addressed. Thus, there are a couple of end of product life management elective options in ANSI A138.1 which are intended for instances where buildings are demolished, scrap waste is generated during construction, or an occasional remodel occurs.
The first end of product life management elective option which can be used towards conformance to A138.1 involves clean fill eligibility of a product. To satisfy this elective, a manufacturer shall provide documentation verifying that a product is inert and solid such that it can potentially be considered along with other eligible construction and demolition debris for state and local Clean Fill acquisition initiatives.
The second end of product life management elective option involves end of product life collection plans. To satisfy this elective, the manufacturer shall establish and implement a plan which involves the collection, processing, and recycling or re-tasking of its products for other purposes once the products’ useful life is completed.
Next time, we will review the criteria of the next section of ANSI A138.1, Progressive Corporate Governance.