VaproShield announces the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System has completed the process of obtaining a Declare label. The Declare program was launched in 2014 by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founder of the Living Building Challenge, to promote greater transparency in the building products industry. Referred to as a “nutrition label” for building products, Declare labels list all of the materials found in a given product, as well as its assembly site, life expectancy, and other key details to facilitate informed decisions toward positive human and environmental health. The Declare program aims to give people and businesses greater power when deciding what products to surround themselves with in their home or office.
“While VaproShield products undergo numerous internal and external audits to ensure overall healthfulness and sustainability, finally the Declare label makes it easy to present this information in a tangible way,” says Phil Johnson, managing partner. “We are excited to give our business partners the power to know exactly what goes into the product that is held within the walls of their structure.”
WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System is the first water-resistive barrier (WRB)/air barrier self-adhered sheet good membrane system to earn a Declare label placing the system at the forefront of the transparency movement. In order to qualify for a Declare label, a building product must either be free of, or declare any harmful Red List chemicals, and meet all Appropriate Sourcing Imperatives as determined by the ILFI. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered required no changes to its formulation or material components, because it was designed to be free of harmful ingredients.
“We are excited to participate in such an innovative program,” says Johnson. “It embodies our own sustainability philosophy in that [VaproShield] believes sustainability is as much about creating positive environmental impacts as it is about reducing negative ones.”
Domestically produced in the Midwest, the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System creates a breathable, energy-efficient, continuous air barrier system that helps prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the building envelope. This can reduce instances of mold, mildew and rot, while helping maintain better indoor air quality and a more enduring building structure. An entirely self-adhering product, WrapShield SA Self-Adhered allows for quick installation that never requires the use of chemical primers.
Living Building Challenge: 25 Projects Have Been Certified by the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute has certified its 25th project since starting the Living Building Challenge in 2006. The buildings have achieved top honors for environmental sustainability by meeting the rigorous performance requirements of the Living Building Challenge: producing as much energy as they consume annually, eliminating toxic and harmful chemicals, and collecting and treating their own water. The Living Building Challenge, with 25 certified buildings and more than 250 registered, spanning nearly nine million square feet, in five countries, and 12 U.S. states, demonstrating the influence and momentum of regenerative design.
“What has always been considered the most comprehensive performance-based green building standard in the world was once thought to be an impossibility—a bar set too high,” says the institute’s CEO Jason F. McLennan. “A mere nine years later, we have a diverse collection of 25 projects that are truly the most forward-thinking and regenerative projects in the world. It is a testament to the power of possibility and a beacon for inspired design.”
The Bullitt Center in Seattle has raised the bar for office buildings. In a city with 300 days of overcast skies, the fact that a building can reach and surpass net-zero energy, in addition to its many other green features, is remarkable. The first Living Building Challenge project to be certified in China has design elements that align with the local culture and regulations. In Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens shows the beauty that can come from restoring a brown field. Berea College and West Berkeley Public Library join Sacred Heart Stevens Library as examples of communities following through on commitments to future generations. Mission Zero House shows what one family can do to eliminate their footprint. These projects are examples of the diversity that can come from innovation, ingenuity and drive to pursue a sustainable future and prove that the Living Building Challenge is maturing at an unprecedented pace.
Seven new buildings certified in 2015:
- Bullitt Center, Seattle – Certified Living Building
- Natural Resources Defense Council Offices, Beijing – Petal Certified – Materials (Site, Materials, Beauty)
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Pittsburgh – Certified Living Building
- Berea College Deep Green Student Residence Hall, Berea, Ky. – Petal Certified – Materials (Site, Materials, Health, Beauty)
- West Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, Calif. – Net Zero Energy Certified Project
- Sacred Heart Stevens Library, Atherton, Calif. – Net Zero Energy Certified Project
- Mission Zero House, Ann Arbor, Mich. – Net Zero Energy Certified Project
To meet the Living Building Challenge, buildings must fulfill the requirements of seven different “Petals”—Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty—that outline a pathway to a future that is ecologically restorative, socially just and culturally rich.
Project teams are developing solutions to create net positive energy, water independent, non-toxic and culturally rich projects. To date, 25 projects have achieved Living Building Challenge Certification through any of three certification paths: eight have achieved Full Certification, four have achieved Petal Certification and 12 have achieved Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Certification.