Green Building Materials: Terrazzo

Terrazzo as a Green Building Material

Green Building Materials: Terrazzo

Terrazzo flooring dates back to the 15th century. Today terrazzo flooring provides a combination of durability, design, and low maintenance for building projects across the globe. In fact, the performance and design of terrazzo have led to a renaissance, making it one of the green building materials commonly seen in markets like schools, airports, hospitals, and other commercial buildings. With a focus on the environmental impact of construction materials in the construction industry today, this article spotlights to value terrazzo brings to general contractors and architects.

 

Green Building Materials and LEED

The U.S Green Building Council established LEED, which is a green building rating system that evaluates the environmental performance of a building looking at aspects of design, construction, and operation, and presenting points to acquire LEED certification for a project. Terrazzo is an attractive green building material for its contribution to LEED goals, with a focus on recycled content, regionally sourced materials, and low-emitting materials.

Epoxy Terrazzo Flooring

Durability of Terrazzo

Terrazzo floors have remarkable performance and durability during their entire lifecycle, often lasting longer than a building structure. These floors typically last on average 75 years with few replacements in between. As buildings age, terrazzo floors can be restored to their original state at a fraction of the cost of an entire replacement. With such great durability, terrazzo is ideal for locations with high amounts of daily movement. This includes lobby areas, hallways, and entrances of any commercial, institutional, or industrial building.

 

Overall epoxy terrazzo floors are one of the cost-effective green building materials on the market. This is due to the low maintenance costs associated with the material. In fact, terrazzo floors are easy to clean. Cleaning requires just a dry and damp mop to remove excess residue from the floors. Regular routine maintenance and the occasional resealing of a terrazzo floor keep the surface in good condition over the years.

 

Sustainability of Terrazzo – Recycled Content

With a focus on sustainability in today’s construction projects, consider terrazzo as the original green building material. Venetian marble workers reused marble scraps to create inexpensive terraces for their homes at the time. A majority of a terrazzo floor today consists of recycled content from the choice of aggregates, the components of the epoxy resins, and the recycled metal in divider strips.

 

Aggregates are the most common source of recycled content found in terrazzo. Recycled glass is the most popular option. Recycled glass adds to the design flexibility by providing terrazzo floors with more color choices in addition to the color selection of marble chips. Most terrazzo suppliers crush and process recycled content from post-consumer and post-industrial sources. These sources include repurposing glass from sources glass bottles and mirrors and excess marble from a quarry.

Recycled Glass Terrazzo

Sustainability of Terrazzo – Regional Sourcing

The U.S Green Building Council attributes LEED points to projects that use green building materials within a distance of the supplier site. Many terrazzo manufacturers supply epoxy resins, aggregates, precast terrazzo, divider strips, and other materials for construction projects in their region. So long as the material supplied is within a 500-mile radius, then architects and general contractors can earn points towards LEED certification.

 

Sustainability of Terrazzo – Zero VOC

Terrazzo can contribute to the overall indoor air quality of a building through the use of materials containing zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) content. For epoxy terrazzo floors, little to no off-gassing occurs during the lifecycle of a terrazzo floor. In addition to the VOC-free content, terrazzo does not support the buildup of bacteria and moisture.  TERRAZZCO’s epoxy resin is manufactured with built-in mold and mildew resistance. This helps improve indoor air quality by providing a mold-free environment. Thin-set epoxy terrazzo systems consist of 100% solids, with many terrazzo manufacturers supplying epoxy resins with zero VOC content.


 

ABOUT TERRAZZCO

 

Concord Terrazzo Company is a terrazzo supplier of epoxy resin products, precast terrazzo, and terrazzo aggregates. The company builds TERRAZZCO around environmental responsibility. We take a sustainable approach to everything from manufacturing to installation to environmentally-friendly maintenance. Furthermore, our products use the highest amounts of recycled and renewable materials into their composition as possible. In the installation phase, our specialists collaborate closely with contractors to accurately gauge material requirements and reduce waste. All the benefits of our green approach don’t end once the installation is complete; the finished surfaces can be easily maintained using environmentally safe, non-toxic cleaners.

 

Environmentally responsibility is part of our company charter and an ideal we commit to well into the future. As a result, we follow LEED guidelines because it helps reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, create healthier and safer environments for occupants and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Other Good Reads:

Recycling Glass: Turning Trash to Treasure

3 Reasons Terrazzo Should Be Your Sustainable Flooring Choice

Terrazzo: Helping Lead the Way for Sustainable Buildings

 

Have questions about terrazzo and its environmental impact in today’s construction industry, then contact a Concord Terrazzo Company representative today at info@terrazzco.com.