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Terrazzo is Green

terrazzo is greenIn recent years the construction industry has begun to focus on the environment impact of many construction materials. The evaluation of products in the “green movement” encompasses many elements, which must be weighed on a scale of relative importance. These elements include the longevity of the material, the composition, maintenance, recycled content, embodied energy, and the “cradle-to-grave” environment impact. Sustainable construction is at the core of green construction. Terrazzo floors have an outstanding record of durability and performance dating back over a thousand years. Both cement and thin set epoxy terrazzo floors have extremely low maintenance costs. Annual stripping and resealing can utilize environmentally friendly water-based products. Routine maintenance includes dry and damp mopping with an occasional spray buffing. In comparison, carpet requires energy intensive daily vacuuming and periodic steam cleaning. Terrazzo is composed of naturally occurring aggregates, recycled glass or plastic and processed cement or epoxy binders. Several glass aggregate suppliers are currently providing post-consumer recycled glass to the marketplace. Terrazzo has long been valued for its life cycle characteristics: low maintenance, durability, and indoor air quality – with recycled content being and additional attractive feature. Terrazzo aggregates, binders and finished flooring systems can contribute to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) credits, under the LEED-NC rating system, version 2.2.
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