Glossary of Terms – Environmental

Air
Quality
Standards
The level of pollutants prescribed by regulations that are not to be exceeded
during a given time in a defined area.  
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
ASTM
E1333
Carb “Gold” Standard Test Method – One of 2 types of formaldehyde emissions
testing performed on unfinished panel samples by HPVA. (Large chamber)
standard test method.  
ASTM
D5582
One of 2 types of formaldehyde emissions testing performed on unfinished panel
samples by HPVA. (desiccator) is an approved small scale quality
assurance test method for correlation to the large chamber test. This test is conducted
in jars.
ATCM
(Airborne
Toxic
Control
Measure)
CARB approved the ATCM on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products
for unfinished panels including hardwood plywood – veneer core (HWPW-VC).
Baked-Out A process used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a building by
elevating the temperature in the fully furnished and ventilated building prior to human occupancy.
Biodegradable Capable of decomposing under natural conditions.
CA 01350 Special Environmental Requirements standard specification developed by the State of California
to cover key environmental performance issues related to the selection and handling of building
materials. It represents a significant step forward in specification to evaluate and reduce the
impact of building materials on indoor air quality and health in buildings and could become a
major driving force for better products and healthier buildings as its use spreads.
 
CAGBC The Canadian Green Building Council is the leading national organization advancing green
building practices for livable communities. This is the Canadian counterpart to the USGBC.
CARB Acronym for the California Air Resource Board.
Certified Wood Usually refers to FSC (Forrest Stewardship Council) Certified Wood. A means of notifying
consumers that a wood or paper product comes from forests managed in accordance
with strict environmental and social standards.
Chain-of-Custody
(CoC)
Tracks FSC certified material through the production process – from the forest to the consumer,
including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution.  
Conversation Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources. The use, protections
and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will ensure their highest economic
or social benefits.
Energy
Efficient  
Products and systems that use less energy to perform as well or better than standard products.
Energy Star
Rating
The designation given by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy to appliances and products
that exceed federal energy efficiency standards. This label helps consumers identify products that
will save energy and money.
Environmental
Impact
Study of all the factors which a land development or construction project would have on the
environment in the area.
EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. An agency of the federal government of the
United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and
enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.
FGBC


 
Nonprofit Florida Corporation dedicated to improving the built environment.  
Standards:
Green Home
Green Development
Green High rise
Green Local Government for cities and Counties
Green Commercial Buildings
FloorScore
Certified
The FloorScore program was developed by Scientific Certification Systems, a nationally recognized
third-party certification company, and the Resilient Floor Covering Institute. Under this program,
hard surface flooring products are tested and certified for compliance with California’s Section 01350
for low VOC emissions, the most stringent high-performance IAQ requirement in the nation.
Certified and compliant with LEED® credit EQ4.3 Low-Emitting Materials.
Formaldehyde   A naturally occurring VOC found in trace amounts in animals and plants and commonly added
(in much larger quantities) in composite building materials. Urea-formaldehyde is carcinogenic and an
irritant to most people when present in high concentrations – causing headaches, dizziness, mental
impairments, and other symptoms.
FSC –
Forest
Stewardship
Council
Chain of custody Certification process for wood. Sets environmental, economic and social standards to be
met by forest
companies.  Accredits independent 3rd party organizations who certify forest managers and forest
product producers to FSC Standards
Grams
per
Liter
(g/L)
Measurement for VOC content in liquids (i.e. adhesives, cleaners, polishes)
Green
Building
Design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings
on the environment and occupants.
Green
Building
Rating
System
A national standard for developing high performance buildings.  Developed by the members of USGBC.
GreenGuard
Indoor
Air
Quality
Certified
Developed by the AQS testing agency.  Product certification program for low emitting interior
building materials, furnishings and finish systems.  All Greenguard Certified products have been
tested for their chemical emissions performance and can be found in the Greenguard online product guide.
Green
Select
CCA’s environmental initiative which includes all product categories. The product must currently be
recyclable, contain a minimum of recycled material and/or be made from a natural, sustainable, quickly
renewable resource. Cork and Bamboo are the first of CCA’s products to be marked “Green Select”.
Greenwashing Merging the concepts of “green” (environmentally sound) and “whitewashing” (to conceal or gloss over
wrongdoing).  Greenwashing is in any form of marketing or public relations that links a corporate, political,
religious or nonprofit organization to a positive association with environmental issues for an unsustainable
product, service, or practice.
HPVA
(Hardwood
Plywood
and
Veneer
Association)
TPC (Third Party Certifier) for domestic engineered wood flooring plants.
HWPW
(Hardwood
Plywood)
AHF manufactures and sells engineered wood flooring constructed from hardwood plywood.  
Indigenous
Materials
Materials having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular
region or environment
ISO 14001
Certified
Specifies the actual requirements for an environmental management system. It applies to those
environmental aspects which the organization has control and over which it can be expected to have
an influence.
ISO 9001
Certified
Ensures optimal plant efficiency minimizing scrap and energy use.  
LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Buildings are certified by LEED Accredited Professionals.
Rating system is in U.S. and Canada.  
Life
Cycle
Analysis  
An evaluation of the environmental effects of a product or activity holistically, by analyzing the entire life cycle
of a particular material, process, product, technology, service or activity. 
High
Performance
Green
Building
Buildings which include features that conserve water and energy; use space, materials and resources efficiently;
minimize construction waste; and create healthy indoor environments.
Indoor
Air Quality
The nature of air inside a space that affects the health and well-being of building occupants.
NAF
(No-added
formaldehyde
adhesive)
Resins formulated with no added formaldehyde as part of the resin cross linking structure for making
hardwood plywood, particleboard, or medium density fiberboard.
NAHB /
National
Association
of Home
Builders
NAHB is a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Since 1942,
NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large.
National
Green
Building
Standard
(NGBS)
The foremost green rating system for residential construction in the United States,the ICC 700 National Green
Building Standard can be used for rating new and remodeled single- and multifamily buildings as well as
residential subdivisions. It is the first, established in 2008, and only such residential green rating system
to have earned the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
NSF/ ANSI 332 A standard utilizes a point-based system in which manufacturers may achieve one of three increasingly
rigorous levels of certification: conformant, silver, gold, and platinum. The standard includes prerequisite
requirements as well as performance requirements and quantifiable metrics in five key areas:
Informed Product Design
Intelligent Product Manufacturing
Long-term Value
Progressive Corporate Governance
Innovation
Non-Renewable Of or relating to an energy source, such as oil or natural gas, or a natural resource, such as a metallic ore,
that is not replaceable after it has been used.
Off-gassing The emission of volatile organic compounds from synthetic and natural products.
Post-consumer
Recycled
Content
Waste material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role
as end-users of the product, which can no longer be used for its intended purposes.
Post-industrial
Recycled
Content
Pre-consumer Recycled Content – waste from a manufacturing facility.
Pre-consumer
Recycled
Content
(aka
post-industrial)
A product composition that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been
reclaimed from a process generating the same or a similar product.
 
Rapidly
Renewable
Materials
Material considered to be an agricultural product, both fiber and animal, that takes 10 years or less to grow
or raise, and to harvest in an ongoing and sustainable fashion.
 
Recyclable % Recyclable materials, also called “recyclables” or “recyclates”, may originate from a wide range of sources
including the home and industry. They include glass, paper, aluminum, asphalt, iron, textiles and plastics.
Biodegradable waste, such as food waste or garden waste, is also recyclable with the assistance of
microorganisms through composting or anaerobic digestion.
Renewable
Energy
Alternative energy derived from sources that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment.
Examples are solar, hydroelectric and wind energy.
Regenerative
Design
Sustainable design with the goal of creating built environments that improve on existing conditions.
Regenerative Design does more than reducing impacts; it creates positive, restorative change in the local
and global environment.
Regional
Materials
Manufactured and harvest within 500 mi of jobsite.
Specify building products and increase demand for products that are manufactured locally, thereby reducing
the environmental impacts resulting from their transportation and support the local economy.
ReGreen   REGREEN program was created through a partnership between the American Society of Interior Designers
(ASID) Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). REGREEN was launched in March 2008
with the release of the REGREEN Residential Remodeling Guidelines. The guidelines address the major
elements of any green renovation project, including the site of the home, water efficiency, energy and
atmosphere, material and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
Reusable Using a product or component of municipal solid waste in its original form more than once.
RFCI
(Resilient
Floor
Covering
Institute)
RFCI is leading the way in sustainability with their popular FloorScore® program and the new NSF 332
Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Flooring , a multi-attribute, Life Cycle Assessment based program
SCAQMD South Coast Air Quality Management District – set standard for max VOC content of adhesives.
SCS
(Scientific
Certification
Systems)
Leading 3rd party provider of certifications auditing and testing services and standards. 
Tests and certifies flooring products for compliance with volatile organic chemical emissions standards
in accordance with California Section 01350.
Sustainable A resource or system that meets present needs without compromising those of future generations.
Sustainable
Forest
Management
Aims to ensure that the goods and services derived from the forest meet present-day needs while at the same
time securing their continued availability and contribution to long-term development. In its broadest sense,
forest management encompasses the administrative, legal, technical, economic, social and environmental
aspects of the conservation and use of forests.
TFF
(Tropical
Forest
Foundation)
TFF is an international, non-profit, educational institution committed to advancing environmental stewardship,
economic prosperity, and social responsibility through sustainable forest management (SFM)
USGBC The nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the
building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and
healthy places to live and work.
VOC –
Volatile
Organic
Compound
Organic compounds that become gaseous at normal temperatures.
Updated on June 16, 2022