Sustainability is increasingly a key element of design in the 21st century as it addresses the rising global challenges of finite natural resources, water quality, health, and climate impact. There are many different building product categories, but commercial/residential surfaces is a category that can not only grant LEED points as part of a building project, but can be a major selling point and eye-catching attribute to the interior of any sustainably designed building. 

 

With the rise and importance of material transparency, it’s becoming harder for projects to obtain LEED credits using surfaces that aren't sustainable. Certifications such as NSF, Cradle to Cradle, and the Health Product Declaration, to name a few, are proof of the transparency of a company’s material ingredients. Building to standards like LEED is not only the right thing to do, but can drastically increase the ROI of a development project. While countertops may not have been at the forefront of every designer's mind as they looked for innovative ways to “greenup” their projects, they have come into greater focus in recent years due to health concerns for workers who cut, grind and polish natural and artificial, or “engineered”, stone that has become a popular surface material. Crystalline silica, a component of many natural and engineered stone countertops manufactured around the world, can cause serious health risks when inhaled by workers over time. This is why several surface manufacturers in the industry have set out to find safer alternatives that are better for our health, and better for the planet. 

 

IceStone is an example of a countertop company that does not use crystalline silica as one of its materials, making their countertops one of the safest surfaces to fabricate and install. Housed in the former Brooklyn Navy Yard, IceStone is an innovative company making countertops from recycled glass. It also distributes countertops from other companies that are made from recycled paper mixed with resin, recycled plastic, or crushed waste stone retrieved from quarries. Since its founding in 2003, IceStone has diverted more than 16 million pounds of glass from landfills. Not only is IceStone leading the charge with recycled materials, but they are also striving for a Zero-Waste production facility in Brooklyn.

 

Recycled materials give IceStone an edge with architects whose clients seek certification through the LEED green building rating system, and IceStone is the only Cradle to Cradle certified countertop on the market. Made with recycled glass and no chemical binders, it’s as attractive – and very visible – show piece for any green consumer.

 

To learn more, join our Brand Spotlight discussion with IceStone

 

March 24, 2021 01:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST to register click here.

 

Or see IceStone’s material transparency at work here.