So, you’re thumbing through a magazine and see an article for an innovative green building material. The author touts the environmental friendliness of the product, and the entire article is dotted with the word “green.” A visit to the product website shows you similar claims of a truly green product.
But is it really? How can you be sure?
You now have a good alternative to simply trusting the claims of the website. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), has launched a program to help you evaluate whether a product or material you are considering lives up to the claims made by the manufacturer.
Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation (SAVE)
is a voluntary program that aims to independently verify sustainability through assessment of the product against current standards and guidelines, an inspection of the manufacturer’s production process, and product testing at recognized laboratories.
The resulting “Verification of Attributes Report” (VAR) includes technically accurate product information and is especially useful to those seeking points through one of several voluntary compliance programs, such as the USGBC’s LEED for Homes, the ICC 700 or Southface’s EarthCraft. The VAR certification could even help earn points in local green-building programs.
Check the SAVE program’s web-based directory
for a list of products that have already been evaluated.