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Background noise, whether from indoor or outdoor sources, adds to stress and discomfort, and poor acoustical design inside can exacerbate problems from background noise and reverberation of sounds. Products that absorb sound and prevent sound transmission can be considered green, although there are so many such products available that we also look for especially innovative products, as well as products with additional green attributes such as recycled content and strong energy performance. We also look for sound-masking systems with exceptional performance characteristics.

Background noise, whether from indoor or outdoor sources, adds to stress and discomfort, and poor acoustical design inside can exacerbate problems from background noise and reverberation of sounds. Products that absorb sound and prevent sound transmission can be considered green, although there are so many such products available that we also look for especially innovative products, as well as products with additional green attributes such as recycled content and strong energy performance. We also look for sound-masking systems with exceptional performance characteristics.

  • Tyroc Subflooring
  • Tyroc Subflooring
  • B-JET
  • Tyroc Subflooring
    B-JET
    Tyroc is moisture- and mold-resistant subfloor made from a fiberglass-reinforced magnesium oxide (MgO) panel bonded to a substrate comprised of 60% post-consumer rubber and 40% post-consumer polyethylene. The molded rubber substrate has a grooved pattern to allow airflow so moisture can drain or evaporate away. Tyroc can be installed above or below grade and over cracks or pitted concrete, where appropriate, providing a vapor- and moisture-impermeable surface with excellent sound dampening, and serving as a thermal break between concrete and flooring. The 48" x 16" x ½" panels weigh 10.5 pounds and come with a limited 30-year warranty.
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  • Fellert Acoustical Plaster
  • Fellert Acoustical Plaster
  • Fellert USA
  • Fellert Acoustical Plaster
    Fellert USA
    The makers of Fellert Acoustical Plaster claim their product solves cracking problems while also providing an exceptional NRC rating of 0.85–0.90. Acoustical plaster provides a highly reflective interior that also absorbs sound and reduces noise even in large, open space, but its seamless look often doesn’t last because plasters tend to crack with normal settling and other loads. With a backing made of acoustical fiberglass board and spray-applied plaster incorporating perlite, bentonite, and post-consumer recycled cotton, Fellert Acoustical Plaster can flex—with an internal stress rating of 2.1 according to ASTM D6991-05. The product is installed with PVC-based C-channels.
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  • ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels
  • ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels
  • ATS Acoustics
  • ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels
    ATS Acoustics
    ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels provide sound control in commercial and residential applications such as conference rooms, schools, offices, and apartment complexes. They have an NRC sound absorption rating of 1.0 and are available with either 80% pre-consumer recycled cotton or Ecose fiberglass from Knauf, which contains 58% post-consumer recycled content and uses a formaldehyde-free binder (Ecose products have a Class A fire rating; cotton are Class B). Frames are made from 90% pre-consumer HDPE and the backing is FSC-certified PureBond plywood. These panels are available in a variety of colors and in sizes up to 24"x48"x 4". Custom panels are also available.
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  • True Wood Ceiling Panels
  • True Wood Ceiling Panels
  • USG Corporation
  • True Wood Ceiling Panels
    USG Corporation
    True Wood suspended ceiling panels are made of 100% FSC-certified wood, available in eight real wood veneers on a no-added-urea-formaldehyde core. They are also available with recycled content up to 97%, in a mix of pre- and post-consumer material. Class-A fire rated True Wood is offered in 2'x2' or 2'x4' panels and in 8' linear panels in widths of 4" or 6". All True Wood panels have an integrated acoustical backer, with four perforation options providing an NRC of up to 70 and CAC of up to 37. GreenSpec normally lists only products in this section with an NRC of 80 or higher, but the FSC-certified and recycled content in these panels makes them an exception.
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  • Rulon Wood Ceiling and Wall Systems
  • Rulon Wood Ceiling and Wall Systems
  • Rulon Company
  • Rulon Wood Ceiling and Wall Systems
    Rulon Company
    Rulon ceiling and wall systems are made of pre-consumer recycled MDF and wood veneer (available FSC-certified upon request) with water-based glues and finishes and no added urea-formaldehyde. Rulon offers a variety of panel, linear, and grille ceiling styles; most are available in at least 5 standard veneer species of red oak, ash, cherry, maple, and poplar. The company also manufactures hollow, veneered accent beams which can be used to hide structural features. Rulon's Aluratone acoustical ceiling panels are perforated to absorb sound; they are available in 9 perforation styles and 11 species of veneer, with NRC values from 0.70 to 1.00.
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  • Paradise Wool Floor Underlayment
  • Paradise Wool Floor Underlayment
  • SoundSense, LLC
  • Paradise Wool Floor Underlayment
    SoundSense, LLC
    Paradise Wool floor underlayment, made from 100% wool, can be installed under laminate, engineered, or hardwood floors as well as carpet to prevent sound transmission and reduce noise reverberation. It has an R-value of 0.65, and according to the manufacturer, it doesn't break down like conventional underlayment according to the manufacturer. Paradise Wool underlayment is backed with a 3mm polypropylene moisture barrier, and antimicrobial treatment prevents mold, fungus, and bacteria growth.
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  • Acoustical Solutions Products
  • Acoustical Solutions Products
  • Acoustical Solutions
  • Acoustical Solutions Products
    Acoustical Solutions
    Acoustical Solutions offers several acoustical products that are Greenguard Gold certified for low emissions. EcoSorpt baffles and wall panels contain 85% post-consumer recycled cotton. The Sustainable Series of products, made of Ecose fiberglass encased in Eco-Fabric, includes baffles, ceiling tiles, and wall panels. Both EcoSorpt and the Sustainable Series have NRC values of 0.80 and up, depending on thickness. The Ecose fiberglass filling is formaldehyde-free and contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content. The Eco-Fabric is a substitute for type II wallcovering that contains no PVC, formaldehyde, cadmium, or mercury. Sonex Bioline wood ceiling tiles, containing 80% pre-consumer recycled content and made using NAUF binders and resins, have NRC values from 0.40 to 0.80. Enkasonic floor underlayment contains 40% pre-consumer recycled content; designed for reducing sound transmission from footfall, it has an STC rating of 55–62. Sonex PhonStop glass wall panels are 100% post-consumer recycled content, with NRC values from 0.75 to 0.90.
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  • 9Wood Suspended Wood Ceilings
  • 9Wood Suspended Wood Ceilings
  • 9Wood
  • 9Wood Suspended Wood Ceilings
    9Wood
    9Wood manufatures a range of acoustical wood ceiling tiles, many of which are designated Red List compliant for the Living Building Challenge rating system. The company's EcoGrille is a lightweight (1.5–3 lbs/ft2), FSC-certified Pacific Albus ceiling tile. Pacific Albus, a hybrid poplar, has a harvesting cycle of 9–13 years. EcoGrille can enhance the acoustics of a room if sound-absorbing materials are placed in the open gaps; it is assembled with a soy-based, formaldehyde-free cross-piece backer. Each ceiling is custom-fabricated, so the number of members and the finish can be selected by the customer. Low-VOC finishes are available. Standard panel widths are 12" or 24", and standard panel lengths range from 5' to 9'.
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  • Ipocork
  • Ipocork
  • Amorim Flooring North America, Inc.
  • Ipocork
    Amorim Flooring North America, Inc.
    Ipocork residential floating cork tiles are made using two layers of cork, a high-density fiberboard core, and cork veneer. The tiles use the company's glueless Cork Loc installation system and are coated with a “Wear Resistance Coating” that contains two coats of ceramic micro beads and three coats of low-VOC varnish that protect the floor from abrasion and scratches. Ipocok comes with a 15-year warranty on both surface wear and structural integrity. This flooring is made with BASF’s Acrodur isocyanate- and formaldehyde-free binder, is Greenguard Gold Certified, and is available in nine colors with varying patterns.
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  • Mediterra Cork Flooring
  • Mediterra Cork Flooring
  • Capri Cork
  • Mediterra Cork Flooring
    Capri Cork
    Mediterra, by Capri Cork, is a glue-down cork floor tile for either residential or commercial applications. The company offers both homogeneous and veneer options, but its primary products are homogeneous, and can be sanded and refinished. Mediterra comes with curl protection for the edges and is finished with three coats of factory-applied water-borne polyurethane. Mediterra is FloorScore-certified for low emissions and is available in a variety of standard styles and colors. Custom sizes and thickness are available upon request. These tiles are supported by a 10-year limited warranty.
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  • Wicanders Natural Cork
  • Wicanders Natural Cork
  • Amorim Flooring North America, Inc.
  • Wicanders Natural Cork
    Amorim Flooring North America, Inc.
    Wicanders, by Amorim, offers floating and glue-down cork flooring for commercial and residential applications. Manufactured using BASF’s Acrodur isocyanate- and formaldehyde-free binder, the company has flooring that is FSC-certified, as well as being certified by Greenguard Gold for low-emissions. These tiles are available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes and come with 25- or 15-year warranty depending on residential or commercial use, respectively.
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  • Phonstop Ceiling and Wall Tiles
  • Phonstop Ceiling and Wall Tiles
  • Pinta Acoustic
  • Phonstop Ceiling and Wall Tiles
    Pinta Acoustic
    Pinta Acoustic's Phonstop acoustic ceiling panel and wall tiles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass bottles, which are ground and sintered to form a rigid, lightweight, porous panel. Unlike mineral wool acoustic panels, a binder is not required for the Phonstop panels, which achieve Class 1 fire-resistance as well as flame spread and smoke developed ratings of 0 (based on ASTM E-84) without the use of flame retardants. Compressive strength is 165 psi. Phonstop V, in 2" (50 mm) thickness, has an NRC rating up to 0.90 and adheres directly to walls or ceilings; Phonstop E, in 1" (25 mm) thickness, has an NRC rating up to 0.70 and is installed into standard ceiling grids.
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  • WDW Water and Energy Conservation System
  • WDW Water and Energy Conservation System
  • EVAPCO, Inc.
  • WDW Water and Energy Conservation System
    EVAPCO, Inc.
    Evapco's WDW rooftop cooling systems range in size from 30 to 2500 tons, using both evaporative and dry cooling in one unit to maximize water and energy efficiency. The dry cooling section uses a copper coil with aluminum fins to transfer heat without using water--which reduces water make-up, blowdown, and chemical consumption. The evaporative cooling section uses Evapco’s Thermal-Pak technology that uses elliptical galvanized steel coils to increase tube surface area for greater cooling efficiency. This system can operate using dry cooling, evaporative cooling, or a combination of both, depending on conditions. The WDW Sage system monitors inlet and outlet water temperatures and ambient air, and also controls the fans and pumps, to ensure efficient energy and water use. WDW is available with Evapco’s Pulse-Pure non-chemical water treatment system. Also available is the Super Low Sound Fan that reduces noise by up to 15 dB and consumes 50% less energy than centrifugal fans, according to the company.
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  • Defender Commercial Carpet Cushion
  • Defender Commercial Carpet Cushion
  • GreenFloors
  • Defender Commercial Carpet Cushion
    GreenFloors
    GreenFloors is the sole distributor of Defender Commercial Carpet Cushion. The cushion is made from 100% post-industrial recycled materials from such sources as carpet, yarn, and fiber. The carpet cushion is economical, extremely dense, and stable. The product is sold in 6- and 12-foot width rolls and 20-, 27-, 32-, and 40-oz weights for moderate to extra-heavy traffic. GreenFloors also distributes a number of other green flooring products.
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  • Ecophon Ceiling Tiles
  • Ecophon Ceiling Tiles
  • CertainTeed Corporation
  • Ecophon Ceiling Tiles
    CertainTeed Corporation
    Certainteed offers eleven different styles of their Ecophon fiberglass acoustic ceilings; most have an NRC of 0.85 or higher. Many of these panels have a highly reflective coating that eliminates up to 99% of glare, so they work well for daylighting or indirect lighting applications. The panels resist moisture and sagging and are available in high-density, flexible, and chemically resistant options for open offices, conference rooms, clean rooms, commercial kitchens, and music rooms. Some Ecophon ceiling panels are available in different colors and with different edge profiles, but all are made from 70% post-consumer recycled content and ten out of the eleven tiles pass California’s strict 01350 standard for indoor air quality (their impact-resistant Super G does not).
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