Experts Corner

When trying to obtain the REGIONAL MATERIALS credit we are all used to thinking in the terms of 500 Miles.  However, LEED allows for a "weighted average" to be used if alterative methods of shipping are utilized.  The formula is as follows:

Transport by Rail : Divide the total distance by 3

Transport by Inland Waterway : Divide the total distanceby 2

Transport by Sea : Divide the total distance by 15

So... if you have product that you would love to use, but it is outside the 500 mile radius; see if you can coordinate deliery via rail by communicating with the vendor.  Depending on the product, this might be their standard method anyway.





Altro, a major resilient flooring manufacturer in the healthcare and education markets has just announced that it is removing biocides and antimcrobials from its products.

Pantone has announced their COLOR OF THE YEAR... and its a green that seems to wiggle between the vibrant neon vairety and the more staid leaf.  The color is their GREENARY



Though this section of the site is most often dedicate to some of the more staid and tecnical parts of the design world, this entry will be a bit different.  One of the designers in our local scene, Megan Capo of Streetsense, put together a very nice blog post on some of the materials she thought noteworthy from her trip to the Hospitality Design show in Las Vegas.  For those of us, who love the unique, it is well worth a look.  Megan's blog is linked here.

The world of "Sustainable Design" is so broad that it seems the most products can make a claim to having some attribute that fall under its rubric.  However, with the effective marketing strategies that focus on the positive, the design community sometimes faces a Wizard of Oz scenario in which we are enouraged "not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain;" namely the ingredients used to make a product.

An example might be a product can claim to be "PVC-Free."  While perhaps this is laudable in comparison to other products in the category; they might not be telling you of other harmful materials contained within the product.  As with the consumer demand for greater transparency on food labeling, the design community has been asking for this information, and there are a growing number of resources to help.


For many years design professionals have had to consider the Coefficient of Friction when specfying tile, particulalry for "wet" environments, including bathrooms, lobby areas, etc.  Those of you who have dealt with this enough times will remember that the commonly accepted, though technically not required, COF was 0.6.  What this author did not know was that the COF being referred to was the SCOF, or rather the Static Coefficient of Friction, which tested the resistance when the testing surfaces began the test stationary and then the "foot" surface was moved to evaluate slip resistance (the test was the ASTM C1028).  Effective January 2014 the Tile Council of North American (TCNA), has called for a new test, the DCOF AcuTest to be used to evaluate tile.  The "D" in the DCOF refers to "Dyanamic" and reflects an adjustment in the testing methodology for which the the "foot" surface will make contact with the surface being tested when the "foot" is already in motion.  The new number that we will all have to become accustomed to for "wet" environments is a DCOF AcuTest value of 0.42.

Rectified tiles continue to increase in popularity, particularly in the commercial arena. For years, the industry and Dal-Tile have recommended that Rectified tiles can be installed with a 1/16" grout joint. However, from the contractor’s perspective, installations have become more time consuming and difficult to ensure compliant installations when attempting to install a Rectified tile with a 1/16" grout joint. In response, the new TCNA (Tile Council of North America) Handbook addresses this issue by recommending that the width of the grout joint used be determined by the ANSI A108.02 specification which states that the actual grout joint size shall be at least 3 times the actual variation of facial dimensions of the tile. To simplify: Rectified tiles, regardless of size, shall have a grout joint width no less than 1/8". As a result, Dal-Tile is changing its recommended grout joint width to be 1/8" for all of its Rectified tiles.

Provided By : Jeff Eassa (

In the past several years there have been an increasing number of requests by building owners for more privacy in their public washrooms, especially in Class A and Trophy office buildings. Most manufacturers of toilet partitions can now offer stalls with no gaps between the components and taller doors and divider panels. These extended doors and divider panels reduce the gap at the floor to 6” and in some cases 4”.