Paving the way to a more sustainable world

Ceramic tiles are the subject of the first International Standard for sustainable products.

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Going greener is the objective of more and more organizations in the construction sector, recognizing its potential to reduce greenhouse gases and create more sustainable spaces for all. The methods and materials they use provide a powerful opportunity to fuel this trend, so to support green choices in building materials, ISO has just published its first standard for sustainable products in construction.

ISO 17889-1, Ceramic tiling systems – Sustainability for ceramic tiles and installation materials – Part 1: Specification for ceramic tiles, is expected to lead the way in terms of standards for sustainability in construction products. It outlines the requirements for sustainable ceramic tiles according to environmental, economic and social criteria and enables users to select products that most contribute toward sustainability in buildings. The standard also includes evaluation to enable the results of such assessments to be compared, thus supporting certification schemes.  

Andrea Contri, Project Leader and Convenor of the group of experts that developed the standard, said the use of the ISO 17889 series will guide everyone in the supply chain for tiles and installation materials, including designers and contractors. 

“This is an historical turning point for the construction industry, because, while we have substantial standards that address buildings and civil engineering works in their entirety, it is the first that is dedicated to individual materials,” he said. 

“It is hoped that widespread uptake of this standard will promote the use of sustainable materials to increase market demand for them, thus contributing to a reduction of the environmental impact of buildings.” 

ISO 17889-1 applies to ceramic tiles while the second part of the standard, currently in development, will specifically apply to tile installation materials such as adhesives, grouts and membranes. 

ISO 17889-1 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 189, Ceramic tile, the secretariat of which is held by ANSI, ISO’s member for the USA. It is available from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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