June 2005 | Armstrong's Ceilings Go Green
BRE assessed Armstrong on its manufacturing processes, raw materials and its final product. By working with the BRE and using its profiling method, Armstrong confirmed that 60 per cent of its environmental impact was caused by energy consumption during the manufacturing process. The company has therefore applied greater focus on initiatives such as its gas reduction project, which has introduced methods such as: gas measurement devices on all machinery; improved insulation wherever necessary; and the implementation of best practice for energy reduction. This has been accompanied by general improvements in process efficiencies which produce less scrap and result in less manufacturing downtime. These measures have reduced the per unit energy consumption by 16 per cent and continue to be a focus for Armstrong.
The A rating will enable Armstrong's products to be used by architects who are aiming to meet the highest BREEAM classification, using tools such as BRE's Envest2 software which allows designers to assess the environmental performance of their entire building.
Armstrong also made changes to the materials used in its ceiling tiles, which now include a greater amount of recycled paper, wool and waste fibre. In addition the company took one of the main ingredients used in its paint manufacturing process, china clay, and looked at every area where it impacted upon the environment, from mining to being mixed to make the paint. Working together with its supplier, Armstrong found a way to minimise energy use by only partially drying the clay and using bulk tankers for transportation. This new method led to savings in the drying process, and eliminated the use and disposal of the paper bags and pallets previously used.
In addition, Armstrong has developed a thin gauge steel technology that includes innovations such as stitching and Peakform profiles to enhance the performance of its Trulok grid systems while using less steel.
Chris Wells, product manager for mineral ceiling products, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded an A category from
BRE. We have always been careful about the selection of our raw materials and our energy consumption, and we have been updating
our policies and procedures in order to become more environmentally friendly, so we were fairly confident that our products
would perform well against an environmental assessment. We are very pleased that we have gained the highest possible accreditation
as a result.
Armstrong World Industries, Inc., is a global leader in the design and manufacture of floors, ceilings and cabinets. In 2004, Armstrong's net sales totaled more than $3 billion. Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Armstrong has 42 plants in 12 countries and approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. More information about Armstrong is available on the Internet at www.armstrong.com.
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