Model lifecycle

Where do raw materials come from? How far do they have to be transported? How much energy is used in their production? How long has linoleum been used? And how is it disposed of? Professor Manfred Hegger and his team asked these and many other questions as they came up with an ecological assessment for DLW Linoleum. It was created under his direction in the Architecture and Energy-efficient Construction Department at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, which by the way has already won the coveted Solar Decathlon twice. The comprehensive study examined the entire life cycle of DLW Linoleum with all its environmental impacts.

The predominately natural and renewable raw materials received high marks. The primary ingredients of DLW linoleum have always been linseed oil, natural resins, limestone, sawdust, cork powder, jute, and color pigments.

As expected, the production process had the largest environmental impact. Energy was needed to run the machines and also to heat the rolls. In order to manage energy with the utmost care and efficiency, Armstrong set up its own environmental management system in its linoleum plant in Delmenhorst. As a result, gas usage between 1998 and 2009 was reduced by around 33 percent per square meter produced.

In the long run, the maintenance and lifespan of a floor covering become more and more important. In these respects, DLW linoleum’s long average lifespan and ease of cleaning were impressive.

Last but not least, DLW linoleum is compostable. In a landfill, it breaks down within a short period of time. Manufacturing waste is also recycled and put back into production.

Professor Manfred Hegger’s conclusion: “Armstrong DLW linoleum is made out of renewable and harmless raw materials to the greatest extent possible. Based on the environmental assessment I compiled, linoleum can be recommended without qualification from a sustainability perspective.”

And he added, “This conclusion is particularly relevant for Linoleum PUR during utilization phase, since its surface coating can drastically reduce the use of drinking water, electricity and cleaning solutions in the utilization phase.”