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, and to this end, ISO's first standard for sustainable products in construction for ceramic tiling systems has just been published.

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. The standard also includes evaluation, to enable the results of such assessments to be compared, thus supporting certification schemes. It enables users to select products that most contribute toward sustainability in buildings.

Andrea Contri, project leader and convenor of the group of experts that developed the standard said the use of ISO 17889 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 use of this standard will promote the use of sustainable materials to increase market demand for them, thus contributing to the reduction of the environmental impact of buildings."

ISO 17889-1applies 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.

It was developed by ISO committee ISO/TC 189 Ceramic tile, the secretariat of which is held by ANSI, ISO's member for the USA. This standard is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals defined by UN to address some of the most pressing issues faced by the world and in particular with goal number 12: responsible consumption and production.

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