Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Carpet Recycling Research, Dr. Raman Singh, OSU

Carpet Recycling Research, Dr. Raman Singh, OSU

Oklahoma State at Tulsa Professor Promotes Carpet Recycling

I found recently an interesting video with Dr. Raman Singh, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Oklahoma State University.

Dr Singh explains how a piece of OSU-Tulsa-orange carpet can be recycled to make a plastic laminate he says can be used to make interstate sound barrier walls, residential and commercial roofs, as well as other, potentially large-volume applications. The 2.5-minute video points out that in order to keep a large amount of carpet out of the nation’s landfills, researchers need to find new uses for large volumes of the material from reclaimed carpet. 

[Subscribers, please click on Dr. Raman Singh Discusses His Carpet Recycling Research  to view directly in YouTube.]

Dr. Singh, who looks very nice in his lavender sweater vest and orange tie, notes that one of the big advantages of the plastic laminate is that it can be made with content from any type of recycled carpet fiber. 

Who can fill me in with more information about Dr. Singh and his new laminate made from pcc content?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Carpet Maintenance: Shedding, Sprouting, Shading, Wrinkling

Carpet Maintence: Shedding, Sprouting, Shading, Wrinkling
Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 21st in a series

"How Do I Get Off To The Right Foot On Carpet Maintenance?" is the twenty-first in  a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. The banners ads contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new. Today's is about 

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #21: How Do I Get Off to the Right Foot on Carpet Maintenance?

New carpet can completely transform a room. Now be sure to protect that investment!

You may notice some shedding or sprouting. This is normal and will not affect the carpet’s life or beauty. Here’s what to do:
  • Shedding — The shedding of loose fibers is normal and should subside with regular vacuuming.
  • Sprouting — If a single tuft extends beyond the carpet’s surface, simply clip it off. Do not pull it out.
Pile reversal or shading — This seeming color change may occur in various parts of the carpet, caused by light being reflected in different ways as pile fibers are bent in different directions. This is not a defect but a characteristic of plush carpet.

Wrinkling — If ripples occur, call your retailer. It may be necessary to professionally re-stretch the carpet.

And never forget, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to call your local carpet retailer or manufacturer.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you about good carpet maintenance habits? What resources do you use to help them?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No Beef To Carpet Increasing Asthma, Allergy

No Beef To Carpet Increasing Asthma, Allergy

Carpet and Asthma, Allergy Research: Where’s the Competition’s “Beef”?

In his January 21, 2012 column titled "Where's the beef?" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun describes the most common myth regarding carpet: carpet's effect on people with asthma and allergies.

The article describes his reaction to another trade association's claim that consumers should buy hard surface floors because carpet negatively affects family members who have asthma and allergies - a complete myth!

“This isn’t the first time this myth has surfaced [see a related blog article, Hardwood Retailer Wrong About Carpet];  it’s the most common one we hear at CRI.

In fact, CRI has found multiple studies that show that carpet is helpful to people with asthma - including Carpet, Asthma and Allergies – Myth or Reality written by Mitch Sauerhoff.  In one 18-nation study of nearly 20,000 people, a statistical relationship was found to exist between carpeted bedrooms and reduced asthma and allergy symptoms and improved breathing. Because what falls to the carpet — such as allergens, common dust, pet dander and other pollutants — tends to stay on the carpet until it is vacuumed, unlike smooth surfaces that allow these particles to re-circulate in the room air. 

 Properly maintained carpet also leads to improved air quality and a healthier indoor environment because regular vacuuming with a Carpet and Rug Institute-certified vacuum cleaner locks dust and particles inside the machine and removes them from the air you breathe.

 If the competition can’t produce convincing studies, what qualifies them to recommend that carpet is bad for indoor air quality? What are they basing their recommendation on?”

Thank you, Werner.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Future Focus Awards Young Carpet Professionals Recognition at Surfaces 2012

Future Focus 2012 winner Mollie Surratt with Jason Surratt
Future Focus winner Mollie Allen Surratt with Jason Surratt

Future Focus Awards: The Future of Carpet is in Good Hands - Several Young Professionals from CRI Member Companies Recognized for Leadership

At the 2012 Surfaces flooring industry trade show  held recently in Las Vegas, I attended a special awards breakfast to announce the winners of the first-annual Future Focus awards

Sponsored by Floor Focus magazine in partnership with 3M Scotchgard, the awards recognize talented young (35 and under – counts me out) professionals in the floor covering industry. I was pleased to see several CRI member companies represented in this year’s winners.
  • In the sales category, Keaton McFarland of Gulistan Carpet  earned honorable mention.
  • In the human resources category, Shaw Industries again swept the category, with corporate diversity manager Lisa Rodriguez Buice earning first place and human resources manager Sandra Johnson earning honorable mention.
  • Shaw designer Ashley Olson took the top prize in the research and development category.
  • In the sustainability category, Kimberly Matsoukas, sustainability manager at Bentley Prince Street earned honorable mention.
  • And in the manufacturing category, Shaw production manager Wayne Gerber, was given the Future Focus award, while Shaw’s process improvement manager Roderick MacLeod, received the honorable mention.
[See Magazine cites seven at Shaw for excellence in floorcovering from The Dalton Daily Citizen.]

According to Floor Focus publisher Kemp Harr, the Future Focus Awards are modeled after contests conducted in the advertising world. The idea was first proposed by flooring industry consultant Paul Friederichsen

I’m so proud of these young professionals. They work hard and manage to juggle the challenges of marriage and families, graduate school, first homes, and everything else they are dealing with at this busy and fruitful time of their lives. Better yet, they make it look easy.

Congratulations to the winners and to the CRI member companies that hired them!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carpet Prevents Accidents in Slip and Fall Incidents

In Preventing Accidents, Carpet is Safer Underfoot

In his January 13, 2012 column titled “Werner Braun: Walk a little easier on carpet for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses how carpet helps prevent serious slip and fall accidents in our homes and businesses.

The article says,

“It has been well-established by both OSHA and insurance companies that well-maintained carpet and the presence of floor matting at entrances help ensure safer floors. Carpeted surfaces are significantly more effective at preventing slips and falls than hard, smooth surfaces. And when accidents do happen, they tend to be less severe on carpet.

 Carpet’s inherent safety is borne out by a study of 225 “slip and fall incidents” from hospital records of older patients. Of the group falling on carpet, only 17 percent sustained injury. In the group falling on hard surface flooring, nearly 50 percent sustained injury.

 Together in 2012, the National Floor Safety Institute and CRI are planning to conduct a joint study on the effectiveness of entrance floor matting in removing moisture from pedestrian footwear. This will allow us to continue exploring ways in which we can all walk a little easier, even on Friday the 13th.”

Thank you, Werner


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Carpet Recycling Information: LEED Points, Model Specification, Bid Template and More!

Carpet Recycling Information: LEED Points, Model Specification, Bid Template and More!

A smorgasbord of carpet recycling info: LEED Points, Model Specification and Bid Template for Carpet Recycling

Here is a great resource for architects, designers and others in the green building world. I found it on the USGBC Long Island chapter blog in an articled titled CarpetCycle: Carpet Recycling for LEED.

It’s about the LEED points associated with carpet recycling. I blogged about this before as part of another article [see Indoor Air Quality for Architects, Designers and Builders: Fact Sheet], but I think it’s worth another mention all on its own.

LEED Credit Overview

For certain LEED rating systems, LEED projects can earn points toward certification if they recycle old carpeting.

For new construction projects, there is no used carpet to recycle. Therefore, this only applies to LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB:O&M) and LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI).

For LEED EB: O&M, the project can earn Materials and Resources, Credit 9: Solid Waste Management – Facility Alterations and Additions. To earn this 1 point, at least 70% of waste (by volume) from the facility’s renovations must be diverted. This includes recycling and reusing materials, including carpets.

For LEED CI, the project can earn up to 2 points for Materials and Resources, Credit 2: Construction Waste Management. To earn these points, a certain percentage of construction and demolition debris should be recycled and/or salvaged (including carpets). To earn 1 point, 50% must be recycled and to earn 2 points, 75% must be recycled.

Here’s another valuable resource: there is a model specification for carpet recycling  on the Carpet America Recovery Effort website (CARE), as well as a template for a bid proposal for carpet reclamation.

So, take a little bit from here and a little bit from there, and thanks for your hard work recycling and reclaiming carpet from the landfill. To see how much carpet was diverted last year, check out CARE’s Annual Report.

What other sources of carpet recycling information do you refer to?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Carpet Installation Tips: Making It Go Smoothly

Carpet Installation Tips: Making It Go Smoothly

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 20th in a series

"How Can I Make My Carpet Installation Go As Smoothly As Possible?" is the twentieth in a series of banner ads  developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. The banners ads contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new. Today's is about ensuring that carpet installation goes smoothly.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #20: How Can I Make My Carpet Installation Go As Smoothly As Possible? 

New, thicker carpet may prevent doors from swinging clear and free. So your installer may remove the doors and re-hang them if possible. If not, the doors may have to be trimmed to allow clearance for the carpet.

To protect your air quality during installation, make sure there’s plenty of fresh air. Open windows and doors, use an exhaust fan or turn on the fan of your heating or air conditioning system. The “new carpet smell” will clear very quickly, usually in less than 72 hours.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you about what carpet installation? What resources do you use to help them and ensure that it goes smoothly?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE): Earth Day Network Partner

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE): Earth Day Network Partner

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Chosen for Earth Day Network

In his November 25, 2011 column titled "It's time to strap on your 'enviro-meter'" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the importance of CARE - or Carpet America Recovery Effort - and what it does for the carpet industry and the environment.

CARE is the non-profit agency committed to increasing the recycling and reuse of waste carpet in the United States.

The article explains: “Since its founding in 2002, CARE has made incredible strides. In the last year alone, CARE membership has grown by more than 60 members and there continues to be an increase in the recycling of post-consumer carpet from around the country in a variety of unique ways, such as incorporating material from recycled carpet into new carpet cushion and Geo-Hay, erosion-control products that look like synthetic hay bales.

CARE has also partnered with the Earth Day Network for its “1 Billion Acts of Green” Campaign. As stated on its website, Earth Day Networkcontinues to work to achieve our goal of registering one billion Acts of Green before Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in June 2012.”

There’s more news about carpet recycling and what can be done with material from waste carpet on CARE’s website, http://www.carpetrecovery.org/”.

Thank you, Werner


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ProTeam Improves Carpet Cleanliness at University of Georgia

ProTeam Improves Carpet Cleanliness at University of Georgia

Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval Vacuum Manufacturer Wins Accolades at the University of Georgia

Congratulations, ProTeam, and how ‘bout them (cleaner) Dawgs

An article on Cleaning and Maintenance Management Magazine’s online site titled University Of Georgia Credits ProTeam For Improved Campus Cleanliness And Cost Savings tells about how commercial vacuum manufacturer ProTeam  is being credited with improving cleanliness and saving money at the University of Georgia (UGA) campus in Athens.

UGA recently upgraded their cleaning practices to conform to the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS). One of the changes the school introduced was the use of ProTeam vacuums. ProTeam is a participating manufacturer in the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment. Twenty-six ProTeam vacuum models have passed the SOA program’s rigorous testing

Here’s an excerpt from the article.

“Kimberly Thomas, UAG PPD Assistant Director—Services, found an instant increase in cleanliness and productivity by replacing their old machines with ProTeam backpack vacuums. "We switched to ProTeam vacuums for better air quality and technological improvements with (our cleaning) equipment. ProTeam's equipment is more ergonomic and the staff loves it." She says that IAQ has dramatically improved as the amount of dust inside the halls and classrooms has diminished. She also believes that the overall health of the UGA custodial staff has improved, helping to reduce the absenteeism and improve staff retention.

Prior to switching to ProTeam, vacuuming on campus was not scheduled on a consistent basis, and the results were telling even with a custodial staff of 326 members. Now, the cleaning crews incorporate more frequent vacuuming schedules into their daily work assignments and are very pleased with the comfort and ease-of-use of the ProTeam backpack vacuums. They say they appreciate how much faster and easier it is to maneuver around desks and through large halls in the 275 buildings on campus. And the number of equipment repairs has dramatically reduced since switching to ProTeam vacuums. Thomas says that all of these factors have not only contributed to a happier staff but to an increase in overall cost savings.

‘"We are very happy with the service, and (with the) positive feedback our staff and campus clients have provided about the use of our ProTeam equipment. We selected ProTeam because of the high quality and craftsmanship, ergonomic design and most importantly, the ability of the equipment to produce great results."’

Because of its leadership in being a certifiably green, clean campus, UGA received an "honorable mention" for the 2008 Green Cleaning Award given by American Schools and Universities Magazine. Thomas says that UGA is implementing ProTeam's Team Cleaning® system this year, where four types of specialists concentrate on defined cleaning tasks. This is yet one more step UGA is taking in solidifying its place on the frontline of increased productivity, health and happiness on campus.”’

Congratulations, ProTeam! (And Go Dawgs!!)


Thursday, February 2, 2012

ANSI Carpet Installation Standard On Horizon!

A New Carpet Installation Standard is On the Horizon

In his November 17, 2011 column titled "Establishing a standard for carpet installation" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun talks about the pending release of  the carpet industry’s first ANSI standard for installation.

“Long before I came to the Carpet and Rug Institute in 2000, there were concerns about the quality of carpet installations. For years, CRI’s 104 and 105 installation standards for residential and commercial carpet have been the accepted standards, but there were competing standards out there, and CRI decided to work with all of the stakeholders involved with carpet installation to see if we couldn’t come up with one installation standard we could all agree on.

Needless to say, a new installation standard is not something that will happen overnight. In 2007, the Carpet and Rug Institute and the World Floor Covering Association partnered to begin working with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to create a comprehensive installation standard.”

Who is ANSI?

The American National Standards Institute builds and assesses standards in industries all over the world. With ANSI assisting in the process, CRI opened a dialogue with everyone who wanted to be involved. The new installation standard needs to serve all parties of the installation system: the installation industry, the consumer, the retailer and the carpet manufacturer.
"ANSI has made sure that the negotiation process runs smoothly in relation to four important principles: balance, consensus, openness and due process.
Balance means that all voices in the various groups with a stake in the proposed standard are actually there and given unhindered access to the development. Consensus means that there is a high degree of agreement and that dissenting opinions are given the opportunity to voice their opinions, and even appeal the decisions if they choose. Openness means that no backroom dealing takes place.
Adherence to these principles gives an ANSI-accredited standard significant credibility, both in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Finally, four years after we started, we have a good working first draft of the new carpet installation standard. The content is there, but I expect it will require six to nine months to have a finished version.
All of us at CRI are thrilled at the prospect of having an ANSI carpet installation standard and what it means for carpet installations in the future. With this standard as a guide, installers everywhere will be able to perform at the level of proficiency expected and needed throughout the carpet industry. Carpet mills will be able to include in their warranty coverage a requirement that installers be trained and the carpet installed according to the ANSI carpet installation standard. There will be better installations done across the board, which will lead to happier consumers everywhere.
As indicated, the new ANSI Carpet Installation Standard will create the opportunity for a mill to tie its carpet warranty to the ANSI standard and this will lead to a better installation job, every time.”
Thank you, Werner

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