Launched in early 2012, the standard is gaining traction
among suppliers and helps building owners navigate responsible
product specification. It focuses on EPDM, KEE, PVC, TPO, and
PIB membranes. The certification process includes reviews of a
manufacturer’s environmental documentation and on-site audits
BUILDINGS Senior Editor Jennie Morton sits down with
Amber Dzikowicz, Sustainability Business Unit Manager for NSF
International, to learn more about the standard’s criteria.
What is the scope of NSF/ANSI 347?
NSF/ANSI 347 was developed with
consideration for the lifecycle stages
of single-ply roofing materials. Points
may be earned for conducting lifecycle
assessments and publishing verified
environmental product declarations
(EPDs), which are the most widely used
transparency reporting tools. Ultimately,
the choice to report a membrane’s
lifecycle impacts or not is left to the organization, but the
standard provides incentive to be as transparent as possible.
A product that is independently certified to NSF/ANSI 347
indicates to the purchasing decision maker that the roofing
material is produced by an organization that is committed
to sustainability. Companies that earn certification have
demonstrated policies, procedures, and processes in place
that make them responsible users of energy and water and
conscientious about the waste and wastewater they produce.
No other lifecycle or environmental rating system for single-ply
roofing requires the level of organizational commitment that
NSF/ANSI 347 does.
Additionally, the point-based rating system allows purchasers
to make a decision as to the level of certification and
sustainability achievement they want to pursue for their project.
End users can then use the purchase of a certified product as
evidence of their commitment to sustainability.
How is this standard different than other product certifications?
A sustainability assessment standard functions like an
umbrella. It aggregates many single-attribute issues like
recycled content and lifecycle assessment as well as social,
governance, economic, and other environmental criteria into one
comprehensive, science-based standard. It provides architects,
engineers, and other purchasing decision makers with a simple
method for understanding “is this product more sustainable?”
A sustainability assessment standard like NSF/ANSI
347, however, provides a value judgment on a product’s
sustainability. With a point-based system, a product must meet
a minimum criteria to become certified as conformant. To
achieve the higher levels of silver, gold, or platinum, a product
must meet additional requirements.
Another major attribute that differentiates NSF/ANSI 347
from other standards is that it was developed utilizing an
accredited American National Standard consensus process.
This means a balanced group of stakeholders from industry,
non-governmental organizations, government, academia, and
customers work together to build a consensus-based standard.
Another benefit to this process is that NSF/ANSI standards are
living documents, which means they may be revised to reflect
new technologies or information as it becomes available.
How does NSF/ANSI 347 capture a product’s sustainable attributes?
A product can earn points across five categories to determine
its overall rating. There are prerequisites for some of the
categories that establish minimum performance:
Product design........................ 42 points
Product manufacturing......... 27 points
Membrane durability ............. 40 points
Corporate governance .......... 7 points
Innovation ................................. 7 points
Have a single ply roofing project on the horizon? To select a
membrane that will deliver performance without negatively
impacting the environment, consider offerings that meet NSF/ANSI
347: Sustainability Assessment for Single Ply Roofing Membranes.