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Laminate and LEED

U.S. Green Building Council (USBDC) LEED Logo

Eco–friendly laminate flooring can help your home or business qualify as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified structure. If you aren't familiar with the LEED program, it is a green rating and certification program overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). By following the guidelines laid out for different types of structures, you can earn LEED points which then qualify your home or business to apply for LEED certification.

Different types of projects have different LEED programs with specific requirements as follows:

  • Commercial Interiors – LEED–CI
  • Neighborhood Development – LEED–ND
  • Core and Shell – LEED–CS
  • New Construction – LEED–NC
  • Homes – LEED–H
  • Existing Buildings – LEED–EB

LEED Certification and Green Laminate Flooring

First, one must understand how the LEED rating and point system works. A specific product such as a laminate floor cannot be "LEED certified". It can, however contribute towards earning LEED points, which then qualify the home or building for LEED certification, which one must apply for. LEED certification is available on 4 levels: Platinum (being the highest level and most difficult to achieve), Gold, Silver, and Certified.

Homes and buildings that are LEED certified are better for the environment, safer for your health, and have a higher value than those that are not LEED certified. In the following sections, we will focus on LEED certification for homes and commercial interiors and give examples on how to use green laminate flooring to qualify for LEED points.

LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED–CI) and Green Laminate Floors

LEED Materials and Resources – MR4: Recycled Content

2 points available

To qualify for the LEED Material and Resources MR4 credits, you must use recycled content in your project. The total recycled materials used (counting post–consumer content at its full weight and pre–consumer content at half its weight) must equal 10% of the total materials used in the project (based on their cost) to receive 1 point. When the recycled content used equals 20% or higher, 2 points are awarded. Using eco–friendly laminate flooring with recycled content contributes towards reaching these goals.

LEED Materials and Resources – MR 7: Certified Wood

1 point available

To earn this LEED credit you must use a total of 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products throughout your project when using new wood–based materials. Using FSC certified wood, which is now being used in some green laminate floors, promotes environmentally responsible management of forests and helps you qualify for this LEED point.

LEED Indoor Environmental Quality – IEQ 4.3: Low–Emitting Materials – Flooring Systems

1 point available

This is one of few points that a flooring system can earn by itself. By using low VOC emitting flooring materials which promote a healthy indoor environmental quality, you can earn the LEED IEQ 4.3 credit. This includes Scientific Certification System's FloorScore certified laminate flooring.

LEED for Homes (LEED–H) and Green Laminate Floors

LEED Materials and Resources – MR 2 Environmentally Preferable Products

8 points available

There are several different ways that you can use eco–friendly laminate flooring to earn the LEED for homes MR 2 credits. Your laminate flooring can be FSC certified (which promotes responsible forestry) and/or contain a total of 25% post–consumer or pre–consumer recycled content (with pre–consumer being counted at half). Whether your floor is FSC certified or contains recycled content, it must cover a total of 45% of the floor area to qualify for 1 point. If your laminate flooring covers at least 90% of your home, you earn an extra 1/2 point for having hard–surface flooring. Also, if your laminate flooring is SCS FloorScore Certified you can earn an additional 1/2 point. Lastly, if your laminate flooring was produced locally you can earn another 1/2 point in this category.

For more information on the LEED rating system and LEED certification, visit the