Maple and Walnut Border, part of the NWFA’s environmental study on solid strip hardwood flooring.

As particular products have received increased attention in recent decades regarding their impacts on human health and the physical environment, the National Wood Flooring Association Industry Research Foundation (NWFA) has contracted with the University of Wisconsin for the first U.S. environmental study on solid strip hardwood flooring.

The NWFA is sponsoring the Consortium for Research on Renewal Industrial Materials (CORRIM), an entity building a national database on the environmental and economic impacts of renewable materials, such as wood. The NWFA will create a “life-cycle” model of strip hardwood flooring based on its manufacturing procedures, and will examine the wood’s environmental impact in terms of air/water/solid waste pollution, energy consumption and climate change. A final life-cycle report of strip hardwood flooring will be provided in Aug. 2007, and will be used to compare to the life-cycles of non-wood flooring products.

Ed Korczak, NWFA’s executive director/ceo, explains that the flooring industry’s sustainability hinges onbotheconomics and the environment.

“Products with low environmental impacts have a competitive advantage and are in greater demand than those without,” said Korczak. “Based on scientific fact, it is important to evaluate the impacts of hardwood flooring on our health and our environment.”