Custom Building Products’ Emerald System of products were used by the builders and developers of Township 14 to pursue LEED Gold certification as well as gain carbon offset credits.

The builders and developers of Township 14, a corporate office plaza in Del Mar Heights, Calif., used Custom Building Products’ Emerald System of products to pursue LEED Gold certification as well as gain carbon offset credits.

The developers Township 14 were challenged with combining the goals of responsible green building and single source manufacturing with the need to install a wide variety of tile — including moisture-sensitive limestone — amid a highly compressed schedule. The premium office park development just north of San Diego, called for Custom's Emerald System of products to meet the environmental standards of the builders with contributions to LEED certification and carbon offset credits. 

“Custom Building Products has been a supplier I’ve used for more than 32 years,” said Orin Barretich owner of Santee, Calif.’s East County Tile and Marble, which installed the limestone exteriors and extensive amounts of interior tile of the complex. “As always, their technical assistance on this project was extremely helpful.” 

Project specifications called for 36-inch long, white “Chenille” limestone tile supplied by Daltile. East County Tile asked Custom to test the limestone in its lab and recommend the best installation system. Custom'sTechnical Services department examined samples, reviewed testing results and determined that a rapid-setting mortar such as ProLite should be used. One of the factors considered was the limestone’s moisture sensitivity, which can present challenges if the tile is not set and sealed with appropriate products. 

Exterior walls were prepared with Custom's RedGard Liquid Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. RedGard was applied as a moisture barrier protecting the buildings from water intrusion. All of the limestone was grouted with Prism SureColor High Performance Grout, another component of Custom's Emerald System. This fast-setting, lightweight, polymer-modified grout offers consistent color despite varying conditions at the jobsite. Rapid-curing AquaMix Sealer’s Choice Gold was applied to protect the limestone as a pre-grouting sealer. Sealer’s Choice Gold is a premium, no-sheen formula that keeps stone looking natural while allowing moisture vapor transmission. 

The interior lobbies and exterior entryways were set with large format porcelain tile measuring from 12 x 24 inches to 12 x 36 inches. Custom's Large Format Tile-LFT Fortified Medium Bed Mortar was chosen for its non-slumping, lippage-eliminating properties. As with the signature limestone veneer, Prism grout was selected to finish the porcelain tile installation in these prominent, public-facing common areas. The porcelain was sealed with AquaMix Penetrating Sealer to help resist stains from foot traffic. 

RedGard liquid waterproofing membrane was applied prior to tiling the intermittently wet areas of the buildings. This included all bathrooms, the showers in the fitness center and an onsite café. The tile installed varied from 2 x 2 inches and 6 x 6 inches ceramic in the showers to quarry tile in the café kitchen. 

These smaller tiles were set with VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar, an all-purpose, polymer-modified mortar. They were grouted with PolyBlend Sanded Grout for hard, dense joints that will resist shrinking and wear. Movement joints both indoors and outdoors were prepared with Custom Commercial 100% Silicone Caulk, which remains permanently flexible to protect the tile, according to the company.

From specification consultations and materials testing to installation training and regular site inspections, the team at Custom was on hand to help at every step of the tiling process. “I have great confidence in their products and their service,” said Barretich. “Both gave an excellent performance during this project.” 

Custom Building Products is committed to environmental responsibility in both products and manufacturing practices. More than 100 Custom Build Green products contribute to LEED certification with low VOCs, recycled content and regionally sourced materials. Custom's Emerald System goes a step further, with products that are guaranteed to comply with environmental agency regulations. The Emerald System is also the first line of tile installation products to offer carbon offset credits that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the company. Plus, these elite products are so durable that they are eligible for up to a Lifetime System Warranty. 

Township 14 has applied for LEED-CS Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for Building One, and LEED-CS Silver certification for Building Two. LEED contributing products such as Custom's ProLite and Prism helped to earn important points for these applications. Installing these Emerald Systems products also qualified the project for over 7,000 carbon offset credits from TerraPass to reduce environmental impact. 

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