Building a Green Future Construction Specifications | Region 10 | US EPA

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Building a Green Future Construction Specifications

Last Revised:September 20, 2000

Disclaimer: This project provides educational information on environmental issues prepared by various authors.

Agency, Region 10, and/or any of the agents or employees participating in this project do not endorse any specific product or company. Mention or depiction of trade names or commercial products or logo does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

This document includes references to specific products and companies that assisted EPA with this project. These references are included to provide additional detail and do not constitute endoresement or recommendation for use.



Work covered by the Contract includes demolition of existing partitions, carpeting, and lighting systems; installation of new carpeting, a limited number of partitions and wallboard, doors and millwork, finishes, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures and controls and wiring for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Tenant) Park Place Building, 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900 Seattle

Moveable wall systems will be installed by others after completion of this contract work.

Special conditions arise from the environmental focus of the project. For the purposes of this project, "environmentally sustainable" means reducing, reusing and recycling construction, demolition and worker waste, and the selection and installation of environmentally preferable building products and materials.

Environmentally preferable products and materials are those which minimize the content of toxic or harmful substances; release minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCS) or CFCs into the environment; contain significant amounts of post-consumer recycled materials; are recyclable; are produced transported and installed in an energy efficient manner; and do not impact rare or endangered natural resources.

Owner furnished products
Acoustic ceiling tiles
Plumbing fixtures
Door Hardware
Doors and frames
Relites and frames

01100 Special Project Procedures

Product Curing

1. All dry furnishings and materials (such as carpet, floor tile, acoustical tile, textiles, wood shelving, and furnishings, etc.) shall be allowed to vent or cure for 48 hours prior to being brought on site.
2. Venting shall be conducted by removing all packaging materials, allowing fumes and odors to vent to the atmosphere for 48 hours, while protecting the materials from damage or degradation prior to installation.

Work Sequencing

The work shall be arranged to avoid contamination of building materials and systems by construction debris and dust. “Dry” furnishings and materials shall not be installed until “wet” materials have been applied and allowed to dry to the extent feasible and in accordance with other good building practices. The Contractor is to comply with any recommended measures in the MSDS to protect the health and safety of personnel.

Space Flush-out

A flush out period of 7 days at ambient temperatures prior to occupancy, as approved by the Tenant. All toxin emitting materials, except furnishings, shall be in place, unpacked, prior to commencement of the flush-out period.


The Contractor shall conduct the following meetings. Meeting agendas should include discussion of progress, status and problems associated with the environmental goals and requirements established for the project.

Pre-construction meeting.
Prior to commencement of the Work, the Contractor shall coordinate a preconstruction conference. The preconstruction conference shall address all project specific requirements enumerated in Division 1 of the Specifications, building rules and regulations and other issues deemed appropriate by the Contractor, Owner, Architect or Tenant. Parties required to attend the preconstruction conference include the Contractor, Subcontractors, Owner, Architect and Tenant

The Contractor will also provide progress and status reports to the Owner or Tenant as needed or requested.


The environmental focus of the project requires product submittals that assure the desired performance. Specific performance criteria are detailed in individual specification sections as required. Documentation described in specification sections shall be submitted to the designer for approval prior to fabrication or installation. General requirements are as follows:

Construction Schedule
Within 7 days following the Notice to Proceed the Contractor will submit a construction schedule delineating work sequences and indicating milestone submittal dates.

Compliance Assurances
Prior to commencement of the work, the Contractor is to submit in writing specific steps that the Contractor will take to ensure that all subcontractors comply with the “Green” product and practice requirements and specifications.

Waste Management Plan

See Exhibit A, Waste Management Requirements. The Waste Management Plan must be presented to the Tenant for approval after award of contract and before start of work

Materials Safety Data Sheets

The contractor is to provide the Tenant a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on selected products, in order to preserve the strict source control that has been achieved through material specification.


All materials must be furnished and installed exactly as specified in the contract documents. Where substitutions are offered, the Contractor or Sub-Contractor must provide Owner and Tenant with a 2 part submittal prior to installation and use for review and approval by EPA’s Health and Safety Officer. The two parts are:

1. MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet)
2. Product catalog cut



Contractor to install temporary construction filters in air handler during the construction period. Filters are to be replaced after completion of the flush out period.
Seal exhaust system ductwork that might leak into building or mechanical systems.

Performance Criteria

Provide temporary construction filters.



The tenant has established that this project shall generate the least amount of waste possible and that processes shall be employed that ensure the generation of as little waste as possible due to error, poor planning, breakage, mishandling, contamination or other factors.
Waste disposal in landfills shall be minimized, and as many of the waste materials as economically feasible shall be reused, salvaged or recycled.
Submittal - Waste Management Plan
The Contractor shall develop and submit a Waste Management Plan for review and approval by the Owner and Tenant after award of contract and before beginning any work. See Exhibit A for requirements and contents of Waste Management Plan.



Waste Management Plan must be approved prior to beginning demolition. Refer to 01505 and Exhibit A.


1. abSeparate carpet, wood waste, drywall, excess metals and other materials as appropriate for salvage, reuse or recycling in accordance with the Waste Management Plan and place in designated areas and/or containers for recycling.
2. abCarefully remove and salvage for reuse carpeting, plumbing, mechanical and electrical fixtures and all doors and relites per the contract drawings and specifications. All doors and frames, and relites and frames should be crated and transferred to storage facility at 4735 East Marginal Way South in Seattle.

Provide as Alternate
No waste management plan and no recycling or re-use of construction and demolition materials and waste.



All adhesives employed on the project including, but not limited to, adhesives for carpet, cove base, carpet tile, plastic laminate, wood adhesive, or sealants are to be those with the lowest possible Volatile Organic Compound “VOC” content and which meet requirements of the manufacturer of the products involved or adhered.

Acceptable Products
1. Milliken Pressure Sensitive Adhesive for modular carpet tiles.
2. Safecoat 3 in 1 Adhesive, a low-odor, non-toxic, water-based adhesive designed for hard composition wall and floor tiles. Recommended for adhering hard composition floor and wall tiles and carpet.
3. Envirotech Adhesive #2045, an acrylic clear-set, pressure-sensitive adhesive used to adhere padding to substrate.
4. Envirotech Adhesive #2055, used to adhere carpet to padding. It is a high-solids, high tack, fast drying adhesive formulated for Bond ‘N Peel installation of a wide variety of carpets.
5. Envirotech Adhesive #2058 is a latex-based economy grade floor covering adhesive developed for the installation of many types of carpets and sheet goods destined for direct glue down, excluding those with vinyl backings. Envirotech is a low VOC adhesive.

Performance criteria
1. Total VOC below 50g/L.
2. Contains no formaldehyde


The products listed above are acceptable to the Tenant. Any other products must receive prior approval by the Tenant’s representative. Substitutions requests shall be made according to Section 01300.



Any casework installed on the site must be constructed from non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, low VOC materials. Where economically feasible, previously used materials in good and usable condition should be used first, followed by products with a high percentage of recycled content.

Acceptable Materials

All substrate materials to be manufacture without the use of urea formaldehyde additives or permanently sealed to prevent out-gassing. Additionally, non-toxic glues and low VOC products should be used in the fabrication of any woodwork.

1. Medex/Medite, or equivalent product.
2. Comply sheathing with 100% wood fiber product.
Veneer should be from red oak species harvested and procured in the United States or Canada from certified lumber providers, certified as practicing sustainable forest management as recognized by independent forest management certification agency. Contact Jeff Wartelle, Certified Forest Products Council for sources and technical assistance.

Performance criteria
1. Acceptable certifiers shall be the Smart Wood PRogram (212-677-1900) or the Forest Conservation Program (510-832-1415) or Forest Stewardship Council accredited equivalent.
2. The contractor must submit to the Tenant chain of custody documentation (i.e., invoices and certificates) for lumber purchased for this project, proving that each source of lumber is certified. Such documentation shall be submitted to the designer for approval prior to fabrication.
3. Particle board and plywood materials are to be manufactured with no formaldehyde-based glues or resins.
4. Veneer to be supplied from certified lumber providers.



All insulation installed shall be insulation that has been salvaged for reuse during the demolition.



All doors and relites installed shall be those that have been salvaged during the demolition.


Reuse any doors or relites which fit the overall project design. Any doors or relites not used are to be stored at a location designated by the tenant.

Door and Frame Finishes

Acceptable Products

A. Semi-transparent finishes

1. Ostermann & Scheiwe (OS) Color Wood Wax Finish, US supplier: Environmental Home Center, 1724 Fourth Avenue South, Seattle WA, 206/682-7332.

2. Livos Kaldet Oil and Resin Finish

Performance Criteria

1. Contains plant-sourced oils and solids utilizing only natural and/or aliphatic solvents.

B. Transparent finishes

Safecoat Polyureseal BP by American Formulating and Manufacturing, 350 West Ash Street, Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101, (619)239-0321.

Performance Criteria

Satin water-borne polyurethane containing no formaldehyde.
Total VOC below 200g/L



Refer to Drawing A-2 for Hardware Schedule.

All hardware will either be provided by tenant or salvaged and re-used from the demolition.



All interior doors and relites requiring vision panels and sidelights are to be those salvaged from demolition.

Application of product to relite that gives the appearance of sandblasting where and when specified. Product to be approved by tenant.

09200 Lath and Plaster

Joint Compound
Any joint compound used must be low toxic and non-carcinogenic. The contractor is to provide EPA with the MSDS for all joint compounds for approval to use. Joint compound must be prepared in well ventilated space outdoors. Perparation and installation of joint compound must occur after standard business hours.


Reuse existing tiles and grid as appropriate.
Provide cutouts and other special provisions in acoustical work as required for lighting fixtures, registers, diffusers, and other inserted items.
All materials shall have class 1 flame spread rating and be installed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications and codes.
All joints in the tile shall be square, level and perfectly aligned with each other.
Coordinate work with other trades having work in the ceiling and with telephone and computer cabling installation.
Do not use spray paint for touch up of acoustic ceiling tile or grid. Apply low or no voc paint with a brush. Paint does not need to be metal paint for touch ups

Acceptable Products
Ceiling tiles are furnished by the Owner.

09250 Gypsum Board systems

Performance Criteria
1. Any gypsum wallboard or sheet rock must utilize 100% recycled paper and be composed of the maximum recycled gypsum content currently available.
2. Metal studs shall be manufactured or fabricated from metals with a minimum of 30% recycled content.
3. Batt insulation - reference 07200.

Do not use spray paint for touch up of reveal at top track. Apply low or no VOC paint with a brush. Paint does not need to be metal paint for touch ups.


Floor Tile A: Match Existing

Floor Tile B: Mannington Essentials, 12x12", 1/8 gauge. Color to be closest match to Armstrong’s Imperial Texture Cool White . Submit sample to tenant for approval before purchase and installation.

Adhesives: See Division 6

09680 CARPET

Refer to design drawings for materials and installation details. All areas within project area to be finished in 36"x36" carpet tiles except where installation of VCT indicated on contract drawings.

All carpet will meet the “Green Label” requirements of the Carpet Research Institute (“CRI”) as a minimum. All carpet shall be certified as such.

Any carpet to be newly installed must meet the following specifications:
* Carpet tile and shall contain 0% PVC, 0% 4PC, formaldehyde not to exceed 0.05 ppm, no SBR latex.
* Otherwise unmentioned pollutant meets NAAQS and 1/10 TLV.
* Pile Yarn Content: staple filament or continuous filament branded by a fiber producer (Allied, Dupont, Monsanto, BASF, woolblend), soil-hiding nylon or wool nylon blends.
* Carpet pile construction: level loop, textured loop, level cut pile, or level cut/uncut pile.
* Pile weight: 28 ounces per squar yard is the minimum for level-loop or textured-loop construction. 32 ounces per square yard is the minimum for level-cut/uncut construction.
* Secondary back: jute or synthetic fiber for glue-down installation.

* Density: 100 percent nylon (loop and cut pile) - minimum of 4000; other fibers, including blends and combinations - minimum of 4500.

Manufacturer must demonstrate carpet is manufactured in a closed loop process and demonstrate characteristics of carpet in regards to means of extending carpet life, % of recycled content, recyclable, reclamation possibilities or means of reuse.

10 year product warranty on availablity of carpet. (supply of matching color tiles).

Acceptable Products

Tenant will specify either Milliken 36"x36" tile Pattern #6115 (Colorweave) OR Milliken 36"x36" tile Pattern # 6340 (Midnight Sparkle Collection).

Adhesives Reference Division 6.



Prime all wall surfaces and, unless otherwise noted, paint with a minimum of two finish coats.

Prime all painted wood surfaces and, unless otherwise noted, paint with a minimum of two finish coats

Color: Match Sherwin Williams Oyster White SW 115.

Finish for existing pre-finished doors shall be determined by conducting a test patch area on a door to be discarded. Low toxic finish which is compatible shall be determined. Upon completion of work, remove excess paint, stain, varnish, adhesive, caulk, etc. from all other surfaces that were not specified to receive same.

Touch up and patch surfaces as required after the completion of work by other trades.

Acceptable Primer Products

1. Safecoat New Wallboard Primecoat HPV by American Formulating and Manufacturing, 350 West Ash Street, Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101, (619)239-0321.

Performance Requirements
1. Product must not contain formaldehyde, aqueous ammonia, crystalline silica, or ethylene glycol.
2. Total VOC below 50 g/L or less.

Acceptable Paint Products
1. Benjamin Moore & Co. “Pristine Eco Spec Interior Latex Flat Paint”

Performance Requirements
1. Product must not contain formaldehyde, aqueous ammonia, crystalline silica, or ethylene glycol.
2. Total VOC below 1 g/L.


10670 Storage Shelving

Relocate high density filing system from 7th floor of the building to room in project area marked as “HRU files.” ( Existing equipment consists of 3 units each measuring 5' x 1'.) All work to be performed by The Solutions Group. Work to include structural load analysis of floor area and strengthening of floor, if needed.

Build and install cabinet and shelves per contract drawings. Cabinet and shelves should be constructed from non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, low VOC substrate materials with a plastic laminate.

Acceptable Materials

All substrate materials to be manufactured without the use of urea formaldehyde additives or permanently sealed to prevent out-gassing. Additionally, non-toxic glues and low VOC products should be used in the fabrication.

Medex/Medite, or equivalent product.
comply sheathing with 100% wood fiber product
OR plywood manufactured from at least 70% independently certified forest products (Available from Columbia Forest Products, 503-224-5300.)

Performance criteria

1. Particle board and plywood materials are to be manufactured with no formaldehyde-based glues or resins.


The products listed above are acceptable to the Tenant. Any other products must receive approval by the Tenant’s representative prior to furnishing and installation. Substitutions requests shall be made according to Section 01630.

Provide as Alternate
Using standard laminate products with no custom substrate..
No cabinets and shelving constructed or installed



Contractor is to provide wiring, access card readers, electronic locks and equipment for a power-assisted door that meets ADA Accessability Guidelines for Facilities and Buildings (4.13). Refer to contract drawings for locations

Contractor to provide and install card reader, ASR-500 ValueProx Reader, Motorola Indala Corporation. This card reader is identical to the existing system and must be compatible and interface with C Cure 800 software and access system. Pinkerton Security Systems (206-213-0911) maintains the existing system.

Contractor to provide and install ADA-required power assisted door, described as a swinging door operator for 36" wide, 102" height, transom mounted. It includes the following: 1) Keane Monroe 3800 series; aluminum finish for 36" wide door with regular outswing arm; 2) Sedco #59 series wall switch with handicap logo (blue powder coated); 3) Sedco #1214-A surface applied wall box; 4) BEA #MC-25 delay on make, delay on break module. The system must be compatible and interface with C Cure 800 software and access system. Argens Inc. (206-623-2662) installed the existing ADA-required doors.


Systems furniture not in contract. Systems furniture to be furnished by the tenant.




All mechanical work to be performed as design/bid/build by McDonald Miller. Refer to contract drawing A-3 for required exhaust fan placement.


During construction, seal air paths to adjacent non-construction zones.

Balancing and Testing

Set balancing and testing standards subsequent to equipment selection and placement. Provide for equal distribution of supply air to offices, maintaining positive pressure at all times.

HVAC Sealant

Any HVAC Sealant must be low-odor, all weather, waterproof, vapor proof coating. Additionally, it must be non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. All sealants employed on the project are to be those with the lowest possible Volatile Organic Compound “VOC” content (below 20g/L), and which meet requirements of the manufacturer of the products involved or adhered.

Acceptable products

Safecoat DynoSeal by American Formulating and Manufacturing, 350 West Ash Street, Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101, (619 )239-0321.

Performance Requirements

1. Product must not contain formaldehyde, aqueous ammonia, crystalline silica, or ethylene glycol.
2. Total VOC below 20 g/L or less.

Meeting with Tenant

Contractor to insure that HVAC sub contractor meets with tenant and provides a detailed explanation of air balancing.



Thermostats required at hard walls to be provided and installed by the contractor.
Thermostats required at moveable walls to be located and provided by contractor and to be installed by others.
Prior to installation Contractor to submit a plan for thermostat placement to EPA and building management’s for review and approval.




Contractor to submit design built plan to achieve the desired lighting

Remove, stockpile and reinstall existing lighting fixtures.

Refer to contract drawings for product specifications.


In offices and conference rooms, manual override switches should be installed to allow for individual control over lighting levels.

Occupancy Sensor

Provide and install ultrasonic and passive infrared ceiling mounted occupancy sensors as designated by the contract drawings


1. Unenco Ultrasonic/Infrared Occupancy Sensor, Model CUI-500-2000, 1350 S. Loop Rd., Suite 104, Alameda CA 94502. 510/337-1000.
2. The Watt Stopper, Model DT-200 with required power pack, The Watt Stopper Inc., 2800 De La Cruz Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 9505. 408/988-5351.
3. Novitas Model 01211 (Use in small private offices it’s cheaper)


Test and adjust all occupancy sensor functions.

End of Construction Specifications

Exhibit A - Waste Management Plan


The Contractor shall develop Waste Management Plan based on the goals discussed below, and submit the plan for review and approval by the Owner and Tenant after award of contract and before beginning demolition. Once approved, the Plan will be included in the Contract Documents.

Waste Management Goals

This project requires a pro-active effort to reduce and recycle demolition and construction waste. A diligent effort should be made to achieve the goals described below wherever applicable in order to reduce waste and overall disposal costs and limit the environmental impact of the project.

Waste Prevention

To the greatest extent practical, this project shall generate the least amount of waste possible, using processes that ensure the generation of as little waste as possible due to error, poor planning, breakage, mishandling, contamination or other factors. The Contractor is encouraged to seek additional methods to prevent waste in the first place. For example, choosing suppliers that limit packaging, setting up centralized cutting areas to reduce wood and drywall waste, and accurate ordering of supplies to avoid overage.

Reuse and Recycling

Demolition and construction waste management activities should achieve a minimum 50% diversion rate. The preferred method of recycling is on-site separation of recyclable materials which generally results in less contamination and higher recycling rates than commingled collection.
Materials removed from the existing structures shall be managed based on the following hierarchy, from the most to the least desirable.

1. Salvaged and reused on site.
2. Salvaged and donated or sold for reuse off site.
3. Source separated on site and recycled.
4. Co-mingled and sorted for recycling by a recycling hauler or facility.
5. All non-usable or non-recyclable materials are to be disposed of as waste in the most environmentally sensitive manner as practicable.

The Plan submitted for approval shall address the following issues:

1. Plans for the prevention and reduction of waste generation, with analysis of the demolition and new construction wastes likely to be generated, including types and quantities.

2. Proposed handling methods based on the hierarchy in discussed under Waste Management Goals. Materials handling procedures including information on how the materials are to be removed, separated, and stored or transported for reuse on or off site, recycling, or disposal as trash.

3. Brief cost analysis identifying the potential savings or costs for implementation of the plan. Where the small quantity of material, the extraordinarily complex nature of the waste disposal method, or prohibitive expense incurred is such that recycling or reuse would be impractical or impossible, the Contractor should provide explanation as part of the submittal.

4. Specific steps explaining how the waste management plan will be communicated to the crew and subcontractors and how the Contractor will ensure that the plan is executed.


Demolition and other Subcontractors should be selected partially on their ability to meet the requirements of the Waste Management Plan. All Subcontractors shall be required to participate in the Waste Management Plan as part of their contract with the Contractor.

Target Building Materials

The handling of the following items should be addressed in the plan.

Steel studs
Wiring and electrical equipment
Duct Work and HVAC equipment

Miscellaneous Materials
Base Cove

Ceiling Tiles
All demolished ceiling tiles are to be palletized and recycled through armstrong ceilings reclamation program (888)-ceilings. (dail then press option 3 for techline expert.


All new construction drywall waste and drywall that is demolished must be recycled.

All insulation removed from demolished walls must be separated and then re-used in new walls as needed.

All door hardware must be removed and re-used on site as needed. Extra hardware will be saved and stored for future use.

Tenant will provide a limited opportunity for staff to remove and haul away existing carpeting and padding.
The Contractor should attempt to salvage for resale all remaining existing carpeting to be removed. (We recommend contacting Value Flooring for salvage.)

All carpeting that cannot be salvaged should be recycled using the Dupont Carpet Reclamation Program by either Dupont Flooring Systems (Mike Rex, 206-241-022) or an equivalent carpet reclamation agency.

Carpet Remover shall certify in writing that used carpet was either salvaged for resale or recycled in accordance with the DuPont Carpet ReclamationSM Program.

Doors and Relites
All doors, door assemblies, and relites shall be carefully removed during demolition to be either re-used on site or for safe storage per the instructions of the Tenant.

Plumbing Fixtures

All fixtures not reused on site should be removed carefully during demolition and salvaged by the Contractor or delivered to EarthWise (206-624-4510) or other second use outlet for resale.


All phone and data wiring should be separated and hauled to Pacific Iron and Metal for recycling. (2230 4th Ave S., 628-6233)


At job close-out, the Contractor and its subcontractors shall be required to quantify and submit in writing the ultimate disposition of all demolition and construction materials. The submittals should include the following information:

* Description of material, type and quantity.

* Disposal method.

* Cost or benefit.

* Total diversion percentage.

* Description of materials not reused or recycled and a brief explanation as to why it was not feasible to reuse or recycle.

Recycling Subcontractor

Any contracts with recycling service providers should specify:

What materials will be recycled.

Costs associated with the service.

Requirement that weight or volume of recyclables be documented.

Requirement that the material will go to a properly permitted facility.

schedule for container pickup.

How recycling containers will be labeled.


Technical Assistance

Free technical assistance in finding reuse outlets or recyclers, developing waste management plans, identifying waste prevention strategies, creating specifications is available to the General Contractor and the subcontractors through:

Ms. Elizabeth Daniel
Business and Industry Recycling Venture
1300 5th Ave., Suite 2400
Seattle, WA 98101
206-389-7304 FAX: 206-389-7288


1998 Seattle/King County Construction Recycling Directory Listings of reuse and recycling options for construction debris. Also available at
Contractor's Guide to Preventing Waste and Recycling A how to guidebook to preventing waste, recycling and buying recycled on the job-site. Includes worksheet to include the cost-effectiveness of recycling.

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