BOSTON - Green building is expected to grow six to 10 percent this year, yet the path to get there is a time intensive process requiring significant research to determine if products contribute toward the coveted LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Strengthening its tradition of helping its customers reach their green goals, The Mohawk Group is shaving weeks off the environmental product specification process with its new LEED PLUS Calculator that was unveiled at Greenbuild last week.
Powered by ecoScorecard from Viridity Inc., the LEED PLUS Calculator is a Web-based tool that allows users to search building products and calculate the USGBC's LEED points, along with several other industry environmental ratings, in minutes.
"We understand the design community has a plethora green building product options, but finding the right one that fits within an installation can be a challenge, particularly when you're trying to meet an environmental standard or certification," says Al Kabus, president, The Mohawk Group. "As a company committed to ‘sustainability that works,' we're going beyond just offering sustainable carpet. We are intimately working with our customers to provide the tools and information necessary to make their jobs easier and less time intensive."
"Mohawk is providing its customers with a virtual green building consultant. In effect, they're helping to make green building easier," says Paul Shahriari, CEO, ecoScorecard.
Mohawk customers can easily access the LEED PLUS Calculator evaluation tool, free-of-charge and 24/7, by logging onto The Mohawk Group's Web site or one of its brand sites: Bigelow, Lees, Karastan, or Durkan (coming soon). Simply select a product and then choose which system to rate it against—LEED, CHPS (Collaborative For High Performance Schools), GGHC™ (Green Guide For Healthcare), LABS21® (Laboratories For The 21st Century)—or check compliance for prevalent third-party certifications. Results are delivered in minutes via a PDF report. For added convenience, users can save their reports and use them as supplemental product documentation to be included along with LEED or equivalent certification submissions.
"On average, an architecture firm can spend anywhere from 100 to 200 hours gathering and evaluating data for LEED projects with the majority of this time spent on product specification," notes Lewis Perkins, director of sustainable strategies, The Mohawk Group. "With the LEED PLUS Calculator we've done all the legwork. Days, weeks, and even months spent evaluating products are reduced to mere moments so that users can focus on what's truly important—achieving a high quality project on time and on budget."
Balancing the Sustainable Equation
Prior to launching its LEED PLUS Calculator, The Mohawk Group worked closely with Viridity to provide relevant environmental information about each of its products. The Viridity team of green building experts evaluated and documented these products against the various rating systems. Now, when users perform a search, the information is delivered using software with embedded algorithms.
"The path to sustainability is ongoing, and the rules and regulations are always changing," adds Perkins. "LEED PLUS Calculator gives us the ability to anticipate customers' future needs and prepare for changes yet to come."
As The Mohawk Group continues to broaden its offerings, additional products can easily be added and rated at any time. The LEED PLUS Calculator is updated to the environmental rating systems within 48 hours of every change. In fact, Mohawk and Viridity are already working to rate the products by the new provisions of LEED 2009.
"The Mohawk Group is driven by a promise to maximize our customers' productivity," adds Kabus. "LEED PLUS Calculator is an important addition to our comprehensive portfolio of technologies such as Ready-to-Tile and Drag and Fly that give customers faster access to our products. With these tools, we are delivering solutions that will make a real difference in their lives."
LEED PLUS Calculator is the latest in a series of solutions The Mohawk Group has introduced within the last few months designed with the customer in mind to streamline the specification process. In June, the company introduced Drag and Fly—a first-of-its-kind "drag and place" software for carpeting images. The easy-to-use Web-based application provides architects and designers with an arsenal of high-resolution images allowing for on-the-spot and accurately-scaled placement of modular carpeting images into 3-D renderings or computer-aided drawings (CAD).
For more information and to begin rating your products, visit www.mohawkgroup.com.
ecoScorecard is an environmental software company that helps architects, designers and builders build green more efficiently. Using Web-based tools, ecoScorecard lets manufacturers efficiently provide information and documentation to the architects and designers that specify their products. ecoScorecard is provided as a free service to architects and designers, and is provided via license to manufacturers.
About The Mohawk Group
The commercial carpeting division of Mohawk Industries, The Mohawk Group is a long-standing industry leader in sustainable floor covering solutions. Driven by a philosophy of "innovation that works"—for its company, its customers and the environment—the flooring manufacturer strongly focuses on environmentally sound practices, and innovative product and service solutions. For more information about Mohawk's sustainability initiatives, visit www.themohawkgroup.com or go to www.mohawkgreenworks.com.
 McGraw-Hill Construction