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According to Italian manufacturers, Italian tile is a durable, long-lasting, non-toxic covering solution that does not off-gas and is resistant to extreme weather conditions. Italian companies also employ responsible manufacturing practices and often recycle material and water waste back into the production cycle. In addition to its inherently green attributes, Italian manufacturers are patenting ceramics with an antimicrobial mineral embedded into the body of the tile, producing LEED-compliant collections made with recycled content, engineering energy-saving systems for ventilated wall facades and manufacturing tiles with photovoltaic modules.
"Green is in our DNA," said Franco Manfredini, President of Confindustria Ceramica. "Our manufacturers are organized in industrial districts and are directly involved in the responsible management of their territory. They have direct control on the environmental and social impact of their manufacturing operations and on the local trade of their products."
Aniello Musella, Trade Commissioner, Executive Director for the U.S., Italian Trade Commission, added, "We are proud to partner with Green Builder Media who is a leader in promoting sustainable living in America. ReVISION, in particular, is an important case study of an energy-saving, renovation project and appropriate for today's economy."
After exploring Ceramic Tiles of Italy's numerous eco-friendly collections, the design team chose products from nine different Italian manufacturers. "This project really opened my eyes to the rich world of Italian tile," said Project Designer Patricia Gaylor. "I was delighted to find so many well-designed, sustainable and versatile collections. I used it both indoors and out."
Ragno's "Textile" collection will run throughout the main areas of the home, while a striking black tile from Floorgres' "EcoTech" line will cover the rear patio. Emilceramica's "Alabastro," a classic collection reintroduced in a new sustainably slim 5-mm format will be featured in the laundry room, while the convincing wood looks of the "Golden Oak" collection will be used in the breakfast room. Complementing the feminine atmosphere typical of a powder room, Casa Dolce Casa's leather-looking "Cuoio" tile in a Cognac hue was chosen. Ceramic tiles from Marazzi and Refin's Stone Leader, produced using 40% pre-consumer recycled material, will bring the look of natural stone to the front and rear guest bathrooms, respectively.
Additionally, Imola's Carrara marble-inspired tiles will be installed in the master bathroom. "I envisioned marble in the bath and was delighted to find an Italian porcelain tile that offered this look," said Gaylor. "It is a large format tile, 20 x 40 inches, which is only 5mm thick. Since it is thinner, it is going to quicker and easier to install -- a major plus for renovations."
For a pop of color, Trend's mosaic "VBS Collection" (Vitreo, Brillante and Shining), which contains up to 30% post-industrial recycled glass, will be used for the kitchen backsplash. Mapei, a proud innovator of environmentally responsible solutions manufactures more than 110 LEED-compliant products. As a result, the company's grouts and adhesives were chosen for the project.
The Green Builder VISION House series presents realistic housing options for American families and demonstrates the decisions that builders, architects, interior designers and homeowners can make in order to achieve beautiful, high-performance results. Focusing on optimized home performance, energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor environment quality, efficient systems and sustainable materials, the resulting research and training program based on the project will provide essential green building information to builders, remodelers, architects, designers and consumers.
IBS attendees will be able to take house tours from Wednesday, January 12 to Saturday, January 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and learn directly from the design team ways to incorporate sustainable practices into their projects using ceramic tiles. Transportation will be provided directly from the Orange County Convention Center. Green Builder Media is also partnering with the Department of Energy, Building America, Energy Star, and FLASH to execute energy, water, hurricane protection, and general sustainability testing and modeling on the home. There will be a white paper energy analysis provided at the end of the project as well as an accredited seminar on Green Builder's Web site discussing the product selection.