ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Sustainability will be examined through the lens of tile and stone design when Coverings 2012 convenes Tuesday, April 17 through Friday, April 20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. During each day of the international expo, an impressive lineup of experts on the expanding green marketplace will be leading conference sessions -- sharing their knowledge and perspective on the role of tile and stone in sustainable building and construction. In addition to offering a full menu of "Green Track" professional development seminars, show organizers are serving up several other programs with eco-minded themes.

"Now more than ever, the design community is committed to going green," said Karin Fendrich, Show Director of Coverings. "To help encourage excellence among the various segments who attend -- architects, designers, contractors and installers, distributors, retailers, builders and fabricators -- and emphasize that tile and stone can contribute to ecological innovation, we are expanding our programming. Our initiatives are intended to help bring greater clarity on how sustainability can be incorporated into everyday business practices and add value when it comes to the bottom line."

Green programming

Coverings show-goers who are invested in learning the latest in sustainable design will find worthwhile professional payoffs. For instance, those who attend at least four or more of the designated conference sessions will qualify for a Certificate of Completion in the Coverings Green Certificate Program. All told, there are eight sessions to choose from, with options offered each day except Friday. (See the full green track schedule below; not all sessions qualify for the Coverings Green Certificate Program.)

PROJECT: Greenis another way thatCoverings is calling attention to the value and attainability of successful sustainable design. Presented together with Environmental Design + Construction magazine, owned by BNP Media and a sister publication of Stone World and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, this initiative salutes stone and tile projects demonstrating innovative use of green building materials and products that have achieved ecological excellence. Worthy installations will be honored in a display at Coverings Central, a new interactive zone located in the middle of the action on the expo floor. Moreover, the projects can provide inspiration and fuel the imagination of other architects and designers, installers and contractors on ways to incorporate tile and stone in their green projects. Visit to learn more.

Coverings' commitment to sustainability stretches well beyond the show floor. To avoid wasting the materials and products collected from exhibitors and displays at the conclusion of the show, Coverings will donate the massive amount of discards to Tile Partners for Humanity. This non-profit "recycles" building essentials for use in Habitat for Humanity and other worthy non-profit community projects benefitting the disadvantaged. Last year, more than 500,000 pounds of surplus of used tile and stone were salvaged thanks to this unique collaboration between Coverings and Tile Partners for Humanity.

"Green Track" seminar sessions

Coverings 2012 features the most comprehensive and dynamic lineup of "Green Track" sessions yet. All are free to attend, with high-caliber experts and authorities headlining.

Date: Tuesday, April 17

Time: 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Session: Ceramic Tile: An Eco-Logical Solution

Speaker:  Ryan Fasan, a design consultant and partner of Professional Attention to Tile Installations

Summary: This session will explore the many natural benefits ceramic tile provides as a cladding material and how it currently fits within green building platforms.


Date: Wednesday, April 18

Time: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Session: Green Squared -- The New Definition of "Green" Tile

Speakers: Bill Griese, Standards Development and Green Initiative Manager for the Tile Council of North America,and Dan Marvin, Director of Quality Assurance and Technical Services for Florida Tile

Summary: This session will outline the new standard for ceramic tile systems as developed by the ANSI 138.1 committee.


Date: Wednesday, April 18

Time: 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Session: Going Green.  Going Global.

Summary: This sessionwill unite foreign and domestic industry members from ASCER, Confindustria Ceramica and Tile Council of North America to explain worldwide environmental efforts pertinent to tile. Attendees will gain a better understanding of green building standards around the world and different steps being taken by the tile associations to address global needs for "green" tiles.


Date: Wednesday, April 18

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Session:  PROJECT: Green -- Sustainable Tile and Stone

Moderator: Derrick Teal, Editor of ED+C magazine

Summary: This session will bring together representatives from the selected projects to discuss how they successfully used sustainable tile and stone in their residential, commercial or institutional installations.


Date: Wednesday, April 18

Time: 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Session: Successfully Selling Green in a Crowded Competitive Marketplace

Speaker: Fred Jackson, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) who has over 15 years experience in national distribution and consulting for stone and tile companies

Summary: This sessionwill offer expert tips on how to sell your products and your business to eco-minded consumers.


Date: Wednesday, April 18

Time: 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Session:  Sustainability for Dimensional Stone: Quarry Operations and Processing

Speakers: Mindy Costello, Sustainability Standards Specialist for the National Center of Sustainability Standards at NSF International, and Daniel Rea, of Cold Spring Granite in Cold Spring, MM

Summary: This sessionwill guide attendees through the criteria developed for a dimensional stone sustainability assessment standard while identifying and measuring impacts on human health, environment and the surrounding community.


Date: Thursday, April 19

Time: 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Session:  From 'Super-Size' to 'Right-Size' -- The Road to a "Smart-Sized" Home

Speakers: Patricia Gaylor, Principal of Eco Interiors by Patricia Gaylor, and Gale Steves, author, trend reporter and head of home industries consulting company, Open House Productions

Summary: This sessionwill focus on ways to build or renovate a home that suits clients' needs without breaking the budget. It will offer smart and sustainable solutions.


Date: Thursday, April 19

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Session:Ventilated Wall Systems: The Ultimate Green Surface Application

Speakers: Jurij Podolak, VF Engineering LLC Partner and Architectural Engineer specializing in vented facade technology, and Michael Johnson, Principal of Michael P Johnson Design Studio

Summary: This sessionwill present several projects showcasing the unlimited potential of the ventilated cladding system, and address the technical information about why the use of this building surface is the most sustainable option available today.


Date: Thursday, April 19

Time: 2:45p.m. to 3:45p.m.)

Session: What "Points" Really Make a Difference?: Perspectives from a Green Builder / Remodeler

Speaker: Michael Strong, National Director of Business Development of Green Builder Media

Summary: This session will serve up inside information on what builders really consider when buying products and materials.


For more information on green programming during Coverings 2012, visit or