World’s First Living Products Achieve Certification

Owens Corning and SIREWALL Reimagine Manufacturing for Radical Change in Energy, Water, Happiness
May 26, 2016 12:40 PM ET
Campaign: Press Releases

SEATTLE, May 26, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Imagine a product that functions as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. Now imagine that product is manufactured for use in buildings, which are responsible for a majority of greenhouse gas emissions, and you begin to see how a truly sustainable product, used to build a Living Building, might significantly impact climate change. That’s the idea behind the Living Product Challenge, launched by the International Living Future Institute in 2015; a challenge that was met by two forward thinking companies just one year later: Owens Corning and SIREWALL, who have received certification for the world’s first Living Products.

“We are pleased to award the world’s first Living Product certifications to two companies who have diligently and passionately pursued a radical re-thinking of how their products are designed, sourced, manufactured and eventually reclaimed--ushering what we believe will be a new era of regenerative manufacturing,” said James Connelly, director of the Living Product Challenge for the Institute. “This is a first for industry: Owens Corning and SIREWALL have not only demonstrated leadership and innovative thinking, they have also engaged in an ‘open innovation strategy’ by sharing their journey to LPC certification with other companies engaged in the Living Product 50, a collaboration of leading manufacturers on the path to becoming Living Products.”

When fully certified, a Living Product is locally sourced with renewable or bio based materials, and is manufactured by processes powered only by renewable energy and within the water balance of the places they are made. Living Products should not endanger or impair the health of those who manufacture or use them, and should improve our quality of life and bring joy through their beauty and functionality. On the path to full certification, products can pursue Imperative certification by meeting at least seven of 20 Imperatives in the categories of Place, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.

About Owens Corning AttiCat® Expanding Blown-In PINK® Fiberglas™ Insulation, PROPINK® L77 Loosefill Insulation, and ProCat™ Unbonded Loosefill Insulation products
Owens Corning unbonded loosefill insulation is a fiberglass product that provides thermal control for multiple applications, including walls, attics, cathedral ceilings and floors in new construction and retrofit applications.  For this pilot certification program the product, manufactured in Ohio, has met 13 of 20 Imperatives for the Living Product Challenge, and has achieved Imperative certification. With a life expectancy of 60 years, it is completely salvageable or reusable at the end of its life. It contains 55 percent recycled content and is manufactured in a plant that recycles waste product back into the process, achieving a 94 percent waste diversion rate. Designed so that the risk for injury or human error is minimized, most of the fiberglass manufacturing process is enclosed so that the product when it emerges as a compressed block is properly sized for intuitive integration in fiberglass blowing machines. The Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute has recognized both products as safe for humans and the environment, certifying them at the Platinum level. Owens Corning is also among the world’s largest industrial purchasers of renewable energy and plans to achieve the ambitious Net Positive Energy Imperative after completing of a wind farm currently under construction.

About SIREWALL (Structural Integrated Rammed Earth)
SIREWALL is a complete wall system with the strength and beauty of natural sandstone. The walls are stabilized with compacted earth and rebar, with 4″ of rigid insulation hidden in the center. Constructed onsite primarily from locally-sourced material, SIREWALLs have a life expectancy of at least 100 years. At the end of the product’s life, 100% is salvageable and/or reusable. The product is Imperative Certified, having met 11 of 20 Imperatives, in categories including Place, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. SIREWALL embodies the principles of a Living Product, as it is made literally from the land on which it is constructed, mixed with a small amount of cement binder. Each wall is not only non-toxic, high performing and sustainable, it is a work of art deeply connected to each place and region.  

About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is a hub for visionary programs. The Institute offers global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions, including green building and infrastructure solutions on scales ranging from single room renovations to neighborhoods or whole cities.  The Institute administers the Living Building Challenge and the Living Product Challenge, the  most rigorous and ambitious performance standards in the world. It is the parent organization for Cascadia Green Building Council, a chapter of both the United States and Canada Green Building Councils that serves Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. It is also home to Ecotone Publishing, a unique publishing house dedicated to telling the story of the green building movement's pioneering thinkers and practitioners.