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The Durasein Difference: Clean Surfaces for Modern Design

There’s a growing awareness of how the interiors we build affect the wider world. One of the ways we can evaluate that is through a measurement called Global Warming Potential (GWP). The GWP measures the greenhouse gas emissions involved in every step of a product’s lifecycle, from extracting the material used to make the product to disposing of it or recycling it at the end of its life.

The higher the GWP measurement of a material, the more it contributes to global warming throughout its lifecycle. To slow climate change, it’s in our best interests to choose materials with low GWP ratings whenever possible.

We’re proud to say that Durasein Solid Surface material has the lowest GWP rating of all solid surface brands. As you can see in the chart below, our score of 69.3 ranges from two to 50 points better than the scores of our competitors, including Krion, Corian®, Avonite, HI-MACS®, TriStone, and Staron®.

 

 

Let’s look at how our score was determined using the lifecycle of Durasein Solid Surface material.

Stage 1: Production

The first step in determining a GWP rating is evaluating the materials used to make a product. Durasein is made of approximately two-thirds natural minerals (ATH- alumina trihydrate, aluminum hydroxide) and one-third high strength resin (polymethylmethacrylate or PMMA), and it contains no added crystalline silica.

As indicated in the Declare label for Durasein, our material does not contain any of the Living Building Challenge® Red List materials, chemicals, and elements known to pose serious risks to human health and the greater ecosystem, and we’re proud to say that it is 100% recyclable and salvageable/reusable. Historically, we have repurposed our own product, recycling 200 tons a year of off-cuts into chips that can be used to color new materials, and we are always looking for vendor partners who can manufacture new products with our recycled materials.        

The GWP rating also accounts for the way materials are transported to the manufacturing facility. At Durasein, we rely on over-the-road shipping, combining loads whenever possible to maximize fuel efficiency. Finally, the rating evaluates how the finished product is manufactured.

This step is the key to Durasein’s competitive edge, and we’ve taken multiple steps to reduce the overall impact of our manufacturing. For example, we’ve installed photovoltaic panels on our roof that provide 1600 kilowatts of clean energy to power our plant. We also filter, reclaim, and recycle 100% of our processed wastewater, and we use robotic technology to maximize our efficiency.

Stage 2: Transportation

Once the product is made, the GWP rating accounts for the greenhouse gasses emitted while transporting it to dealers, warehouses, and installation sites. One key area we focus on at this stage is packaging. We seek to minimize the waste of packaging materials while providing adequate protection for the product and safety for those who handle it along its journey. We are always looking for new ways to optimize our performance in this area.

Stage 3: End of Lifecycle

While we’ve designed Durasein Solid Surface to perform for many years, most interior building products are eventually replaced. The climate costs of deconstruction, waste transportation, waste processing, and disposal are all evaluated to determine a product’s total GWP score.

We’re proud to say that Durasein Solid Surface is renewable and repairable on the spot, adding years to its life. And after its use, 100% of our product can be recycled into other end products, such as countertops, tables, showers, chairs, wall cladding, and household products.

Certifications

Beyond our GWP score, Durasein Solid Surface has also earned several important certifications for health and safety, including:

  • GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD: Durasein meets the certification requirements for GREENGUARD and the more stringent GREENGUARD GOLD, requiring low emissions of more than 360 volatile organic compounds and total chemical emissions. Both our material and the cured adhesive used in installation are 100% free of formaldehyde and have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
  • NSF: As an NSF-certified product, Durasein is regularly tested and proven to meet health strict standards.
  • RoHS3 Directive: Durasein does not use or intentionally incorporate any of the prohibited substances listed in the European Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
  • REACH: Durasein complies with this European Union regulation, which improves the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.
  • Health Product Declaration (HPD): Durasein is a member of the HPD Collaborative and believes in transparency and ingredient disclosure around building materials. We provide full transparency on Durasein in our HPD.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): LEED is a standard voluntary system to certify high performance of buildings, from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED certifies buildings using a rating system for contribution to sustainable design. Durasein may contribute credits in several LEED categories.
  • Conflict Minerals Regulation: Durasein complies with this EU regulation that aims to stem the trade in tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, which are sometimes used to finance armed conflict or mined using forced labor.

As you can see, Durasein Solid Surface is a responsible choice when it comes to protecting the planet and human health. However, we know designers also crave aesthetically beautiful materials that give full reign to their creativity. We’re pleased to say that Durasein delivers there, too. Not only is it available in a wide range of colors, but you can also specify it in a variety of thicknesses. And no matter what style you choose, it can be fabricated with standard woodworking tools or thermoformed to bend to your creative will, whether that means seamless surfaces with invisible joins, curvy 3D forms, textured Patternine surfaces, or dramatic LED-backlit panels.

Finally, we’ve engineered our material to be chemical resistant, stain resistant, heat resistant and easy to clean and maintain, all of which make it a pleasure to care for and extend its lifecycle.

To learn more about Durasein Solid Surface or find a dealer near you, reach out today.

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