Denver - At the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, Shaw Contract Group introduced EcoWorx® Performance Broadloom, the commercial carpet industry's first fully-sustainable, Cradle-to-Cradle carpet backing for broadloom carpet products.
With broadloom carpet comprising approximately 70 percent of the entire commercial floor covering market, the introduction of EcoWorx Performance Broadloom will play a significant role in reducing the amount carpet sent to landfills after its useful life, and marks another significant step in Shaw Industries' ongoing, comprehensive commitment to providing Cradle-to-Cradle product and process solutions for its customers.
Built on the success of EcoWorx®—the carpet industry's first fully-sustainable, non-PVC backing for commercial carpet tile products introduced in 1999—EcoWorx Performance Broadloom blends cutting-edge engineering and environmentally friendly materials to meet the needs of commercial interiors professionals who demand a high performance, moisture resistant, flexible and lightweight backing. The scientific achievement of EcoWorx Performance Broadloom lies in an innovative, five-step proprietary dissolution process.
"When we began developing EcoWorx Performance Broadloom, we wanted to design a product that would not only meet the needs of commercial carpet end-users and specifiers, but also provide a sustainable product that could effectively address the larger broadloom market," says John Stephens, vice president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. "This revolutionary product achieves those goals and will significantly help eliminate waste and prevent carpet from languishing in a landfill."
The concept behind EcoWorx Performance Broadloom is to incorporate components that are designed to maximize performance and recyclability. Specifically, each component in the backing system is designed to work cooperatively and contains no filler. This allows broadloom carpet products with EcoWorx Performance Broadloom to be lightweight, flexible and among the highest performing in the industry.
Because of these cooperatively working components, EcoWorx Performance Broadloom can be easily generated, deconstructed and regenerated again and again through an innovative, proprietary five-step dissolution process. Through this process, key components of a used carpet product—fiber and backing—are made into new EcoWorx Performance backing and Shaw's premium branded fiber, EcoSolution Q® nylon, which contains 25 percent recycled content.
Among its many performance attributes, EcoWorx Performance Broadloom is stronger, 40 percent lighter and has a delamination strength 10-times stronger than backing used on traditional broadloom commercial carpet products. In addition, it passes the industry-leading antimicrobial test when installed and the British Spill Test for moisture management, as its complete moisture barrier allows the backing to perform the same, wet or dry.
EcoWorx Performance Broadloom will make its debut through a collaborative broadloom collection between Shaw Contract Group, William McDonough and Susan Lyons. The collection will be available in summer 2007. EcoWorx Performance Broadloom will also be adapted for use on current running product lines.
Products made with EcoWorx Performance Broadloom contribute to USGBC LEED certification standards. In addition, EcoWorx Performance Broadloom products will be collected at the end of their useful life, at no cost to the consumer, and recycled over and over into more EcoWorx backing through Shaw's Environmental Guarantee.
About Shaw Contract Group
Shaw Contract Group defines design not only by great appearance, but also performance and sustainability. The result is long-lasting carpet with vibrant colors, distinctive patterns and minimal environmental impact. As a division of Shaw Industries, Shaw Contract Group combines the expertise of the world's largest carpet manufacturer with the financial stability of a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. For more information, visit www.shawcontractgroup.com.
About William McDonough
William McDonough is a world-renowned architect and designer, and leader in the sustainable movement since its inception. Publishing many books on the subject of sustainable building, McDonough is best known for his work Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002).