LSI Floors > Innovation in PVC

Innovation in PVC

innovation_in_PVC Sustainability is a word used by everyone today. Organizations and individuals each with a unique focus define it in their own way. One such definition states sustainability is improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems. The goal is to strike an eco-balance of feature, function, beauty and safety.


The Science has Changed

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is the most widely used plastic in the built environment as well as in medical equipment. In medicine it is found primarily in IV bags, tubing, and gloves. Unplasticized PVC is hard and brittle at room temperature. A plasticizer (softener) is added to increase the flexibility of the polymer. The healthcare industry was first to see the ramifications of a specific softening agent called DEHP found to leach from PVC medical products contributing to health issues. After the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that in certain quantities DEHP caused disruption of the human endocrine system manufacturers began to develop safer softeners.
At the forefront of this effort towards material safety in flooring products, LSI was one of the first to incorporate DINP into their manufacturing process. DINP is an alternative softener not considered to have human endocrine disrupting effects nor is it classified as a human carcinogen by The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).


LSI meets or exceeds manufacturing safety standards including:

  • European Union directive 67/548/EEC confirming DINP safety
  • State of California Section 01350 for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions criteria qualifying for installation in schools and office buildings within the state of California
  • State of California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) rule 1168 mandatory requirement set by the U.S. Green BuildingCouncils, LEED programs Indoor Environmental Quality category
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 29 CFR 1910.1200 for manufacturing material safety

Clean and Green Flooring Options

A full listing of all materials used in LSI floors:


LEED Contribution

  • MR Credit 4.1 Recycled content
  • MR Credit 4.2 Recycled content
  • IEQ Credit 4.1 Low-emitting materials
  • MR Credit 2.1 Divert 50% from landfill
  • MR Credit 2.2 Divert 75% from landfill
  • Options 3 – Flooring Systems for schools
  • GGHC MR Credit 3 Sustainability sourced materials
  • GGHC EQ Credit 4.1 Low-emitting materials; Interior adhesives and sealants
  • GGHC EQ Credit 4.3 Low-emitting materials: Flooring systems


Construction material isn’t the only potential source of VOC’s in facilities; maintenance releases them too, primarily in the form of emissions from cleaning products. The irony is that these products eliminate dirt and germs at the risk of producing unintended consequences that are far worse.

Silver has been used for the treatment of medical ailments for centuries for its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. LSI Protective floorsTM contain micron-sized silver particles that have a large relative surface area, which increase their contact with bacteria, virus, or fungi, and vastly improves their bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal effects. Silver particles adversely affect cellular metabolism and inhibit cell growth and multiplication of potentially harmful bacteria and fungi.

Quality of Product and Life are Connected

Engineers, architects, interior designers, facility managers and end use consumers each approach sustainability to fit their unique needs. Each are connected but require specific features including manufacturing excellence, structural integrity and durability, design forward patterns and colors, cost effective installation and care with comfort and safety confidence.

All LSI floors are manufactured in an ISO 14001:2004 facility and are engineered to withstand daily traffic in the toughest situations including busy retail environments and commercial office buildings. These products carefully balance sustainability, minimize harm throughout their product lifecycles and support infection and indoor air quality control practices during their useful application. LSI Expressive floorsTM and Protective floorsTM are designed to meet or exceed all current standards and support designing for Quality of Life.