Green Resources

Green Building Program

Guidelines for Residential and Commercial Building Construction

This section provides a summary of relevant adhesive and sealant “green” guidelines for the major “green building” program available on the market today. The current non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) which have developed “green building” rating systems are:




  • Contact Adhesive means a non-aerosol adhesive that: (a) is designed for application to both surfaces to be bonded together; (b) is allowed to dry before the two surfaces are placed in contact with each other; (c) forms an immediate bond that is impossible, or difficult, to reposition after both adhesive coated surfaces are placed in contact with each other; and (d) does not require sustained pressure or clamping of surfaces after the adhesive-coated surfaces have been brought together using sufficient momentary pressure to establish full contact between both surfaces. “Contact Adhesive” does not include rubber cements that are primarily intended for use on paper substrates. "Contact Adhesive" also does not include vulcanizing fluids that are designed and labeled for tire repair only.
    1. Contact Adhesive – General/Regular Purpose means any contact adhesive that is not defined as "Contact Adhesive - Special Purpose."
    2. Contact Adhesive – Special Purpose means a contact adhesive that: (a) is used to bond melamine-covered board, unprimed metal, unsupported vinyl, Teflon, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, rubber, high pressure laminate or wood veneer 1/16 inch or less in thickness to any porous or nonporous surface, and is sold in units of product, less packaging, that contain more than eight fluid ounces, or (b) is used in automotive applications that are (1) automotive under-the-hood applications requiring heat, oil or gasoline resistance, or (2) body-side molding, automotive weatherstrip or decorative trim.
  • General Purpose Adhesive means any non-aerosol adhesive designed for use on a variety of substrates. General Purpose Adhesive” does not include (a) contact adhesives, (b) construction, panel, and floor covering adhesives, (c) adhesives designed exclusively for application on one specific category of substrates (i.e., substrates that are composed of similar materials, such as different types of metals, paper products, ceramics, plastics, rubbers, or vinyls), or (d) adhesives designed exclusively for use on one specific category of article (i.e., articles that may be composed of different materials but perform a specific function, such as gaskets, automotive trim, weather-stripping, or carpets).
  • Building Construction, Panel, and Floor Covering Adhesive means any non-aerosol, one-component adhesive that is designed or labeled for the installation, remodeling, maintenance, or repair of: (a) structural and building components that include, but are not limited to, beams, trusses, studs, paneling (drywall or drywall laminates, fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP), plywood, particle board, insulation board, pre-decorated hardboard or tileboard, etc.), ceiling and acoustical tile, molding, fixtures, countertops or countertop laminates, cove or wall bases, and flooring or subflooring; or (b) floor or wall coverings that include, but are not limited to, wood or simulated wood covering, carpet, carpet pad or cushion, vinyl-backed carpet, flexible flooring material, nonresilient flooring material, mirror tiles and other types of tiles, and artificial grass. “Construction, Panel, and Floor Covering Adhesive” does not include “Floor Seam Sealer.”
  • Sealant/Caulking Compound means any product with adhesive properties that is designed to fill, seal, waterproof, or weatherproof gaps or joints between two surfaces. “Sealant and Caulking Compound” does not include roof cements and roof sealants; insulating foams; removable caulking compounds; clear/paintable/water resistant caulking compounds; floor seam sealers; products designed exclusively for automotive uses; or sealers that are applied as continuous coatings. “Sealant and Caulking Compound” also does not include units of product, less packaging, which weigh more than one pound and consist of more than 16 fluid ounces. For the purposes of this definition only, “removable caulking compounds” means a compound which temporarily seals windows or doors for three to six month time intervals, and “clear/paintable/water resistant caulking compounds” means a compound which contains no appreciable level of opaque fillers or pigments; transmits most or all visible light through the caulk when cured; is paintable; and is immediately resistant to precipitation upon application.

There is often confusion about what constitutes a sustainable/green building product and how to evaluate, specify and purchase sustainable/green building products. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has introduced GreenFormat®, a web-based search tool for designers seeking sustainable products. GreenFormat's structure helps manufacturers accurately and consistently report the sustainable attributes of their products in a spec-friendly format, consistent with MasterFormat. More than 1,500 products are already listed, representing more than 300 manufacturers. Users can search by product type, manufacturer or MasterFormat number to learn about and evaluate the “green” characteristics of various building products. If you are researching sustainable products for an upcoming design or project, let GreenFormat® simplify your search. For more information, click here.

Global Green Rating Programs

U.S. Based

  • Green Seal

    Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforming the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally friendly products. It evaluates a wide range of products and services ( including adhesives GS-36) and develops environmental leadership standards and certifications based on internal criteria.

  • Green Guard

    The Greenguard Environmental Institute is an independent non-profit organization that oversees the Greenguard Certification Program. It establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products (including adhesives and sealants) utilizing dynamic environmental chamber testing.

  • Green Label Plus

    Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus is an independent testing program that identifies carpet and adhesive products with very low emissions of VOCs that will help improve indoor air quality.

European Based


    System developed by the German adhesives industry late 1990s that represents a labeling system of 'low emission' construction adhesives and associated products such as primers, leveling compounds, joint sealants etc. EMICODE is basically the only low emission label for adhesives operating Europe-wide that is highly recognized by construction professionals. The EMICODE system is maintained by the GEV, a low budget/non profit industry organization made up of participating companies.