Technology, beauty, innovation

8 February 2019

The Brazilian Tree Industry association (Ibá) represents the entire planted tree production chain, from fields to factory. It says that Brazilian laminate floors are innovative and sustainable, respect the environment, and guarantee well-being and quality of life for consumers

Global society is moving towards new forms of responsible consumption. The need for more social and economic awareness when making purchases has culminated in the choice of sustainable, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable products. At the same time, increases in income and consumption in several countries have driven architecture and construction to seek solutions in line with this concept – as well as beautiful and intelligent items. This entire scenario has driven the demand for forest products and services.

In Brazil, reconstituted wood floors, manufactured from planted and certified trees, represent one example of a product aligned with the low-carbon economy. Brazilian laminate floors are innovative and sustainable, respect the environment, and guarantee wellbeing and quality of life for consumers.

Within the new low-carbon market, this product is composed of wood certified by international bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Brazilian Forest Certification Programme (CERFLOR).

Furthermore, this sector fits into the Brazilian Habitat Quality and Productivity Programme, which is an instrument used by the Brazilian federal government to fulfill its commitments stemming from the Istanbul Declaration (Habitat II Conference in 1996). The goal of this programme is to organise the civil construction sector around two main issues: improving habitat quality; and productive modernisation.

Within the industry, there are efforts to boost adoption of these norms and performance standards in affordable housing projects with a wide reach, like the Minha Casa Minha Vida programme; these measures generate quality of life for the beneficiaries of the programme who now, for the first time, have the option of laminate flooring in these homes.

For customers, the result is a diversity of design choices, ease of maintenance and exceptional soundproofing performance in compliance with Brazilian norms (NBR 15575-3). Thanks to this feature, this flooring can be used in low-traffic, as well as high-traffic, areas.

Because this product is manufactured in an industrialised system, its advantages include standardised installation techniques and minimal loss. These floors 'float' and do not require glue during installation, which is simpler than in other wood flooring systems. They are installed by trained and qualified professionals, making them faster to build and providing greater control of waste. In other words, these floors permit high productivity – an average of 50 m²/team/day – with less than 5% loss and easy control of productivity.

In a scenario with large needs and dwindling resources, the ability to do more with less, using high-quality sustainable products, wins consumers over. Laminate flooring producers use the dry manufacturing process, which does not use water and preserves this resource.

One of the missions of Ibá, which brings together companies within the forest-based sector, is to increase the competitiveness of the industry and to bring Ibá’s member companies in line with the highest benchmarks for science, technology and environmental responsibility throughout the entire planted tree production chain, in the search for innovative solutions for the Brazilian and global markets.

Laminate flooring companies are still recent arrivals in Brazil, having been in existence fewer than 20 years. Consequently, Ibá has been very important in promoting domestic flooring through activities to combat unfair competition. These unjust practices may involve tax evasion or technically sub-standard products which enter the Brazilian market (generally from Asia) and generate losses for the state, the consumer and the environment.

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