Armstrong are Makers of 150 Years of Sustainable Materials in Green Building

May 12, 2011

Armstrong. They specialize in floor and ceiling systems and recently added cabinets to their list of products which can be used for both commercial and for residential applications.

“Armstrong markets the most extensive portfolio of residential and commercial floor products available – hardwood, laminate, linoleum, vinyl sheet and tile, ceramic and BioBased Tile– under the brand names Armstrong, Bruce and Robbins.”

Their corporate headquarters is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but they have plant locations nation-wide and internationally for the production of their ceiling and flooring products. Currently their cabinetry is only being manufactured in Pennsylvania.

The company began in 1860 and publicized their desire to have their impact on the environment be as minimal as possible starting in 1909 by recycling cork waste into linoleum flooring.

For over 100 years they have been producing linoleum products made of 100 percent  natural ingredients but continued to introduce better products with easier maintenance and durability.

Products such as their heterogeneous sheet flooring which requires no polishing or buffing is an example of their continued efforts to make better consumer products.

Heterogeneous sheet flooring is composed of different substances or the same substance applied in different phases. Armstrong’s can be found in three categories:

  • Timberline
  • Translations
  • Perspectives
These three combined product lines allow for 56 different visual finishes which include wood grains, marble textures and abstract designs.

Another sustainable flooring option from Armstrong is their BioBased Tile called Migrations. It is made of:

  • Low CO2 emitting materials
  • Recycled content
  • Regional Materials (if applicable)
  • Rapidly Renewable Resources

Migrations is offered in a variety of 28 interchangeable and intermixable colors from neutrals to bold options of blues, reds, greens, oranges, and yellows.

As environmentally safe as their flooring systems are, their ceiling systems are just as eco-friendly. They state,

“In 1999, Armstrong Ceilings introduced the industry’s first ceiling recycling program. To date, we have recycled over 100 million square feet of old ceiling material. That’s more than 50,000 tons of construction waste that’s been diverted from landfills.”

Fabric Suspended Ceiling

This program is called Ceiling-2-Ceiling and is a closed-loop recycling process with a compatible manufacturing process that reduces their environmental footprint.

To give a better understanding of what the environmental impact reduction they are having with the implementations of this program, they break down the statistics in the following list that shows the savings in one ton of material:

  • 456 kg of CO2 greenhouse gas not admitted (approximately driving your car over 3,000 miles)
  • 11 tons of virgin raw materials not needed
  • 1,892 gallons of potable water not needed to produce the raw materials
  • Enough electricity to power a home for 1.4 months (1,390 kWh)

They have created the BioAcoustic Ceiling, Mineral Fiber and Fiberglass Ceilings all which are sustainable, recyclable, have high acoustics and light reflectance. The BioAcoustic Ceiling is the greenest ceiling system on the market today and is made of 45% rapidly renewable content. Their environmentally friendly ceiling options come in a variety of 55 products and appearances.

Acoustic Ceiling

Armstrong also offers many tools to help design and specify green products. They even offer, on their website, a calculator to help consumers understand the price vs. the payback of sustainable alternatives. Armstrong states,

“Throughout the years, in North America and now worldwide, our quality and process driven culture are seeds by which we continue to innovate environmentally-responsible ceiling and wall, practices and products.”

Recently in 2009 they added no formaldehyde cabinets, “Origins”, to their list of products, along with “Tierra”, renewable acoustic ceilings, and “DC FlexZone”, a low-voltage ceiling grid for electronics.

As one company, Armstrong is leading the design industries with new products and their continued environmentally aware attitude.

Resources:, India Mart, and Armstrong



Jennifer Shockley

Jennifer is originally from Colorado and has recently moved back from Michigan. She is finishing up her Master’s degree in Architecture. She is currently focusing on urban planning and sustainable design and hopes to gain employment at a design firm specializing in these areas. Jennifer also has writing experience serving as an editor for her school newspaper and college magazine. Jennifer has two cats named Prada and Dior-aptly named after her shoe obsession. You can follow Jennifer on twitter @jenshock81.