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Louisiana Baseline Specification Review

Baseline Specification Review Home

  • 7 Urban-Small City
  • 13 Urban-Large City
  • 6 New Construction
  • 10 Rehab
  • 4 New Construction + Rehab


  • About 15% of projects did not specify vinyl in the unit, instead specifying a combination of ceramic tile, prefinished wood, engineered wood, carpet, and rubber tile with recycled content.
  • Almost 60% of projects specified carpeting. About 35% of these required Green Label Plus certification. (This industry-backed certification only covers some VOC emissions; some hazardous VOC and all non-VOC chemicals are excluded.)
  • Almost 60% of projects specified ceramic floor tile with use being most common in bathrooms with the occasional kitchen, laundry room, or entry.
  • Over 60% of projects set VOC content limits on flooring adhesives consistent with SCAQMD 1168 requirements.
  • Three quarters of projects that specified carpet pad called for use of rebond.


  • Nearly 75% of projects specified some sort of VOC content requirement.
  • Almost 60% specified flat paint having <50 g/L VOCs.
  • Over 35% specified non-flat paint having <50 g/L VOCs.
  • No VOC requirements for tints were indicated.
  • Ten percent of the projects specified paint meeting an older, less strict version of the Green Seal-11 standard.


  • About 10% of projects had recycled content specifications that would mean synthetic gypsum was definitely used.
  • None specified natural gypsum as a requirement.
  • Over half of projects specified some sort of wall and/or ceiling texture.


  • Nearly 70% of projects specified fiberglass batt insulation.
  • About 40% of the projects including fiberglass batt insulation specified that the batts be formaldehyde-free. As of October 2015, all residential fiberglass batt insulation made in the U.S. is formaldehyde-free.
  • About half of projects list spray foam (either 1 or 2 part) for gaps or miscellaneous voids.
  • Over 25% of projects specify blown cellulose insulation.​
  • Attic insulations include blown cellulose, blown fiberglass or fiberglass batts, and spray foam.


  • Plastic laminate dominates in Louisiana affordable housing projects - it was specified in over 80% of kitchens and over 50% of bathrooms.
  • Cultured marble was specified in 35% of bathrooms.
  • About 45% of projects specified engineered stone, cultured marble, or solid surfacing somewhere in the unit.
  • Over 15% of projects specified substrates with NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde).
  • Almost 30% of projects specified substrates compliant with CA 93120/CARB Phase II or that non-compliant wood to be sealed with low-VOC sealants.

Cabinetry & Millwork

  • About 55% of projects had some requirement for cabinets regarding formaldehyde based binders or formaldehyde emissions.
  • 25% of the projects specified CA 93120/CARB Phase II compliant.
  • 30% of the projects specified adhesives and composite wood products that contain no urea formaldehyde.
  • A majority of projects specified cabinet manufacturers, but did not include specific product lines.
  • Nearly all projects specified cabinets with a factory finish.  
  • About 30% of projects specified a laminate (HPL or melamine) or thermofoil finish for cabinets.
  • Almost all projects specified wood trim/base in at least some part of the units.
  • About 35% of projects specified resilient base in some area of the unit, with about half being vinyl wall base.
  • About 15% of projects specified MDF trim/base with another 15% allowing MDF as an option in place of wood.
  • Two thirds of projects that allowed or specified MDF required it to be free of urea-formaldehyde.


  • Around 40% of projects specified doors with a composite core, and almost 60% specified hollow core doors with a composite face.
  • About 30% of projects that included wood doors specified NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde)- an additional 10% of projects specified certified compliant with CA 93120/CARB Phase II.
  • Only 1 project specified a particular product; the others provided general information about which materials should be used and often approved manufacturers.
  • Over 30% of projects specified at least some factory finished wood doors.