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Administrative Policies - Policy 0005

State of Vermont
Agency of Administration
Department of Buildings & General Services

Policy 0005

Title: Floor Covering Protocol
Date of Issue: November 27, 2007
Supersedes: Policy dated January 18, 1999



To inform employees in State-owned and leased spaces of the current technology policies and procedures regarding the installation and/or replacement of modern floor coverings in office environments.


  1. The Department of Buildings and General Services is responsible for replacement and maintenance of flooring systems in state-owned space.  The department reviews all requests for flooring replacement in state occupied lease space with the building owner.  Floor coverings can be replaced at the discretion of Buildings and General Services or at the request of the occupying Department or Agency.  The age of existing floorings, condition and location of the flooring will determine appropriateness of installing new flooring materials.
  • To improve ease of maintenance in high traffic areas and to minimize indoor air quality concerns, buildings and general services will replace carpet in high traffic areas with materials such as VCT or linoleum.
  • The department of buildings and general services, to the extent possible, will specify and install environmentally friendly flooring materials.  All flooring materials, inclusive of carpeting, VCT, linoleum or adhesives will be chosen to minimize emissions of volatile organic chemicals (specified as low V.O.C.).
  • The department of buildings and general services, whenever possible, shall install environmentally preferable carpet squares with a peel and stick backing.  This type of carpeting does not require additional adhesives are easily installed and are cost effective material; soiled or damaged sections can be removed and replaced quickly and easily.
  • Preference will be given to particular flooring materials with high recycled material content and which may be recycled to reduce our contributions to the solid waste stream.
  • All flooring materials, even those labeled as environmentally friendly, can produce odors.  With proper ventilation, usually for 72 hours after installation, odors can be minimized and thereby greatly reducing the potential health problems and / or discomfort to the occupants.  
  1. The only flooring materials that are suitable for use in state-owned or state leased properties are those which have been pre-approved by the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services.
  • The State's flooring contractor is required to provide Material and Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to the project manager and/or the leasing coordinator in advance of the material installation. 
  • These individuals shall post the MSDS on building bulletin boards in a conspicuous location in case there are employees with known chemical sensitivities. 
  • MSDS sheets contain information for installers to alert them to the potential risk of exposure to high concentrations of chemicals. 
  • Information is also contained on the MSDS sheets about protective equipment and clothing that should be used during application to minimize exposure and health risks. 

Employees with known health conditions and/or allergies should check the MSDS sheets as a precaution and report immediate concerns to their supervisors and the department of buildings and general services.


  1. Prior to replacement of flooring materials in state-owned or leased space buildings and general services project manager and/or lease coordinator shall meet with the departmental site manager to confirm type of floor covering and color/pattern.
  2. At a minimum, 48 hours prior to flooring replacement the flooring contract (contractor) shall provide a schedule and implementation plan to the buildings and general services project manager and/or lease coordinator and the departmental site manager.  Included in the plan will be Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and pertinent manufacturer’s literature regarding installation and safety.
  3. Buildings and General Services requests that MSDS sheets and manufacturers product labeling be circulated among occupants by the occupying agency and that staff be notified of intended flooring replacement schedules. In this manner, employees with known health conditions, allergies, or particular chemical sensitivities can notify the department site manager.  The site manager can then make arrangements to accommodate individuals during installation procedures and for the first 72 hours post installation.
  4. The project manager will also coordinate with the flooring contractor and appropriate office management staff to post MSDS and manufactures literature on at least one bulletin board per floor.


  • All scheduling for floor covering installations shall be coordinated through the appropriate division/agency manager depending on the intended scope of work. 
  • When the scope of work involves major additions/renovations or new construction the Engineering Division of BGS is responsible.  
  • When the work involved is routine maintenance or originates with an Agency request for lease space, the Facilities Operation Division of BGS is responsible. 
  • Flooring installation projects shall be coordinated at least 48 hours in advance to allow Site Managers to notify employees of impending work and to distribute pertinent literature. 
  • Site managers shall notify the department of buildings and general services immediately of an employee with a know health condition which may be affected by the flooring procedure.  Alternative scheduling of flooring procedures or temporary relocation of sensitive individuals can then be implemented. Changes in an approved schedule can only be done through the Director of the Division responsible for the renovation.


  1. The flooring contractor, in cooperation with the Project Manager or building owners, shall make sure that maximum ventilation is provided during construction and for 72 hours after installation is complete.  In buildings with passive ventilation, doors and windows shall be open to maximize fresh air turnover, and fans shall be installed if necessary. 
  2. In buildings with HVAC systems, the outside air dampers shall be operated 24 hours a day in the full open position during flooring installation and for 72 hours after installation projects have been completed.

Department Approval:

Gerald J. Myers , Commissioner

Agency Approval Required:

Michael Smith, Secretary