Sustainability ENews Vol 10 #10 Green Products

The Masonry Society



Sustainability E-News

Green Products



May 31, 2018                                    

Volume 10, Number 10





From the Editor

May is always a busy month if you have children. End of school activities, graduations and the like keep one busy. However as May turns to June, thoughts often turn to summer which is always a good time to take a pause and reflect on how the year is going, reevaluate goals, and set new ones. Looking ahead, the deadline for abstracts for next year's 13th North American Masonry Conference is July 31. There is still plenty of time to reflect on how you might contribute toward advancing the knowledge of masonry by submitting a paper. Do you have a case study that highlights masonry used in sustainable strategies? Topics like energy efficiency with masonry designs, resiliency, acoustic design and masonry product innovations are among the many possibilities. Check out the article at the end of this newsletter for more information.


Christine "Tina" Subasic, PE, LEED AP


NOTE: Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of the products and materials featured, nor have these products been evaluated by TMS or the editor. Furthermore, the views expressed in the articles featured are those of the article authors.



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As someone once said, you have to walk before you can run. In this light the International Living Future Institute, creators of the Living Building Challenge, have introduced carbon-zero certification as a step toward zero-energy certification. Read more in the link below. ~Tina


Zero-Carbon Standard To Ease the Way to 'Living Buildings'


The world's most rigorous sustainable-building certification institute, the International Living Future Institute, has launched a simpler certification program - Carbon-Zero Certification - which recognizes buildings that offset energy use regardless of the location of the renewable energy production. It is expected that this new certification program will be more rigorous than LEED, but not as aggressive as Zero Energy Certification.Click here to learn more.




This edition includes links to some unusual new masonry products that aim to reduce negative environmental effects. Many are ideas from outside the U.S. where masonry often takes on a different form than in North America. ~Tina


Aerogel Bricks Promise Outstanding Insulation

Bricks with internal insulation already are making headway in construction, but Swiss researchers say they have an even better solution in the form of bricks infused with aerogel. Aerogel is a manufactured, gel-based substance that contains tiny, insulating bubbles. Read more here. (Editor's note: these are not bricks as we have in the U.S. but more like what we would call clay tile.)


Robot-Produced Brick Includes Cooling Properties


Researchers at the University of Hong Kong have developed a robot-produced, 3D-printed brick that can be made into any shape or design and can include cooling properties. The digital design and fabrication process allows for facades than can react to environmental conditions.Read more.


Low Carbon Transition in the Cement Industry

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD) Cement Sustainability Initiative, in partnership with the International Energy Agency, recently launched the Technology Roadmap: Low-Carbon Transition in the Cement Industry report, which outlines investment and policy needs for emissions reduction targets in cement production. According to this article, the report aims to identify and develop international collaborative efforts, to provide robust evidence for policy-makers and for decision-makers in industry.


Limestone Calcined Clay Cement Due To Take Off Internationally


Limestone calcined clay cement that is less expensive than portland cement and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30% may make up 27% of the world's cement by 2050, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The cement, which is a blend of limestone and calcined clay, could be commercially produced in South America in 2019. Read more.


Desert Sand Could be Answer for Use in Concrete

Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a biodegradable construction material from desert sand and various binders that is as strong as concrete with half the carbon footprint. The material could be an answer to the diminishing availability of construction-grade sand in concrete according to this article.


The Next Frontier for Energy-Efficient Products


There's no shortage of undeveloped ideas for efficient technologies that buildings could use today... so why aren't they on the NYC market already? This latest report looks into this disconnect between product manufacturers and building owners, managers, and designers. The writers also identify six technologies that are market-ready based on demand, ease of implementation and cost-effectiveness for buildings in New York. Read the report.




How Companies Can Align Actions with UN Sustainable Development Goals

Companies can derive many reputational and stakeholder benefits by prioritizing the sustainable development goals outlined as part of the UN General Assembly's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to this article. To do so, companies must fully understand the SDGs, map out how they will address them, ensure that stakeholders understand their mission and integrate related information into corporate social responsibility reports.




Call for Abstracts: 13th North American Masonry Conference

The 13th North American Masonry Conference will be held June 16-19, 2019, at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT. The Conference is hosted by Brigham Young University and is the latest in the series of quadrennial conferences sponsored by The Masonry Society. The conference seeks to provide a forum to professionals from around the world for networking and sharing the latest advances in masonry knowledge and practice. More than 150 papers from more than 20 countries are anticipated to be presented at the conference and included in the final proceedings. Authors are invited to submit abstracts describing proposed papers no later than July 31, 2018. Instructions and requirements for abstract and manuscript submissions are available at



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