Sustainability ENews Vol 10 #7 Green Code News

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The Masonry Society



Sustainability E-News

Green Code News



April 15, 2018                                    

Volume 10, Number 7





From the Editor

Last month we noted that LEED v4 is in the process of being updated. This month we are sharing the link where you can provide input (see the article linked below). At this point we know that USGBC is looking at updating several Material & Resource credits that are not currently achievable, but not much else has been reported regarding other changes. We will keep you posted as we learn more!


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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Following on articles in our last edition, this latest report notes the status of many states with regard to having building codes that support resilient design and construction. ~Tina


Insurance Institute: Little Progress in Strengthening Building Codes


The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) released the 2018 edition of their Rating the States progress report. The report evaluates 18 hurricane-prone states on their residential building code systems. The report shows that while many states have affirmed their commitment to strong building codes, in others there is a lack of progress. IBHS urges a careful review of the report for state specific recommendations to help strengthen buildings. Read more here.  



Requirements for green building vary widely throughout the U.S., from zoning regulations to LEED requirements to state codes. The articles below share some of the latest activities in these areas. ~Tina


Be Part of LEED v4.1's Development

As a new feature of LEED development, USGBC is opening a call for ideas for the LEED rating systems. The call for proposals is currently open.  Learn about the LEED development process. Proposal requirements: 

  • Proposals shall be expressed in terms of actual edits to the existing LEED language using tools provided by USGBC. Multiple proposals for change from the same person/organization for each LEED credit are permitted.
  • Proposals for change must be specific.
  • The rationale and technical justification for each proposal for change must be provided and must be technical in nature.

Submit your proposal here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)


Zone Green...and Greener


Zoning laws regulate how land is used in a city. These rules shape buildings, blocks and neighborhoods; they can be a tool for preservation or development. In 2012, the NYC Zoning Resolution was updated to include "Zone Green," amendments that helped make green building easier in NYC. As the industry grows and new technologies are developed, there is an ongoing need to revisit the Zoning Resolution. Inthis blog, Laurie Kerr - who led the development of Zone Greener - describes why a Zoning Resolution is always evolving-and a planner's work is never done.


Calif. Builders Add Solar to New Homes in Advance of Code Change


California's building code changes require that, by 2020, all homes are to be net-zero ready and feature rooftop solar panels. Builders in the state are already building homes to these code requirements to meet consumer demand according to this article.



Here we share several developments related to concrete - an essential element in concrete masonry. ~Tina


Completely Dissolvable Cement Sack

BillerudKorsnas and LafargeHolcim have teamed up to make the dissolvable D-Sack that eliminates packaging and cement waste. Workers can use a conventional mixer to dissolve the sack, while the structure being built captures the carbon in the packaging. Click here to learn more.


Recognition of Responsibly Sourced Concrete

Concrete is the world's most widely used building material. The Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC), of which WBCSD  (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) is a key contributor, created an easy tool which allows companies to measure and reduce their impacts, saving costs and increasing sustainability awareness across the concrete value chain. CSC has now been recognized as a responsible sourcing certification system for concrete, cement and aggregates by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and by Envision, a US infrastructure certification. CSC-certified companies will have an advantage when supplying development projects seeking BREEAM and Envision certifications. Read more


Engineering Students Up-cycle Construction Debris in India


Concrete waste from demolished buildings is a big problem in India. Engineering students at Kongu Engineering College have devised an innovative way to upcycle construction debris into usable constituent materials for new concrete block. The process includes treating the recycled concrete with sodium silicate and a carbonation process. This new process will not only help with construction waste, but also cut down on CO2 emissions as well. Read more.  



As noted below, The Masonry Society is seeking abstracts for next year's North American Masonry Conference. In addition, they are also looking for professionals to review abstract and paper submissions. For more information, contact the TMS office. ~Tina


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 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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