Sustainability ENews Vol 11#19 Sustainable Masonry

Sustainability E-News
Sustainable Masonry
October 15, 2019
Volume 11, Number 19
From The Editor
October and November tend to be busy months with lots of codes and standards development meetings, and this year is no exception. Later this week ASTM E60 Committee on Sustainability will be meeting in Houston to discuss a variety of draft new standards including ones on characterizing recycling in life cycle assessments, product transparency, and more. Early in November, TMS will have its Annual Meeting. This is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of masonry by attending the General Education Sessions and participating in the various committee meetings. It's also a great place to network. The talent and knowledge base of TMS members is phenomenal, and they are all friendly and eager to share. I encourage you to join us! And I can't think of a better place to be than Scottsdale,AZ in November. For more information, check out the TMS website or register here. Hope to see you there!
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.
Masonry can be used in a variety of sustainable design strategies, from energy-efficient designs providing social benefits to providing safety, as demonstrated in the articles below. ~Tina
Energy-efficient masonry housing project wins 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named Goldsmith Street in Norwich, England winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK's best new building. Designed by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley, the highly energy-efficient residential development meets Passivehaus standards, with annual energy costs estimated to be 70 percent cheaper than the average household. The social housing project contains some 100 brick homes of two and three stories, arranged in rows. Read more.
The business of ballistics: Why masonry is unparalleled - Testing part 1
Placed within the context of senseless acts of violence, building materials can be a factor in the equation of protecting people. Structural brick, the primary product that was tested in this process, is unique as compared to brick veneer in that it can be filled with grout and reinforced with rebar. Read about the testing here.
Global nonprofit calls for 40% cut to embodied carbon emissions
The world's builders and manufacturers must reduce embodied carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 to realize the goal of the sector becoming fully net-zero by 2050, according to a new report from the World Green Building Council. "As we move forward, greater transparency on carbon emissions is needed throughout the whole value chain ... [and] we need our customers to put higher demands on sustainable procurement," said Anders Danielsson, president and CEO of Skanska, in this article.
The Green Globes rating system is not as well known as LEED, but it has been a leader in incorporating sustainable building design strategies into rating systems and standards. The current version is up for revision and the developing body, GBI, is looking for volunteers. Check out the articles below for more information. ~Tina
ANSI/GBI consensus body: call for members
GBI’s revised ANSI Standard ANSI/GBI 01-2019, commonly called Green Globes for New Construction (NC) 2019, is undergoing continuous maintenance review. Parties interested in being seated on the consensus body will review and vote on proposals for changes to the Standard. GBI is also requesting that interested participants apply to serve on one or more of four Subcommittees that will form in January 2020. Initial subcommittee options are: Energy & Project Management, Site, Water, Materials and/or Indoor Environment. More information is available at
Public Comments Requested by November 18, 2019
GBI is requesting public comments (proposals for changes) on ANSI/GBI 01-2019: Green Globes Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. Comments for consideration in this phase of continuous maintenance are requested by November 18, 2019. Please submit comments to

Information on environmental aspects of building materials is increasingly available through a variety of product disclosure reports, but information on societal aspects are not as widely known. The first two articles below explore less known aspects of sustainability. ~Tina
Where do building materials come from?
new initiative wants to root out modern-day slavery and labor exploitation in the global supply chain of many architectural products. If you ask architects if they believe the buildings they design should be ethically constructed, under fair, safe labor conditions, almost all would say yes. But if you ask if they can promise the products they specify do not involve slave or child labor to extract raw materials or fabricate the components, the question is likely to be met by a baffled silence or simply, “I don’t know.”
New Building Product Information Rating Tool
The new Building Product Information (BPI) Rating Tool is a website where you can compare the compliance, resilience, environmental and social credentials of Australian building products, systems and materials in response to climate hazards. The Insurance Council of Australia has already stated they will be using it to reference the performance of different materials faced with natural perils. Read more
Carbon calculator ready for unveiling
The Carbon Leadership Forum will unveil the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) Nov. 19-22 at the US Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Atlanta. The EC3 tool is designed to analyze and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in construction materials. Read more.
Study notes advantages, challenges of waste byproducts in concrete
MDPI (Switzerland)
More research is needed to determine the durability of byproducts such as plastic and waste glass as an alternative to natural resources in concrete, according to a joint study. The study found that the biggest advantage to using the byproducts is that they are waste products to begin with, and the biggest obstacle is controlling the quality of the byproducts before being used in concrete. Read the research paper

Register Now for The Masonry Society Annual Meetings!
It's not too late, but the early registration discount ends today Register now for the TMS Annual Meetings to be held in Scottsdale, AZ November 6 - 9, 2019. Join us for Educational Sessions on a variety of topics including LEED v4.1, as well as the meeting of the new Building Performance Committee. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit the TMS website.
Ambitioning a sustainable future for built environment: Comprehensive strategies for unprecedented challenge
The third RILEM Spring Convention and Conference, RSCC2020, will be organized by the University of Minho, in Guimarães, between the 10th and the 14th of March 2020. The same event will combine the RILEM standing committee meetings, several RILEM technical committee meetings, a PhD Workshop, a Plenary RILEM Workshop and a Conference. RSCC2020 will be the ideal opportunity to network and meet with partner organizations, as well as to take advantage of a high quality technical programme and appreciate the cultural and emotional atmosphere provided by the social events. For more information, visit the conference website.
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