Sustainability ENews Vol 12 #12 Masonry Bldgs Shine

Sustainability E-News
Masonry Buildings Shine
June 30, 2020
Volume 12, Number 12
From The Editor
We are half-way through 2020, and it is turning out to be a year like no other. I must admit, in the early phases of the current pandemic, I didn't necessarily think 'the new normal' was going to really be such a lasting thing. But reality has shown that even though some areas of the U.S. are opening back up, the way we do business has likely been changed in some ways permanently, or at least for the long-term. Most of the changes have both positive and negative elements that depend upon the perspective you are considering. That's something that is generally true in life and in the area of sustainability as well. In the best situations, we minimize the negative effects and maximize the positive ones. But there are always trade-offs, and as designers (and individuals) it's important to take a holistic view of things to be sure we don't overlook negative impacts, intentional or unintentional. Furthermore, sustainability includes consideration not only of environmental impacts, but also economic and societal ones. So as we move forward, I encourage you to find ways your 'new normal' can be sustainable in the broadest sense of the word and resilient as well.
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.
Adaptive reuse of masonry buildings are featured in the first two articles below. ~Tina
Restoring History: Durant-Dort Factory One
An important historical landmark and a major site of the automotive industry’s birth in Flint was painstakingly restored and repurposed as an archive and research space dedicated to the history of General Motors as well as a meeting and events center for the benefit of another century of Michiganders. General Motors purchased the building in 2013 and began a roughly three-year restoration and renovation of the 30,000 square foot structure. Learn more.
List: 10 noteworthy sustainable buildings
The Keller Center at the University of Chicago and the United States Land Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico are among the masonry buildings making this year's list of the 10 best sustainable building designs selected by the American Institute of Architecture Committee on the Environment. The annual list is intended to inspire ways to achieve a net-zero economy. Read the full story.
Ore. building meets Living Building Challenge
ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD (tiered subscription)
The five-story, 58,000-square-foot PAE Living Building in Portland, Ore., will become among a handful of buildings that are designed to survive a magnitude-7.5 earthquake. The speculative office building, designed by PAE Consulting Engineers, is the first and largest privately developed office building to obtain full certification under the Living Building Challenge sustainability program of the International Living Future Institute. Read more here.
Take a look at the first special issue of USGBC+
This first special issue of USGBC+ e-magazine expands on four pillars: sustainability, health and wellness, resilience, and equity. The four pillars are also an integral part of USGBC’s reimagined vision: Healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy. The articles focus on human health, resilient strategies, and social equity.
Achieving resilient designs begins with, at a minimum, building to current model codes, as a recent FEMA study notes below. For better results, designers should design beyond the base building code. ~Tina
Manufactured concrete products Product Category Rule (PCR) open for public comment
The updated Product Category Rule (PCR) for Manufactured Concrete Products and Segmental Concrete Pavers is now available for review and public comment. Developed through UL Environmental by a group of industry stakeholders, the updated PCR contains the requirements for concrete product producers to develop environmental product declarations (EPDs). Comments must be submitted by July 17, 2020.  
FEMA study reveals value of tougher building codes
Stricter building codes in California and Florida have forestalled about $1 billion in structural damage per year from flooding, hurricane winds, and earthquakes, according to a study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The study supports FEMA's recommendation for similar codes as a long-term cost-saving measure in other states. Read more.
Canada pushes low-carbon concrete for federal projects
Effective next year, the Canadian government plans to mandate the use of portland limestone cement to lower emissions in federal construction projects. Officials are also considering placing limits on the carbon intensity of concrete the government purchases. Read more.
Leveraging LEED for New Construction in a post-COVID World (part 1)
Now is the time for a greater public awareness of how the built environment can protect and promote human and environmental health. Buildings can, and must, play a critical role in delivering a stronger, more resilient public health infrastructure that can help prevent and mitigate crises such as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The good news is that we already have effective tools for designing, constructing, and operating such buildings—chief among them LEED and the WELL Building Standard. Read more here.
Mortars are generally studied less often than concrete, but the research project below notes one way to improve mortar's environmental footprint. ~Tina
Cement mortar benefits from nanoparticles
Metal oxide nanoparticles can increase the strength and durability of cement mortar and curtail its permeability to ions, researchers say in this article. Separate research indicates nanoparticles can enhance the microstructure and mechanical properties of cement mortars and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Scottish startup creates breakthrough brick made from construction waste
A startup company called Kenoteq has launched a sustainable building brick that generates less than 10 percent of the carbon emissions released during the manufacture of regular bricks. Created by professor Gabriela Medero at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, the K-Briq is made from 90 percent construction waste materials. Learn more here.
One benefit of the current pandemic is the accessibility of educational opportunities that have gone virtual. ~Tina
17th International Brick and Block Masonry Conference goes virtual!
The 17th International Brick and Block Masonry Conference, From Historical to Sustainable Masonry, will be held July 5 - 8, 2020. Originally scheduled for Krakow, Poland, the organizers have converted the conference to an entirely virtual event. For more information, visit the conference website.
2022 Masonry Symposium: Advancing Masonry Technology
Papers are invited for the 2022 Masonry Symposium to be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Seattle, Seattle, WA. The Symposium is co-sponsored by ASTM Committees C01 on Cement, C07 on Lime, C12 on Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry (Lead Committee), and C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units. The objective of the symposium is to gather and disseminate the latest information on all aspects of the innovations in masonry materials, design, specification, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation. For more information, click here.
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