Sustainability ENews Vol10 #21Sustainable Development

The Masonry Society
Sustainability E-News
Sustainable Development
November 15, 2018                                    
Volume 10, Number 21
From the Editor
California is often a bell-weather for the rest of the U.S., like it or not. Last year California assembly bill 262 created a requirement for state projects to solicit environmental product declarations (EPDs) and select products with a lower carbon footprint. A recent blog post notes that "projects will begin requesting EPDs in 2019, even though the procurement mandate (the requirement to select lower-carbon products) won't take effect until 2021." This delay is necessary as EPDs are far from commonly available. And though well-intentioned, the reality is that EPDs are far from being universally comparable. Comparisons of construction materials should be based on their full life cycle, with equivalent operational effects, maintenance, and scope accounted for. We will keep you posted on new developments as we learn of them.
On a different note, it's time to start thinking about 2019! Sponsors are needed for Sustainability E-News. Do you like receiving this bi-monthly publication? If so, I urge you to consider sponsorship for 2019. Rates start at $250 for TMS Members. For more information, visit the TMS website.
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.
Lots of news this month on activities around the U.S. ~Tina
California EPD Procurement Requirement Delayed
In his recent blog post, Nadav Madlin discusses California plans to implement its pioneering "Buy Clean California" law, which requires project teams to solicit Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and select lower-carbon products on projects with State funds. The article notes that projects will begin requesting EPDs in 2019, even though the procurement mandate (the requirement to select lower-carbon products) won't take effect until 2021. The lead time will allow regulators to simply take the average of the carbon numbers in the EPDs they receive and use that as the threshold for later procurement of lower-carbon products. In other words, the average from EPDs received in 2020 will become the procurement minimum for 2021.
Mayors Sign U20 Agreement to Work Toward Sustainability
Mayors at the Urban 20 Mayors Summit representing Rome, Paris, London, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Helsinki and 24 other cities signed an agreement and vowed to work together toward a "collective goal of fair, inclusive, and sustainable development." Read more.
Developers Agree to Cut Building Energy Use by 20%
Some of New York's most prominent developers agreed to a plan to reduce energy use in the city's larger buildings by 20% by 2030. The plan would apply to the more than 50,000 buildings in the city of at least 25,000 sq.ft (2300 sq.m).  
6 of the Largest LEED-Gold Buildings
Buildings of all sizes have achieved LEED certification in the past 18 years, and the US Green Building Council has released a listing of recipients by square footage. Six of the nine largest LEED recipients have Gold certification: the USAA headquarters in San Antonio, Texas; the Merchandise Mart in Chicago; and New York City's Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Four World Trade Center and Paramount Plaza. Read about them here
NYC Builder Offers Wisdom on Sustainability
Michael Namer is known for developing LEED-certified projects in New York City, but he says the semantics of green building belies its actual purpose. "It's not about the LEED, [and] it's not about eco-whatever -- it's about using and producing housing that continues to be safe to live in, and being in a place that is contributing to a better life," he says according to  this article.
There is debate in green circles about whether using waste for energy is a good thing or not. The article below demonstrates one way in which it can be beneficial. ~Tina
Waste is Powering Cement Production in Egypt
Geocycle, LafargeHolcim's global waste management business, is co-processing household and industrial waste into alternative fuels and raw materials to power its cement production in Egypt. Lafarge Egypt plans to replace 20% of the energy needed to produce cement with waste-generated fuels this year and is eyeing 40% by 2020. Read more.
Robot Builds University's Walls Faster, Better
The new University of Nevada, Reno, Arts Building employed state-of-the-art robotics technology in the construction of the facility to save time and to produce an optimally aligned building envelope. The robot can lay up to 200-250 bricks per hour, while a mason averages 250 per day. Read more about the project here.
Going Green Requires Company-Wide Transformation
Sustainability is about more than commitment -- it requires a top-down approach that begins with the CEO and involves the whole organization, says Pascual Berrone, a professor at IESE Business School in Madrid who has researched these issues. "We found that when there's a gap between a company's symbolic and substantive environmental actions, it negatively affects a company's perceived legitimacy, reputation, and market value," he says in this article
It's not too late to catch the last two masonry webinars for 2018. Both are relevant topics and have great presenters. ~Tina
TMS Webinar Series Continues
The Masonry Society's 2018/2019 2nd-Thursday-of-the-Month Webinar Series are easy ways to learn more about various masonry topics while earning 1 hour of continuing education. Topics include:
  • December 13, 2018 - Masonry Façade Inspections - Best Practices and Tips
  • January 10, 2019 - Rational Design of Masonry Veneers & Shelf Angle Supports
Webinars will begin at 1 pm ET. For more information and to register for these seminars, visit the TMS website

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