Sustainability ENews Vol#12 Rethink Carbon Impact

Sustainability E-News
Rethinking Carbon Impacts
March 31, 2020
Volume 12, Number 6
From The Editor
I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and coping with the coronavirus crisis. These are certainly strange times. While in many ways life as we know it has been put on hold, in other ways things continue as if nothing has changed. Where ever you fall in that spectrum, all of us at TMS hope that the negative impacts on you are minimized. If working from home means you have a little more time on your hands, I'd like to suggest you check out the many educational offerings from TMS. We have a live webinar on April 9 focusing on what's new in LEED v4.1 (with a focus on masonry of course), as well as numerous recorded webinars. This is a great time to review that topic you've been meaning to learn more about.
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.
The full impacts of land use in life cycle assessments, including the impacts from harvesting wood, are something that has had very little attention until recently. The first article below concludes that using wood cannot be considered carbon neutral. While more research is likely needed, this is not the first study to come to this conclusion. ~Tina
To save our climate we need taller trees not taller wooden buildings
recent article from the Center for Sustainable Economy expressed the need to let trees continue to grow in order to combat climate change. Increased emissions and diminished carbon sequestration capacity are two effects make conventional wood production very carbon intensive. For every ton of carbon stored in wood buildings many more are emitted along the way. In contrast, a recent Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) that included emissions associated with soil carbon loss and conversion of native forests into tree plantations found wood-based buildings to have a cradle to grave carbon footprint six percent higher than concrete buildings.
2020 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook released
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) has released their 2020 Sustainable Energy in American Factbook. The Factbook is a yearly endeavor, and the 2020 report looks at the U.S. energy transformation of the past decade (2010–2019), as well as providing an annual update on the progress of energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors in the United States. Read more.
The HPD Collaborative, the creator of the Health Product Declarations open standard, is releasing an update to their popular online HPD Builder tool. Read more in the link below. ~Tina
HPD Version 2.2 - Full Implementation Nearing Completion
The HPD Collaborative plans to launch the full implementation of the HPD Builder v2.2 on April 7th. In addition to many incremental improvements to Version 2.1.1, Version 2.2 introduces a major new feature - the Supplier HPD, a specification and methodology for enabling standard-based ingredient reporting and transparency throughout the building product supply chain. For more information on the v2.2 release features, and to access the Standard documents, click here

The first link below is actually a recording of a webinar on opportunities for the cement and concrete industry to reduce their environmental impact. They provide a lot of good information - certainly worth the watch. ~Tina
MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub webinar: Lowering embodied impact of cement and concrete
Recently, Jeremy Gregory, executive director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub at MIT, offered a webinar entitled “Lowering the Embodied Environmental Impacts of Cement and Concrete.” He presented opportunities for the cement and concrete industry to reduce environmental impacts, while also balancing the needs of specifiers and applications. A recording of the webinar is available on the MIT CSHub YouTube channel
Mass. company produces solar concrete blocks
MASSLIVE (Springfield, Mass.)
Massachusetts-based SolaBlock has created concrete blocks that allow structures to extract and use solar energy. The blocks are built into a building's walls and contain a solar-voltaic layer of cobalt blue. Read more here.
ACI tackling "upsurge" in demand for green concrete
The American Concrete Institute has prepared for an "upsurge" in demand for sustainable materials by updating the ACI 318-19 building code to include provisions allowing for recycled aggregates and alternative cements, says ACI President Randall W. Poston. ACI also plans to introduce an interactive tool called 318 Plus to help industry professionals monitor changes to building codes. Read the full story, under the heading “Sustainability Gains Traction.”
Cooped up inside? Now's a great time to catch up with some great online learning from TMS. See the links below for more info, including our live webinar next week as well as previously recorded ones. ~Tina
Live Webinar: What’s New in LEED v4.1
The latest version of LEED, LEED v4.1, was released in early 2019 proved a challenge to many designers and manufacturers. The Materials and Resources credits were particularly problematic. This new webinar explains how LEED v4.1 attempts to address these issues by adding incremental achievement levels and revising the thresholds and criteria in many of the credits. To register for this April 9, 2020 webinarclick here.
TMS offers recorded webinars
Did you know that The Masonry Society has over 20 recorded webinars available on their website on demand? Topics cover everything from strength design to special inspection and more. Keep engaged and check out them out now!
The Masonry Society Spring Meetings going virtual
The TMS Spring Meetings which were to be held in Charlotte, NC April 30 - May 2, will be held virtually due to the coronavirus outbreak. Virtual meeting notices will be posted here For more information on the virtual meetings, if you are not a TMS member, please contact TMS staff.
Upstate Masonry Institute class postponed
The Upstate (NY) Masonry Institute Masonry Master Class planned for April 2, 2020 has been postponed until November 5. Topics include sustainable design and masonryenergy efficient masonry designs, and cost study of multi-residential construction. Click here for more information.
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