SustainabilityENewsVol 11#13 Designing for Disasters

Sustainability E-News
Designing for Disasters
July 15, 2019
Volume 11, Number 13
From The Editor
I am excited to announce that a new committee was approved at the recent meetings of The Masonry Society. The new Building Performance Committee will address high-performance building design with masonry through sustainability, resilience, and energy performance. The committee grew out of the former Sustainability Committee and the desire to address a scope that went beyond sustainability. Just as this newsletter has evolved to include topics such as resiliency and energy efficiency, so too will the new committee cover a wider range of building performance issues. Additional information on the new Committee is posted here. As a reader of this newsletter, I'd encourage you to consider serving on this new Committee by applying here.  
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 first two articles below address how current designs for buildings can be improved upon to provide more resilient designs. ~Tina
Outside In: Designing Building Envelopes to Withstand Climate Change
 In 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, devastating the island's infrastructure and killing 2,975 people. In the subsequent investigation, government officials found that while the buildings built according to code largely remained standing, water had still gotten into them and severely damaged the buildings’ interiors. The disaster sheds a light on one of the most important parts of building resilience—the building envelope. Read more.
Study Finds Overconfidence Regarding Building Codes in Disaster-Exposed Communities
The nonprofit organization Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) highlighted a new initiative recently based around research and consumer surveys they conducted that revealed that many Americans are highly confident that building codes are already "in place" even though most communities at-risk for disaster are without necessary structural codes and standards for safe and optimal building performance. To read more, click here
Net Zero House Lawsuit Filed Against Home Builder
A lawsuit has been filed in Maryland alleging that two net zero homes are not. The facts are gleaned from a review of the court pleadings and are instructive for everyone buying or selling a green building. The complaint alleges the defendant home builder and subcontractors represented “that their new homes would be “net zero” energy efficient however neither of the homes has been close to net-zero as representedRead more.
Group Releases Guidance on Embodied Carbon in Building MEP Systems
The Charles Pankow Foundation has issued three reports meant to help contractors, designers and other building professionals estimate embodied carbon in mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. The reports, which include a life cycle assessment practice guide, have been made available for free download here.
If you've always wanted to be involved in the development of LEED, now is your chance. USGBC has issued a call for volunteers for their technical committees. Learn more at the link below. ~Tina
2019 LEED Committees Call for Volunteers Now Open
USGBC is seeking innovative sustainability professionals and experts in the design, construction and operations of buildings and communities to serve on LEED Committees. Applications are due by August 30, 2019 at 5 pm PST. Learn more and apply

Incorporating "green" into your business can take several forms, from becoming familiar with new designs to changing your business practices. Read more in the articles below. ~Tina
Learning Energy-Efficient Design is an Ongoing Process for Contractors
Energy-efficient design has led to major changes in the construction industry, and there's more to learn in the decade ahead, says Mark Hutchinson of the Canada Green Building Council. "All the technologies related to delivering a more energy efficient building are things that the design community, and then the contractor, are going to have to get familiar with," Hutchinson said in this article.
Tips for Developing a Sustainability Initiative
With the increased pressure to "go green," small-business owners can gain a competitive edge putting sustainability at the core of their culture, writes David Trounce. "Showing their concern for social responsibility and the health of the environment can help small businesses increase their bottom lines, even if there is a short-term loss," Trounce writes. 
New Building Performance Committee Seeking Members
At the request of the Sustainability Committee, The Masonry Society's Board of Directors has disbanded that committee and has formed a new broader Building Performance Committee. This new Committee, which will initially be Chaired by John Civitillo, will address high-performance building design with masonry through sustainability, resilience, and energy performance. Additional information on the new Committee is posted here. Those interested in serving on this new Committee should apply here.  
Seeking Abstracts for Conference on Durability of Materials
You are invited to submit an abstract for the 15th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components, which will be held June 30 - July 3, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Abstracts are sought in the areas of: Building Physics and Durability; Service Life Prediction Methodologies; Durability of Materials, Systems and Components; Sustainability and Durable Construction; and more. Deadline for abstracts submission has been extended to July 20th, 2019. For more information check out the conference website.
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