Sustainability ENews Vol 11 #14 Improving Green Building

The Masonry Society

Sustainability E-News

Improving Green Building

July 31, 2019




Volume 11, Number 14


From The Editor

"Change is the only constant in life." This quote, attributed to Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is certainly true when considering sustainability and building construction. Whether it's new products or the evolution in the programs we use to measure sustainability, things are constantly changing. This edition features a number of articles related to updates and changes to the many green building programs out there, including a new rating program focused on resiliency (RELi), an updated social equity checklist (LEED), and a call for suggestions for the next version of LEED.


The Masonry Society also continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of the industry. The latest change is the disbanding of the Sustainability Committee and the creation of the new Building Performance Committee. In case you missed it in our last newsletter, the links for more information and how to join are found at the bottom of this newsletter. I encourage you to join and help shape the work of this new committee!

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.



Now is your chance to submit your ideas for how to improve LEED! Check out the link below. ~Tina


GSA Reviews more than 100 Green Building Systems and Selects 5


Section 436(h) of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the General Services Administration’s Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings to complete a review of high performance building certification systems every 5 years. After the review, GSA recommends to the Secretary of Energy the building certification systems most likely to encourage a comprehensive approach to certification of high-performance buildings. Read about their choices here.  


Unveiling RELI 2.0: piloting a new standard for sustainability, resilience

USGBC+ magazine

Read more about the newest version of RELi here.


Submit your ideas for the next version of LEED


The call for proposals is a new addition to the development of LEED process. The 2018 call yielded over 250 significant ideas, many of which were incorporated into LEED v4.1. The 2019 LEED call for proposals is open now. USGBC is working to ensure that LEED remains a global leadership standard and industry feedback and support are critical to that evolution. Submit your ideas


A related post by GREEN BUILDING LAW UPDATE can be foundhere.


Updated social equity checklist for LEED project teams released


The founder and former co-chair of the Social Equity Working Group issues a call to action on social equity. Read more


How LEED v4.1 addresses embodied carbon


LEED project manager Emma Hughes details the changes to the Materials and Resources credits in LEED Operations & Maintenance (O+M) v4.1 in this article



The first two links below are to editions of an online magazine that features a number of green buildings. Of particular interest is the stone clad Indian Creek Nature Center on page 18 of the Spring edition in the first link. ~Tina


ASHRAE’s High Performing Buildings magazine

·    Spring edition

·    Summer edition

For information on subscribing, click here.


Grizzlies, wilderness and a fire-resistant concrete block home


Molly Shepherd can easily recount the devastating 2003 fire. It was one she said that quickly became a watershed moment for many people with properties in the remote, wild and achingly beautiful territory along the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana. The blaze very nearly engulfed her modest cabin, and soon afterward she decided to build a new place to live, one that could withstand the wild, deadly flames. A few years later her new place was a 3,000-square-foot-plus home built with materials that could resist a forest inferno: concrete block and steel. To read more, click here.


Concrete-and-brick home in Vietnam is cool -- literally


A Ho Chi Minh city architectural firm has used concrete and brick to create a minimalist residence that harnesses the cooling crosswinds in the Long An province in southern Vietnam. The nearly 3,230 sf home has two floors and a courtyard with an open room. Read more.


Researchers receive award for concrete blocks made with drywall waste

WSU INSIDER (Washington State University)

Washington State professors Taiji Miyasaka and David Drake received an American Institute of Architects award for developing a way to make building blocks out of drywall waste. The blocks weigh less than bricks or concrete blocks and provide more insulation than bricks. Read more.


New cement by Lafarge has lower carbon footprint


Combining pulverized fuel ash (PFA) and clinker, Lafarge Cement's new Endure SR is a lower-emissions cement that's acceptable for use in multiple concretes and on various ground types. The product is ideal for contractors seeking to simultaneously improve the life span of their build and curtail emissions, says Steve Curley of Aggregate Industries. Read more.



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.  

To Subscribe, click here.


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