Sustainability ENews Vol 11#23 Is LEED In or Out?

Sustainability E-News
Is LEED In or Out?
December 15, 2019
Volume 11, Number 23
From The Editor
The New Year is just weeks away, and TMS is still looking for Sponsors for Sustainability E-News for 2020. THANK YOU to those that have already made a commitment to bring this newsletter to you twice a month. However, we are still less than half way to our funding goal. Won't you consider making a contribution to support our work? For more information visit the TMS website. Donations of any amount are welcomed.
One of the cool things about this newsletter is that it gets distributed far and wide. The initial emailing from TMS, and being shared and re-shared, means that our readers are a diverse group. As a result, some of you may not be very familiar with The Masonry Society (TMS). As a consulting architectural engineer, I have always found TMS to be the most worthwhile professional society in which I am involved. The combination of great people, trusted information, and excellent networking opportunities have made TMS invaluable to me. Of course, as with most organizations, you get out of them what you put in. Over the years I have been involved in many aspects of TMS and am excited to serve as President for the next two years. But not to worry, I will continue to also serve as editor of Sustainability E-News and as always, welcome your input. In addition, I encourage you to become involved in TMS - whether that is by joining or renewing your dues, joining the new Building Performance Committee, or joining one of the many other committees of TMS. You'll certainly reap the benefits in the coming year.

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.
People often ask me if LEED is still relevant and being used. I think it depends on where you're located and how you define relevance. The introduction of LEED v4 certainly had a chilling effect on LEED certifications, and LEED v4.1 is helping to repair that. However, by now many embrace the principles of green building, with or without certification. The first two articles below highlight the different schools of thought on green building. ~Tina
Maryland schools will no longer be certified green
New public school construction in Maryland no longer has to be LEED certified or the like. This is a major change in public policy for the state that has required by law that all new state funding building be third party certified as green for more than a decade, resulting in 161 LEED certified pre K through 12 public schools. Read more here.
Greenbuild was Proof Positive that LEED is thriving
The 2019 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Atlanta is absolute proof that the LEED green building rating system, with more than 100,000 projects registered and certified, is thriving, according to this blog. The theme of this year’s Greenbuild was “A New Living Standard,” that everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, deserves a safe and healthy place to call home. Much of the underlying messaging was about how to talk about green building to those outside of the green tent, shifting from a narrative focused on statistics to a foundation in storytelling.
An award-winning architect on why she loves CMU
"It’s so flexible, CMU. It’s a very easy material to make work. As an architect that builds many different types of buildings, it’s a nice material to use for creating new ideas because it is so flexible." When Joyce Owens FAIA RIBA moved to England she started using masonry a lot, and bricks as well. “But we used it extensively because when you build there you build for durability. You really build for durability. When I came back to Florida, I started doing a lot of residential work. I do commercial work as well — but I found that on the islands where we were building, they were still using timber. So I started pushing these houses on the beach to be built with CMU and now we use CMU almost exclusively. We don’t even use wood pilings anymore. I’m finding that, on the beach, it’s a much stronger way to build.” To read the full story, click here.
Six Misunderstood Terms in Sustainable Design
Jargon runs rampant in business, design, and the business of design. Sustainability and design deserve clear language, writes Gensler design director Lance Hosey. In this article he proposes six terms that are the most widely misunderstood in sustainable design.
Weather Disasters Have Cost US at Least $1B Each Since 1993
Since leaders first started talking about tackling the problem of climate change, the world has spewed more heat-trapping gases, gotten hotter and suffered hundreds of extreme weather disasters. Fires have burned, ice has melted and seas have grown. The first United Nations diplomatic conference to tackle climate change was in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Here’s what’s happened to Earth since. Read more.
If you've ever considered being part of the process of developing a green code or standard, now is your chance. The Green Building Institute (GBI) is looking for participants for their next update of Green Globes. Check out the last article below for more information. ~Tina
NYC expected to require "bird-friendly" glass on new buildings
The New York City Council is expected to pass legislation aimed at preventing thousands of bird deaths by requiring new construction to use glass that is visible to birds. If the measure passes, New York will be the largest city in the country to enact such a measure. Read more.
How LEED v4.1 addresses the circular economy
USGBC’s vision for materials and resources in the built environment comprises three strategies: reduce embodied carbon; protect human and ecological health; and advance the circular economy. These strategies are interdependent and require continuous optimization of products and material. Read this article to see how the newest version of the rating system advances circular economy.
USGBC’s Living Standard releases second volume
Earlier this year, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Living Standard campaign released the first volume of Standard Issue, an in-depth qualitative and quantitative report that demonstrates the urgent need to recalibrate the way we talk about climate change. Now they’ve launched the second volume of this series, which delves even deeper into how Americans view the environment, sustainability, and green buildings.
Subject matter experts needed
GBI is now forming Task Groups and Subcommittees to review specific proposals for changes to criteria in ANSI/GBI 01-2019: Green Globes Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, as well as corresponding criteria in GBI’s soon to be released pilot revision of Green Globes for Existing Buildings 2019. Subject matter experts are needed. To apply, use the appropriate form located at by December 16. GBI membership is not required, and any member of the public with expertise to share can apply for consideration to serve!
Lehigh Cement to study feasibility of commercial-scale carbon capture
ON-SITE (Canada)
Lehigh Cement has partnered with International CCS Knowledge Centre on a project to capture between 90% and 95% of carbon dioxide from flue gas at a cement production facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The feasibility study marks the first full-scale carbon capture solution to be investigated at a cement plant in North America, according to the partners. Read more.
The mission of The Masonry Society (TMS) is to advance the knowledge of masonry. The articles below showcase some of the recently added resources on the TMS website. ~Tina
Historical Masonry Workshop Recordings
Recordings of a workshop on Historical Masonry are now available on the TMS website. This program is intended for those assessing, purchasing, stabilizing, or renovating existing buildings (especially historic buildings) with masonry walls such as brick, stone, or concrete masonry units. Topics include building code evaluation of existing buildings, moisture and energy performance, masonry crack repair, strengthening masonry, and more. The 6 hour program is split into 14 parts, which can be purchased individually or together at a 25% discount. TMS Members also receive an additional 25% discount. The workshop was presented April 2013 at the University of Texas - Brownsville Campus. Speakers include Alan Pettingale, Andreas Stavridis, Benchmark Harris, Michael Schuller, and Gordon Shepperd.
Database of TMS Journal & NAMC Papers
The Masonry Society (TMS) is pleased to announce that all past peer-reviewed papers appearing in TMS Journal and the proceedings of the North American Masonry Conference (NAMC) can be searched here. TMS Members have complimentary access to the more than 1600 titles in the database. The database can be searched by keywords or authors. Papers are available for purchase by Nonmembers.
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Advancing the Knowledge of Masonry