Sustainability ENews Vol 12#8 Evaluating Products

Sustainability E-News
Evaluating Products
April 30, 2020
Volume 12, Number 8
From The Editor
In the world of green building and sustainability, it's easy to find products promoting a singular aspect of sustainability and plenty of articles about choosing one product over another. However as this recent study on shopping bags notes, it's important to consider the COMPLETE life cycle and all impacts of a product when making comparisons. Unfortunately the vast majority of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) only look at the first phase in a product's life, and as a result, are generally not intended for comparisons. Despite ISO statements and Product Category Rules (PCR) stating comparisons between products should not be made, there is a push within the green building industry to do just that. Why does this matter? Because as the study on shopping bags points out, looking only at the manufacturing phase, and leaving out the use phase and end of life, gives a skewed view of the actual impacts of a product.
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.
Concrete masonry safe room saves family
A family of four survived a tornado in Mississippi by huddling in a small closet built from concrete blocks. The remainder of the house was destroyed. Read the full story.
The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) covers residential construction. A new version has just been released. Check out the article below for more information. ~Tina
Just Released: 2020 NGBS available as a free PDF
The new ICC 700-2020 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS) provides a roadmap for sustainable and high-performance residential construction at a level appropriate for your business and that reflects your local housing markets. The 2020 NGBS edition includes an expanded scope with compliance for the non-residential portion of mixed-use buildings as long as the residential portion of the building is greater than 50 percent of the gross floor area. There is also a choice of prescriptive or performance compliance paths for both energy and water efficiency. Get your copy.
HPD-Collaborative announces changes to their HPD Builder software
Learn about changes to HPD Open Standard v2.2, improvements in the HPD Builder and introduction of the new HPD Supplier Extension with three free webinars. For more information and to register for the webinars, click here.

As mentioned in a previous edition, several EPDs and their related PCR are due for an update. Below you can read about the newest cement PCR. ~Tina
The North American Cement PCR is updated
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) Sustainable Development Committee in conjunction with the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) is pleased to announce the completion and publication of the North American Product Category Rule (PCR). A PCR defines the rules by which a product is evaluated for its environmental impacts. The newly published version 2 of the North American PCR for Portland, Blended, Masonry, Mortar, and Plastic (Stucco) Cements (“Cement PCR” Update), replaces version 1 from ASTM (2014). To download a copy of the PCR v2, click here

TMS like many organizations continues to do work online. Check out some of the many virtual offerings from TMS over the next month. ~Tina
FREE Webinar: Masonry Info 101 – Where to Find Good Information on Masonry
Getting information when you want it and need it is critically important to help your effectiveness and speed your work along. Sit down (virtually) with The Masonry Society’s (TMS) Executive Director on an informal webinar on May 7 at 1pm EDT to discuss popular online and printed resources, their purposes, advantages and limitations. Learn some of Phil’s favorites, while also hearing hints, tips, and warnings. Phil will start by focusing on TMS’s resources, but then as time allows, will look at some exciting and powerful resources from other industry partners. For those new to TMS, not familiar with TMS’s website, and new to masonry, this webinar should help them more easily navigate TMS’s website, and those of other organizations. As time permits, questions will be taken from attendees. This session is targeted especially to those new to masonry and new to TMS. To register, click here.
The Masonry Society Spring Meetings move online
Impacts from the coronavirus mean that the TMS Spring Meetings will be held virtually. Virtual meeting notices will be posted here. For more information, or to join TMS, please visit the TMS website.
Virtual TMS Town Hall, May 21 @ 2 pm ET
The Masonry Society will be holding a Virtual Town Hall session to provide updates on Society Activities, review TMS's Financial Health, and look at upcoming projects & programs. TMS Board Members and leaders are especially encouraged to attend this session to help prepare for the Virtual Board Meeting on June 4 at 1 pm ET. Anyone may listen into these calls, though discussion may be limited based on time.
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