10 Trends in Material Transparency to Track in 2015

Posted on 1/29/2015 1:58:16 PM By Paul Bertram

2014 brought a new level of discussion to ASC regarding Material Transparency reporting. Topics included EPD (Environmental Product Declarations) and HPDs (Health Product Declarations). ASC held meetings regarding potential approaches to addressing EPDs from an industry-wide perspective and included research on existing efforts from Europe. HPDs were addressed at various ASC conferences throughout the year. Both of these topics were included in sessions at the US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit in October. Another conference of note was the NIH (National Institutes of Health) conference on Human Connection: The Roles of Materials, Human Performance, and Research Translation in Health-Centered Buildings. All of these conferences and discussions are advancing support for Material Transparency and are topics that ASC members must be considering for a proactive response.

Here are 10 important initiatives to monitor for 2015:

1. USGBC announced that it was moving the registration deadline of LEED 2009, allowing users to register projects under the LEED 2009 rating system until Oct. 31, 2016. The original date for LEED 2009 registration to close was June 27, 2015.

My observation is that this extension was largely due to the resistance to aspects of Material Transparency Credits specifically addressing LEEDv4: NC-v4 MRc4: Building product disclosure and optimization - material ingredients and is an important topic of discussion for ASC members.

2. USGBC and the American Chemistry Council to Work Together to Advance LEEDv4

They are working together on a new initiative that applies science-based approaches to the LEEDv4 program.

The focus is on: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization—Sourcing of Raw Materials:

------Specific to ASC members is Option 3 Product Manufacturer Supply Chain Optimization

------The review is being conducted in coordinated effort between the ACC and the newly constituted Supply Chain Optimization Working Group.

3. The Health Product Declaration Collaborative announced to the MAP (Manufacturers Advisory Panel) an HPD v2.0 beta test will start Monday Feb 2nd. MAP members will be able to go online and use the tool and respective updates to the reporting format. It is anticipated that it will available to all account holders as a Release Candidate in March.

4. The IGCC (International Green Constructions Code) and ASHRAE 189.1 have added new requirements for declaring multiple-attribute product declaration, including ISO compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPD).

5. NIH (National Institutes of Health) conference on Human Connection: The Roles of Materials, Human Performance, and Research Translation in Health-Centered Buildings

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health in Buildings Roundtable (HiBR), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) hosted a one-day meeting that explored the impacts of building materials on human health and performance in buildings.

Focus was on two important dimensions: (1) the impact of materials selection on human health and (2) how key attributes of the built environment affect human performance, including behavior and physical activity.

6. Efforts to eliminate Flame Retardants continue to be challenging for foam insulations, adhesives and sealants.

7. The most recent concern is the Wellness Standard. On page 184, it disallows MDI and Flame retardants (of any kind). This is of concern and requires industry response.

8. The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) was recently launched with a mission to transform global chemical use by measuring and disclosing data on business progress to safer chemicals; it seems to more related to integration with Sustainability reporting.

One of CFP’s objectives is to address a lack of common sustainability metrics for chemical management, which presents significant chemical risks to corporate performance.

9. Resilience, along with Risk assessment, were major topics at the National Institute of Building Sciences’ (NIBS) – Building Innovation conference.

Issues that directly impact ASC members would include topics such as: Service life related to whole building life cycles, durability in resistance to both natural disasters such as wind, rain, floods, extreme temperature (cold or hot) and made events related to ballistic and bomb blast resistance.

Need updated information on adhesives and sealants posted in the NIBS Whole Building Design Guide

10. Clean Power Plan Strategies

EPA projects that the Clean Power Plan will continue to increase energy efficiency and reduce growth in demand for electricity.

Building Enclosures (Wall roof, and openings) represent roughly 40% (+ or -) of the total building energy efficiency. Air leakage related to adhesives and sealants can greatly impact the enclosure energy efficiency performance. < p/>

Building energy efficiency has a role as a clean power influence and can be tied back to High Performance, Low Energy Resilient building solutions.

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