Greenbuild 2016: COP21, LEED, v4 Materials, Health-focused Design, Red List Free, EPA Standards, EcoLabels

Posted on 11/22/2016 1:26:12 PM By Paul Bertram

As of this blog, I am headed for Greenbuild 2016 in Los Angeles

This should be an interesting conference with LEEDv4 becoming the current version for registration of new projects. Many of the topics I have addressed in my previous blogs are now coming to fruition.

Some of topics being presented at Greenbuild that caught my interest include: How COP21 & LEED Can Energize A Low Carbon Environment; In a v4 Materials Quandary: Solutions through Collaboration; Tools and Incentives for Health-focused Design; Resilient Design Charrette: Applying LEED; The Path to Red List Free; US EPA Recommends Standards and EcoLabels? YES WE CAN.

All of these themes tie back to LEED Credits in:

Energy & Atmosphere: regarding Energy Performance
Materials and Resources:
Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment; takes into account Material Environmental impacts
Sourcing of Raw Materials
Building Product Disclosure and Optimizations; Chemical inventory and Green Screen Assessment, EMS, ISO 14000, 18000 throughout supply chain
Material Ingredient  Reporting; HPDs, GreenScreen, C2C, EPDs
Indoor Air Quality;
VOC Compliance

All of these are familiar topics to ASC members and we are all waiting to see how many projects go for these specific credits in LEEDv4. The topics listed above let us know that this movement is likely to become more common place and will require responses.

In the meantime I have attended several conferences in Washington DC that perhaps offer more realistic opportunities that are completely focused on performance. First, was the US Army Corpsof Engineers (USACE) Deep Energy Retrofit of Buildings Forum. USACE has developed the Annex61 Technical Guide and is a work in progress. This guide addresses the opportunity to improve a buildings performance to ensure that the buildings comfort levels, energy efficiency and reliable and efficient energy supply will meet the high standards for 40 years and more. Topic areas specific to ASC members included: Envelope insulation assemblies including; window, air barriers, and vapor barriers. USACE is seeking review by experts on these areas of focus to make sure it is correct and leading edge. Dr. Alexander  Zhivov is heading up this effort for USACE.

The next event was the National Institute of Sciences National Institute of Building Sciences’ Multihazard Mitigation Council briefing on Capitol Hill that presented updated research and recommendations on developing Pre-disaster Resilience Strategies based on public and private incentivization.  

The most cost-effective way to improve resilience is through a holistic and integrated set of public, private and hybrid programs that capture opportunities available through mortgages, insurance, finance, tax incentives, and regulations.

 Opportunities for ASC and members to participate and contribute to this effort should contact Ryan Colker at NIBS.

Finally, The Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED)hosted by The Alliance to Save Energy. Theme at this conference relative to ASE included: Buildings to Grid that basically focused on Building Energy Efficiency strategies that reduce Demand Side Energy and related Carbon impacts. Energy Efficiency: The First Fuel for Utilities discussed how utilities plat a role to provide incentives for Building Energy Efficiency. Leaky old buildings were recognized as an important target for improvement.

In conclusion, Greenbuild will continue to push the bar in their direction but it is code development and programs mentioned above that will actually drive the energy efficiency performance we can deliver.