Category: Standards

UN group approves standards for tracking airline emissions

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

A United Nations group is approving standards for measuring how much airlines need to reduce the growth of greenhouse-gas emissions from planes.


BREEAM New Construction standard launched in US

Read the full story at Construction Dive.

The United Kingdom-based Building Research Establishment (BRE) has joined forces with architecture, engineering and design firm HOK to introduce a green building certification program to the U.S. market, the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) New Construction standard. Developed in 1990 and used abroad, BREEAM rates the sustainability of buildings and infrastructure based on performance benchmarks.

HOK, which will advise BRE as it adapts the system for the American construction industry, said the New Construction standard is based on the latest building science. HOK will start piloting the program this summer with new and existing clients and said it plans to “explore” the new standard with complicated projects like laboratories, sports venues and airports.

BRE said it was motivated to bring the new system to the U.S. after the success of its In-Use standard, which allows owners of existing buildings to assess their level of sustainability and then take action to increase it. According to BRE, the BREEAM approach to sustainable building standards differentiates itself from other green programs because it uses independent assessors to verify that the buildings meet BREEAM requirements. BREEAM has more than two million registered projects and more than 560,000 certified buildings in 77 countries, making it the top global green certification program by volume.

New ISO Standards for Machine Tools to Improve Environmental Performance, Energy Efficiency

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The performance of machine tools varies depending on technical specifications and operating requirements, making it difficult to determine a common set of environmental performance criteria – but ISO has recently published the first two parts of a new International Standard for the environmental evaluation of such tools based on the commonalities that can be found in the huge variety of types.

LEED must be updated to address climate change

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Over the last 20 years, LEED has become the dominant U.S. green building design standard and is the most influential standard of its kind globally. This is an extraordinary achievement and has made for healthier, more productive and greener homes, workplaces, schools, hospitals and public spaces for tens of millions of families, students and workers.

But LEED has not kept up with the accelerating urgency of climate change or the availability of low and no-cost ways to deeply cut carbon — particularly from steep declines in the cost of clean energy options (such as the 60 percent cost reduction of residential solar since 2010) — that make these now the cheapest electricity source in most states.

What LEED Did for Buildings, Sustainable SITES Will Do for Landscapes—and Not a Moment Too Soon

Read the full story at Retrofit.

Amid the political and media firestorm, however, the building industry has quietly continued its persistent march on the path to sustainable market transformation. Although the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, has made incredible strides toward that end with its LEED Rating System (certified buildings are said to produce 34 percent lower carbon emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water than traditional structures), energy-efficient buildings can’t fight the battle against climate change alone. Thankfully, landscape architecture professionals are joining the effort to enact mitigation strategies that will help reduce GHG emissions by 50 to 85 percent by 2050 and limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius if deployed at a mass scale, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Washington.

At the forefront of this movement toward “greening” our landscapes is the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES), a program based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed, and maintained to avoid, mitigate, and even reverse the detrimental impacts of urbanization and development.

Meet the new LEED-like standard for professional services

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

A significant economic sector — professional services — has joined the growing number of major industry coalitions developing and adopting specific approaches to address climate change and other global sustainability challenges. Consequently, the first sustainability standard for the professional services sector could be a reality by early 2018.

Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards: A Roadmap for State and Local Action

Download the paper.

This new working paper examines how the Energy Policy and Conversation Act (“EPCA”), and the DOE regulations promulgated thereunder, place limits on the ability of states and cities to outlaw the use of inefficient appliances and equipment.  It surveys existing state efficiency laws that cover products beyond federal jurisdiction, and discusses several steps states can take to advance appliance and equipment efficiency including: (i) seeking EPCA waivers from DOE to create and enforce statewide standards for federally covered products (and, if necessary, litigating the rejection of any such waiver petition); (ii) regulating non-federally covered products such as computers; (iii) encouraging the use of more efficient appliances and equipment through local building codes for new construction; and (iv) revising procurement laws to require the use of products that exceed federal efficiency standards.

New ASTM standard on recycling concrete helps boost sustainable construction

Read the full story in Aggregates Manager.

According to ASTM International, its new standard on recycling returned fresh concrete, C1798, Specification for Returned Fresh Concrete for Use in a New Batch of Ready-Mixed Concrete, will help manufacturing plants better support sustainable construction practices. Developed by ASTM’s C09 committee on concrete, the new standard covers process, verification, and record-keeping procedures for concrete recycling.

New Higg Module Empowers Apparel, Footwear, Textile Producers to Design Impacts Out of Products

Read the full story from Sustainable Brands.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) today launches the Higg Index Design and Development Module (DDM). Along with the release last month of its updated Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) – a cradle-to-gate scoring tool that measures and communicates the environmental performance of thousands of materials used in creating apparel, footwear and home textile products – the DDM is the latest tool in the Higg arsenal aimed at empowering product designers and developers to make sustainable choices at the earliest stage of apparel, footwear and textile prototype design.

Waste Management: There Are Several New Standards for That

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Companies are increasingly realizing the environmental and economic benefits of effective waste management — fewer methane emissions from landfills, reduced waste hauling costs and new revenue streams from reuse and recycling among them.

Several new tools aim to help companies and other organizations achieve these goals and receive recognition for their work.

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