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What Makes a Building Product Green Good question'

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Title: What Makes a Building Product Green Good question'


1
What Makes a Building Product Green?
Good question.
BuildingGreen, Inc. www.BuildingGreen.com
2
What Makes a Building Product Green?
Good question.
BuildingGreen, Inc. www.BuildingGreen.com
3
  • Mark Piepkorn
  • associate editor, Environmental Building News
  • co-editor, GreenSpec Directory
  • co-editor, Green Building Products
  • products editor, GreenSource (McGraw-Hill)
  • contributing reviewer, Home Energy
  • former editor, The Last Straw

4
  • Mark Piepkorn
  • associate editor, Environmental Building News
  • co-editor, GreenSpec Directory
  • co-editor, Green Building Products
  • products editor, GreenSource (McGraw-Hill)
  • contributing reviewer, Home Energy
  • former editor, The Last Straw
  • natural building gadfly

5
What Ill Be Talking About
  • Introduction to Life Cycle Analysis
  • Programs, Standards, and Tools for Product
    Selection
  • GreenSpecs Evaluation Standards, with
    illustrative example products

6
Why Should Natural Builders Care?
  • Walls typically represent 7 15 of the
    materials used to make a house
  • which means that 85 93 of the rest of the
    materials to be used still need to be considered.
  • Thats, like, most of the house.

7
What Makes a Building Product Green?
  • It contributes to the optimal environmental
    performance of the building.
  • It has inherent environmental advantages lower
    upstream / downstream impacts.
  • It contributes to the health and well-being of
    the occupants.
  • Ads and claims that exaggerate, mislead, and
    confuse about environmental attributes.

8
To understand the environmental impacts of
something, we need to analyze its entire life
considering the environmental burdens of each
step along the way. In principle, Life Cycle
Assessment (LCA) is common sense. Once we get
into the details of this analysis, however, it
gets complicated very quickly and the closer we
look, the more complicated it gets.
9
Life Cycle Assessment
Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Reuse, Recycling, Disposal
Raw Materials Acquisition
Manufacturing and Processing
Construction and Use
Outputs
Outputs
Outputs
Outputs
Closed Loop?
Adapted from Scientific Consulting Group
10
Ecology of Building Materials
Ore
Oil
Biomass
The cycle of materials from The Ecology of
Building Materials, by Bjorn Berge
11
Raw Materials
Ore
Oil
Biomass
12
Raw Materials
ADDITIONAL OUTPUTS (and each output has its own
lifecycle) Solids, liquids, gasses includes
useful byproducts as well as emissions and
wastes...
CONSIDERATIONS INCLUDE Ecosystem impacts Air,
Water, Soil... Toxicity (to Humans, Animals,
Plants)... Resource Depletion... Climate Change...
Ore
Oil
Biomass
INPUTS (and each input has its own lifecycle)
Process energy (digging, cutting, transportation,
separation, etc. many types of fuels), process
materials (including chemical catalysts,
solvents, etc.), transportation energy (and the
attendant leaks, spills, and emissions), labor
(physical handling, management infrastructure),
etc...
13
Extraction Refining
Ore
Oil
Biomass
14
Extraction Refining
15
Extraction Refining
  • ADDITIONAL INPUTS Process energy (cutting,
    transportation, separation, etc. many types of
    fuels), process materials (chemicals including
    catalysts, solvents, etc.), transportation energy
    (and the attendant leaks, spills, and emissions),
    labor (physical handling, management
    infrastructure), etc... again, each input has its
    own lifecycle.

ADDITIONAL OUTPUTS Solids, liquids, gasses
includes useful byproducts as well as emissions
and wastes... again, each output has its own
lifecycle.
CONSIDERATIONS INCLUDE Ecosystem impacts Air,
Water, Soil... Toxicity (to Humans, Animals,
Plants)... Resource Depletion... Climate Change...
16
Construction
Ore
Oil
Biomass
17
Construction
ADDITIONAL INPUTS More of the same fuels and
electricity, commuting workers and labor
infrastructure plus site prep!
Ecosystem impacts... Toxicity... Resource
Depletion... Climate Change...
ADDITIONAL OUTPUTS More of the same
construction waste, chemicals, emissions
18
Energy by Transport Mode
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19
Useful Life
Ore
Oil
Biomass
20
Useful Life
  • Up to this point in the product life cycle, 18
    months or less have typically elapsed.
  • But the use phase of an appropriately designed,
    executed, and maintained structure will be
    decades, even centuries.

21
Useful Life
  • The energy inputs change from refining,
    manufacturing, and transportation to space
    conditioning, the functions of habitation, and
    maintenance.
  • Energy, water, and materials are used to maintain
    comfort and provide services to the building
    occupants product choices are just one factor
    affecting these flows.

22
Useful Life
  • Along with appropriate design, execution, and
    maintenance, the performance of the envelope is
    vital a durable-but-poorly-functioning building
    is an environmental liability.
  • Design for Passive Survivability.
  • Design for adaptability.

23
Useful Life
  • The use phase contributes the most energy and
    materials use to the life cycle of a building.
  • The use phase contributes the most energy and
    materials use to the life cycle of a building.

24
Recycle, Re-use, or Landfill
Ore
Oil
Biomass
25
  • Good news Theres a bunch of standards,
    guidelines, and labeling programs that can help
    guide the decision-making process for using
    environmentally-preferable materials and
    products.
  • The downside is that they vary widely in their
    approaches, and no single source offers a
    comprehensive list.

26
Some Programs Screen by One or Two Attributes
  • EnergyStar energy / water use (mostly
    appliances)
  • CEE energy / water use (mostly appliances)
  • GreenGuard IAQ (a range of interior
    products)
  • SCAQMD VOCs (architectural coatings)
  • EPA CPG recycled content (construction,
    landscaping)
  • NFRC thermal performance (windows doors)
  • FSC sustainable forestry (wood products)
  • 2002 Farm Bill biobase (a range of products)

27
Some Have More Sophisticated Approaches
  • Green Seal (standards for Paints, Adhesives,
    Lighting, Cleaners, Central Air Conditioners and
    Air-Source Heat Pumps, Windows, and Window Films)
  • Institute for Market Transformation to
    Sustainability (Sustainable Textile Standard
    also developing tools for calculating the
    economic benefits of sustainable products)
  • Master Painter Institute (Paint standards)
  • Scientific Certification Systems Pilot Standards
    (Carpet Fiber, Carpet)
  • McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry Cradle to
    Cradle Certification (new 5-point sustainability
    standard for for all products)

28
Some of the Standards and Certifying Rating
Organizations That You Can Consult
  • The highly visible and successful EnergyStar
    standards and ratings program of the EPA and DOE
    includes
  • Clothes Washers, Dishwashers, Refrigerators
    Freezers, Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, Boilers,
    Furnaces,
  • Lighting, Doors, Windows, and Skylights.
  • Taking it up a notch from EnergyStar, the
    Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) provides
    standards and
  • ratings for residential and multifamily Clothes
    Washers, Room Air Conditioners, Dishwashers,
    Refrigerators,
  • Lighting, Central A/C Heat Pumps commercial
    Lighting, Kitchens, A/C and Heat Pumps, Clothes
    Washers
  • and industrial Motors / Motor Systems, and
    Transformers.
  • Green Seal certifies products and services that
    cause less toxic pollution and waste, conserve
    resources and habitats,
  • and minimize global warming and ozone
    depletion... including Paints, Adhesives,
    Lighting, Cleaners, Central Air
  • Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps, Windows,
    and Window Films.
  • GreenGuard provides standards and certifications
    of low emitting interior products and building
    materials including
  • Adhesives, Appliances, Ceiling Products, Cleaning
    Systems, Flooring, Insulation, Office Furniture
    and Equipment, Paints,
  • and Wallcoverings.
  • The South Coast Air Quality Management District
    (SCAMQD) created widely-referenced VOC emission
    standards for architectural coatings,
  • known as Rule 1113.

29
There Are a Few Life Cycle Analysis Tools
Available Useful, but Limited
  • Building for Environmental and Economic
    Sustainability (BEES) is a free LCA software tool
    from NIST provides detailed environmental and
    economic data for common building components.
  • Athena Environmental Impact Estimator from the
    Athena Sustainable Materials Institute tabulates
    the environmental burdens of a building project
    for each life-cycle stage across six
    environmental impact categories energy
    consumption, solid waste emissions, air pollution
    index, water pollution index, global warming
    potential, and weighted resource use.
  • ENVEST is a web-based software tool from BRE
    (Building Research Establishment) in England for
    designing buildings with low environmental impact
    and whole life costs environmental data
    encompasses 12 impacts ranging from climate
    change to toxicity.
  • Also from BRE, the Green Guide to Specification
    is a printed guide that scores building materials
    and components according to energy and water
    consumption, pollution and waste generation, life
    expectancy, toxicity, and recycling.
  • TRACI, "Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of
    Chemical and other Environmental Impacts" is an
    impact assessment software tool from the U.S. EPA
    that improves environmental life cycle analyses
    by characterizing the potential effects of
    materials - including ozone depletion, global
    warming, acidification, eutrophication,
    photochemical smog, human health, ecotoxicity,
    fossil fuel use, land use, and water use.

30
  • The Holy Grail of the green building movement
    would be a database in which the life cycle
    environmental impacts of most, if not all,
    materials were fully quantified and the impacts
    weighted so that choices could be easily made.
  • The industry isn't even close to being there.
  • The way things are, we usually wind up comparing
    apples to oranges trying to weigh the
    resource-extraction impacts of one product with
    the manufacturing impacts of another, and the
    indoor-air-quality impacts of a third.

31
Finding Green Products Getting Easier
  • The big box stores have always had at least a few
    environmentally-preferable selections available
    without even knowing it. Now that theyre
    starting to realize theres a market to tap into,
    these products are beginning to get highlighted,
    and more are being added to the shelves.
  • Beware of greenwashing.
  • With the growing interest in green building,
    retailers specializing in green products are
    springing up. Most are primarily mail-order
    concerns several are listed in the book Green
    Building Products. Most have an internet
    presence.
  • Again, the due diligence that comes with being
    an informed consumer is very important.

32
Finding Green Products Getting Easier
  • Oikos REDI Guide www.oikos.com listings by
    manufacturer request for products exhibiting at
    least one of nine basic sustainability criteria
    paid listing enhancements are offered, though
    basic listings are free
  • Build It Green Materials Database
    www.builditgreen.org based on guidelines
    developed by the Alameda County Waste Management
    Authority, California standards for twenty
    categories may be downloaded from the website
  • eBuild's Energy-Efficient Catalog
    http//energy-efficient-products.ebuild.com
    paid listings (1800/brand, up to 150 products
    per brand)
  • Architectural Records Green Products
    http//archrecord.construction.com/products/green/
    default.asp products chosen by the
    Architectural Record editorial staff

33
GreenSpec Directory, Green Building Products
  • No charge for listings or thereview process
  • No enhanced listings
  • No advertising
  • User-support allows total editorial independence
    and integrity

34
GreenSpec Directory, Green Building Products
  • Each product is evaluated individually
  • Standards and thresholds evolve over time
  • Five major assessment categories of 26
    considerations based on life cycle thinking
  • Multiple criteria may apply, for better or worse

35
How Do We Find Products?
  • Research
  • Trade shows
  • Trade publications dozens of periodicals each
    month
  • Press releases
  • Email discussion groups and user forums
  • Architects, engineers, builders
  • Manufacturers

36
GreenSpecs Five Assessment Categories
  • 1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
    Agricultural Waste Content
  • 2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • 3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • 4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • 5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
    Built Environment

37
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • 1a. Salvaged products
  • 1b. Products with post-consumer recycled content
  • 1c. Products with pre-consumer recycled content
  • 1d. Products made with agricultural waste
    material

38
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • Cellulose insulationMost contains 75-80
    post-consumer recycled newspaper can improve
    envelope performance over other choices. Oodles
    of manufacturers.

39
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • Cotton insulationRecycled pre-consumer fabric
    rapidly renewable, non-emitting.Manufacturers
    include Ultra-Touch, Innotherm, InsulCot.

40
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • Plastic lumberUp to 100 post-consumer recycled
    plastic exceptionally durable low maintenance.
    Oodles of manufacturers.
  • Almost all plastics are downcycled when you
    recycle a plastic bottle, it isnt used to make
    another plastic bottle.

41
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • RoofRoc Synthetic Slate 15 20 post-consumer
    recycled HDPE and 80 calcium carbonate Class A
    Fire Rating, 50-year warranty.

42
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • BigfootRecycled HDPE reduces concrete use over
    other structural design choices.
  • Also, Sonotubes aremade with recycled paper.

43
1. Products Made with Salvaged, Recycled, or
Agricultural Waste Content
  • Roxul insulation productsInsulation products
    made with pre-consumer recycled slag and basalt
    (50/50) fireproof, vapor-permeable,
    water-repellant, dimensionally stable, chemically
    inert, doesn't degrade or support mold. Roxul
    Inc.

44
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • 2a. Products that reduce material use
  • 2b. Products with exceptional durability or low
    maintenance requirements
  • 2c. Certified wood products
  • 2d. Rapidly renewable products

45
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • Aglaia Natural Paints Biodegradable, plant- and
    mineral-based, petrochemical- and
    artificial-resin-free, zero-VOC paints.

46
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • PlasTEAK Fencing100 post-consumer recycled
    HDPE. Never rots, never needs paint.

47
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • Diamond PierPier foundations without excavation
    or site-poured concrete. Reduces concrete use
    substantially over other choices.

48
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • TimberSilSodium-silicate-based permanent wood
    treatment non-toxic, odorless and nonvolatile,
    not corrosive to fasteners, 40-year warranty.

49
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • Thermotech high-performance fiberglass windows
    15 pre-consumer recycled-content fiberglass
    frames near-zero-solvent waterborne paint
    offcut-sourced polystyrene insulation
    river-bottom-recovered pine jamb extensions
    triple panes low-e glazing unit U-factors
    below 0.20.

50
2. Products That Conserve Natural Resources
  • Bamboo and cork flooringRapidly-renewable. A
    glut of manufacturers with varying levels of
    goodness.
  • Good ol linoleum flooringLinseed oil, pine
    rosin, sawdust, cork dust, limestone, natural
    pigments, and a jute backing.

51
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • 3a. Natural or minimally processed products
  • 3b. Alternatives to ozone-depleting substances
  • 3c. Alternatives to hazardous products
  • 3d. Products that reduce or eliminate pesticide
    treatments
  • 3e. Products that reduce stormwater pollution
  • 3f. Products that reduce impacts from
    construction or demolition activities
  • 3g. Products that reduce pollution or waste from
    operations

52
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • Enbryten LED Luminaires High-efficacy, white
    LEDs in replaceable modules providing 50 lumens
    per watt and they work on standard dimming
    circuits. Mercury-free, and saves more energy
    than compact fluorescent lighting.

53
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • Detec Moisture Detection and Monitoring Systems
    Automated moisture intrusion monitoring system
    for building envelopes and roof systems.

54
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • Temp-Cast Enviroheat Masonry Heater Kits

55
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • Cold Climate Heat Pump Performance rivaling many
    geothermal heat pumps uses the
    non-ozone-depleting refrigerant R-410a.
    Manufactured by Nyle Special Products.

56
3. Products That Avoid Toxic or Other Emissions
  • illbruck Universal Foam Sealant HCFC-free,
    one-component, moisture-cure polyurethane foam.
    Manufacturedin the Netherlands.

57
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • 4a. Building components that reduce heating and
    cooling loads
  • 4b. Equipment that conserves energy and manages
    loads
  • 4c. Renewable energy and fuel cell equipment
  • 4d. Fixtures and equipment that conserve water

58
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • The Energy Guardian Insulating and air-sealing
    cover for attic hatches and pull-down ladders.

59
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • Chem-Calk 2000 Solvent- and isocyanate-free,
    modified single-component polyurethane,
    non-silicone, moisture-curable caulk appropriate
    for exterior use 30 VOC.

60
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • UltimateAir RecoupAerator An ERV (Energy
    Recovery Ventilator) with a heat-recovery
    efficiency of up to 96. ERVs are air-exchange
    system that capture heat content from stale
    indoor air thats being exchanged for fresh
    outsideair also provides humidity control.

61
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • Panasonic Exhaust FansTruly quiet, high
    efficiency exhaust fans that are 70 - 400 more
    energy efficient than the minimum EnergyStar
    standards.

62
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • TapmasterA foot- or knee-activated switch that
    controls the flow to a faucet. Also can
    contribute to lower water-heating energy use.

63
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • Mister Miser UrinalA 10-ounce (1-1/4 cup) flush
    urinal designed for residential use.
  • The low flush on most dual-flush toilets uses
    102 ounces of water per flush (12-3/4 cups, or .8
    gallons).

64
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • Solahart Solar Water Heating SystemsClosed-circui
    t thermosiphoning solar water-heating system
    designed for use in virtually any climate.
  • Solahart is a division of Rheem one of the
    worlds biggest players in the on-demand water
    heater market (and one of the largest
    manufacturers of heating and cooling appliances
    generally).

65
4. Products That Save Energy or Water
  • Kill A Watt, Watts up?, Brand Digital Power
    MetersEnergy monitors for AC plug loads
    display and record watts, volts, amps, hertz,
    accumulated kWh, cycle info, and dollars
    cents power costs. Some provide computer
    interface.

66
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • 5a. Products that do not release significant
    pollutants into the building
  • 5b. Products that block the introduction,
    development, or spread of indoor contaminants
  • 5c. Products that remove indoor pollutants
  • 5d. Products that warn occupants of health
    hazards in the building
  • 5e. Products that improve light quality
  • 5f. Products that help noise control
  • 5g. Products that enhance community well-being

67
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • AdvanTech OSB OSB made primarily with
    formaldehyde-free MDI resin (a small quantity of
    phenolic resin is added to improve certain
    properties). It has greater moisture resistance
    than conventional OSB, and carries a 50-year
    warranty. Certified by Greenguard for low
    emissions.

68
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • PureBond Formaldehyde-Free Hardwood Plywood
    Produced without the industry-standard
    urea-formaldehyde (UF) adhesives. The hardwood
    veneers are adhered with non-formaldehyde,
    soy-based adhesive. Columbia Forest Products
    also produces veneered agrifiber-core panels.

69
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • Whisper Wool Acoustic Underlay For laminate,
    engineered, and hardwood floors made from sheep
    wool.

70
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • Dark-Sky Outdoor Lighting Full-cutoff fixtures
    reduce light trespass (direct-beam light leaving
    the property) and light pollution. The
    International Dark Sky Association (IDA) awards
    their Dark Sky Friendly seal to compliant
    fixtures.

71
5. Products That Contribute to a Safe, Healthy
Built Environment
  • Earth-based plastersIn bags and buckets from
    American Clay, Clay Mine Adobe, Aglaia,
    Tierrafino, Terramed, Armourcoat...
  • (Me, Ill dig my own.)

72
  • All Done
  • Thank You!
  • Questions?

73
  • Mark Piepkorn
  • mark_at_buildinggreen.com
  • BuildingGreen, Inc.
  • www.BuildingGreen.com
  • 122 Birge Street, Suite 30
  • Brattleboro, VT 05301
  • Phone (802) 257-7300 x 104
  • Fax (802) 257-7304
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