Watching What We Call Green
The Federal Trade Commission has been busily working to update the Green Guides—the rules by which marketers can claim environmentally conscious features in their products. See where the Feds are drawing the line between green and greenwash.
Last December, the government mandated a new energy policy that ups the ante on requirements for federal buildings. Now the design and construction communities are working together to determine what compliance means.
MM discusses with ENERGY STAR’s national director Sam Rashkin the new blower door test exemption for SIP homes, its ramifications for the building industry, and other exemptions that may be considered by EPA in the future.
Pushing the Energy Envelope With ICFs
Although insulating concrete forms (ICFs) were developed as below-grade foundation walls, their energy-saving possibilities quickly moved them above the surface.
SBIC as an Energy Resource
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) began as an energy organization—the Passive Solar Industries Council. Despite the name change, low-energy use remains one of their focuses for achieving a high performance building.
Life Cycle Thinking
Only by looking at all the data, from cradle to grave, can one determine a building material’s impact over time. Life cycle inventory (LCI) data being supplied by the American Plastics Council (APC) will help make this possible.
Plastics And The 2005 Energy Policy Act
Many types of plastics insulation products are energy-efficient in both manufacture and performance. As such, they can potentially help achieve tax incentives and deductions under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
Plastic Polyurethane Foam
Air leakage can lead to increased energy costs, envelope damage, and indoor air quality issues. Aerosol expanding polyurethane can be used as an effective sealant, along with myriad other advantages.
Change Coming Down the Pipeline
Various types of plastics piping are quite beneficial... but a jurisdiction must allow their use. This article examines the process of evolving construction regulations.
Flammability Requirements for Plastic Materials
When one understands the building codes and general fire safety standards, choosing the correct plastic for the right application can be easy.
Product Life Cycles, And Sustainability
Unprecedented life cycle information about many plastic products will soon be available in a publically accessible database. What does this mean for designers?
The Future of Life Cycle Assessment
The American Plastics Council (APC) is doing its part for sustainable design, conducting a life cycle inventory (LCI) for many polymers and polyurethane precursors.
Stocking your Green Building Toolkit
Sustainable design tools can sometimes seem to be as complex as the design decisions they are supposed to solve. Fortunately, by using a simple classification system, it becomes clear how they interrelate and fit into the overall green building process
Other Sustainable Features
Design professionals educated in the energy-efficiency characteristics of various plastics can ensure the products they specify fit within the framework of rating systems such as LEED.
Does Vinyl Follow LEED?
A report on how polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is viewed by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) program has been made public— and the results are largely encouraging for those who believe in the material’s myriad advantages and applications.
Don't Put All Your Green Eggs in One Basket
Recognizing the pitfalls of leaving definitions open to individual interpretation, several organizations have set out to develop programs, specifications, or standards aimed at helping define the requirements for properly referring to any given building as environmentally friendly. Read more