EPA ponders greener federal procurement

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing draft guidelines that will help the federal government buy greener and safer products. In response to broad stakeholder interest, it is seeking public input on these draft guidelines and a potential approach to assessing non-governmental environmental standards and ecolabels already in the marketplace.

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Latest LEED version premiers against Greenbuild backdrop

The U.S. Green Building Council has marked a turning point in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building program, unveiling LEED v4 last month in Philadelphia, host city for the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Council officials cite among new LEED version highlights:

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LEED developers, critics content with GSA building rating system options

After a project design and contracting protocol review, the General Services Administration (GSA) is recognizing the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 green building rating system and Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes 2010 as third party certification standards.

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Environmental Product Declarations workshop dovetails ASTM C09 committee meetings

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; CP staff

“An Introduction to Product Category Rules (PCR), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Other Aspects of Sustainable Process and Resilient Materials” will be held December 8 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville (Fla.) Riverfront, host venue of ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates standards development meetings.

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Global cement group guides Environmental Product Declarations for plain concrete

Sources: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Geneva; CP staff

WBCSD Cement Sustainability Initiative’s (CSI) new Product Category Rules (PCR) for unreinforced concrete offer producers a common methodology to prepare Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for their mixes. CSI membership includes all multinational companies with integrated North American operations: Argos, CRH, Cemex, GCC, Heidelberg, Holcim, Lafarge, Taiheiyo, Titan and Votorantim.

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NRMCA set to verify Environmental Product Declarations per new LEED, IgCC versions

Source: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.

NRMCA has become an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program Operator, a designation enabling it to help members meet new requirements in LEED v4, International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. EPDs are third-party verified reports published by product manufacturers that provide quality assured and comparable information regarding the environmental performance of their product.

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Industry presses life-cycle assessment for International Green Construction Code

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.

PCA and NRMCA were among concrete and masonry interests providing testimony at the International Green Construction Code final action hearings, November 2–6 in Phoenix. One of the most significant concepts debated was the use of life-cycle assessment (LCA) for building designs. A PCA proposal for the inclusion of whole building LCA as an alternative compliance path to prescriptive criteria for materials for building design was disapproved, although placing whole building LCA into the code as a project elective option for building designs was approved.

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Valmont brand of green jobs links wind farms to population centers

There is much to recommend in our cover story subject, a sprawling spun cast prestressed pole plant (pages 22–26), the people who run it, and the NYSE-traded company behind it. Located on a 150-acre site, Valmont Newmark/Bellville is running new batching, mix delivery, placing and forming equipment to support one of the more promising product categories in prestressed concrete.

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Survey of public, ‘green’ homebuilders cites KB, Pulte and laggards

An audit of policies or practices tied to timber-derived building materials and products—plus energy, water, climate change and land use—shows the top 10 publicly traded homebuilding companies addressing environment and resource conservation challenges to widely varying degree. In “A Green Recovery for America’s Homebuilders? A Survey of Sustainable Practices by the Homebuilding Industry,” activist investor Calvert cites KB Home, Los Angeles, and Pulte Homes, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., tops in covering the five points, each builder maintaining spots from a similar 2008 survey.

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