Greenbuild 2010: Waves of Certifications, New Tools and Awards

Greenbuild 2010: Waves of Certifications, New Tools and Awards

Image CC licensed by Flickr user doug.siefken

The first wave of GreenBuild 2010 announcements that began trickling in last week has grown into a deluge, ranging from product certifications and awards to new tools and resources.

We'll be tracking developments as they arise, beginning with these that crossed our desks this week. Stay tuned for the latest on Autodesk, CB Richard Ellis, and more. 

Bank of America and USGBC Award 10 Green Neighborhoods Grants

Bank of America and U.S. Green Building Council have chosen 10 U.S. communities that will receive grants for projects that are pursuing LEED for Neighborhood Development certification and include affordable housing.

A $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will be split among the following developments:

• 9th and Berks TOD, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Church Lane Gardens, St. Louis, Mo.
• Clackamas Heights Redevelopment, Oregon City, Ore.
• Jordan Downs, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Lamar Station TOD, Lakewood, Colo.
• Old Colony Redevelopment, Boston, Mass.
• Sunnydale Hope SF, San Francisco, Calif.
• The Village at Market Creek, San Diego, Calif.
• Veterans Place at The Lancaster Corridor, Dallas, Texas
• Wyandanch Rising, Wyandanch, N.Y.

The certification covers whole neighborhoods, multiple neighborhoods, or parts of neighborhoods, and is based on smart growth principles that reduce urban sprawl and encourage walkability and public transportation. Incorporating affordable housing in such developments helps to reduce energy use and operating costs for low-income families what often spend more than half of their income on living expenses.

Construction Specialties Goes for the Gold

Architectural products manufacturers Construction Specialties (C/S) revealed Wednesday that its Acrovyn 4000 product line has earned Cradle to Cradle Gold Certification.

The Muncy, Penn.-based company stripped PBTs, PVC and bisphenol A (BPA) completely from the interior wall protection product line, in addition to eliminating these materials from its manufacturing process. The certification is based on an assessment of the product and manufacturing process in five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social responsibility.

PVC, short for Polyvinyl chloride, is a common synthetic materials found in a broad array of products and applications, but some studies suggest is the worst plastic in terms of environmental health. PBTs, or persistent bioaccumulative toxins, are long-lived in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains. Ubiquitous BPA has generated much controversy in recent years, and was just declared to be toxic by the Canadian government.

"C/S's decision to completely overhaul its manufacturing processes to develop and offer Acrovyn 4000 marks a seminal step forward for the building industry at large," James Ewell, vice president and director of consulting for McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), which administers the certification. "As the first company in the industry to commit to completely remove PVC from its wall protection line, C/S will hopefully lead a wider progression away from chemicals of concern.

C/S plans to earn C2C Gold certification for another product line that is currently certified C2C Silver.

Kingspan Unveils Path to NetZero

Insulated metal panel manufacturer Kingspan debuted an energy analysis and financial estimation tool Wednesday. It is designed to model the integration of insulated metal panel walls and roofs into building designs to achieve net zero energy, when a building produces as much energy as it consumes.

The tool, called Path to Zero, is meant to demonstrate a high performance building design strategy Kingspan calls EnvelopeFirst. It will be available on the web, in addition to mobile devices such as the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android mobile products.

It can analyze carbon dioxide emissions reductions and energy cost savings in a building project as a result of adding insulated metal roof and wall panels. Users can calculate the results on an annual basis, or over a 25-year span, in addition to return on investment and contributions to a LEED certification.

The tool's foundation is a company study that simulated three building types in four different locations.

"This unique tool for the building industry simulates the process of energy modeling high-performance envelope and net-zero scenarios," Paul Bertram, Jr., Kingspan's director of environment and sustainability, said in a statement. "Select one of four cities, a building type (school, office, or warehouse) and a baseline building designed to ASHRAE 90.1.2004. Choose a Kingspan insulated roof and wall system and compare savings. Benchmarks for the tool are aligned with the DOE Commercial Building Initiative and LEED 2009/3.0 requirements."

Portland Cement Association Presents Updated High Performance Building Code

The Portland Cement Association presented its updated building requirements at GreenBuild Wednesday that address green and disaster-resistant construction.

The requirements, called High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability 2.0 (PDF), were created by PCA and the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IHBS). It updates and amends the International Building Code from the International Code Council in alignment with the Whole Building Design Guide and High Performance Building Council.

According to PCA, the guidelines seek to strengthen building, which is sometimes overlook in building codes and ordinances in favor of green or sustainable features.

"A sustainable building with a higher degree of durability can decrease the amount of materials going to landfills and use of community resources when disasters occur," Steve Szoke, PCA director of codes and standards, said in a statement in September when the guidelines were originally released. "After Hurricane Katrina, more than 44 million cubic yards of building materials and contents were disposed of in landfills. The PCA/IHBS ordinance provides mandatory requirements for increased resistance to natural disasters with the goal of reducing the number of destroyed buildings and protecting property, and saving human life."

YKK AP American and Serious Materials Team Up for Greener Building Facades

YKK AP America and Serious Materials launched a program that will combine their respective technologies in the name of more energy-efficient commercial building facades.

The collaboration will marry YKK's energyGfacade fenestration systems with Serious Materials' SeriousGlass, which reduces energy use and boosts daylight. Serious Materials says the product's energy saving properties deliver a fast return-on-investment and enable architects to use a larger share of glass in their designs.

YKK AP launched its enerGfacade product line of window and shade systems ahead of GreenBuild last year. Features include triple glazing and inserting blinds between window panes to increase efficiency.

"This is a great example of industry leaders working together and leveraging respective strengths to bring strong value and performance to the market. YKK AP's enerGfacade fenestration systems combined with SeriousGlass deliver some of the most energy efficient commercial building facades available," said Ian Sullivan, GM and vice president of Serious Materials' Windows Division.

Mondo Promotes its GreenGuard Certified Flooring

Flooring company Mondo earned GreenGuard Children & Schools certification for 13 of its rubber flooring surfaces last month. The Conshohocken, Pa.-based firm is showing off one of those certified flooring products at GreenBuild this week: Harmoni Smooth, which also received the GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality Certification.

The product's smooth surface is easy to maintain and free of toxic materials. The recyclable material is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, and contributes minimal levels of pollutants to indoor air.

Mondo bills itself as the world's top supplier of sports and toy balls. It also produces tracks and artificial turf fields, commercial flooring, and large luxury yachts under its marine division.

Underlying image CC licensed by Flickr user doug.siefken.