Recently, building product transparency has started to gain traction in North America; changes in consumer expectations, building certification systems, and international laws and standards have finally begun to converge in standardized corporate reporting about any number of environmental, social, and health impacts. International tools have been developed to easily communicate some of this information through what is known as an environmental product declaration (EPD), which can be thought of as a nutrition label for building products. This course will provide an understanding of the global demand for environmental product declarations in the building industry, how they are developed, and their limitations.
This course will review LEED version 4 and how it will transform the marketplace for high performance buildings by encouraging and rewarding the use of products that provide transparency into their manufacture, certification of their performance to a standard and impact on the environment and human health. Changes to the rating system will be discussed, including new credits and new tools to help obtain these credits. The course will demonstrate how LEED version 4 is raising the bar for sustainable achievement.
This course will communicate the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) and empower architects, designers and specifiers to employ strategies to improve the IAQ in the spaces they design. There will be several case studies of the effects of controlling versus not controlling indoor environmental quality at the design phase of building construction. Emphasis is drawn to the importance of emissions of VOCs over content only requirements. Moreover, the participants will learn the value of specifying certified low emitting products as a proven method for controlling VOC emissions that invade the indoor environment.
The best path to a sustainable building is to know what’s in the materials being used to build it. However, questions remain among manufacturers and buyers about just how to evaluate and compare the environmental profiles of similar building products and materials. For example, what is the significance of a product bearing an eco-label? What are the differences between various types of product eco-certifications? What mechanisms exist to support comparisons between similar products? And, what steps can manufacturers take to bring environmentally preferable products to market as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible? This course will discuss each of these tools and how they can collectively provide information regarding the environmental impact of products, as well as their environmental performance, and offer an objective means of comparing similar products. Ultimately, these mechanisms enable buyers to make more informed decisions about the products they purchase, spurring further advances in product sustainability.
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