Greenbuild 2010 Wrap-Up

Today is the final day of the U.S. Green Buidling Council’s annual Greenbuild Conference.

This year it is being held in Chicago, where attendees can check out the latest greenbuilding products and sit in on discussions with preeminent figures in the field.

Top 10 Green Building Products

Pubisher BuildingGreen, Inc. announced its ninth-annual Top 10 List for green building products. 

This year’s list is particularly diverse, ranging from decking made outof recycled carpet, to an ultra-high-efficiency toilet using a uniquepassive-vacuum-assist technology to achieve just 0.8 gallons per flush,and a glazing material that has a UV-reflective pattern that is highlyvisible to birds yet largely transparent to humans to help prevent birdcollisions.

Five products among this year’s Top-10 selections save energy: acellular glass insulation that has excellent compressive strength and no flame retardants; a high-performance modular wall system insulated with cellulose, a line of variable-frequency-drive pumps with ECM motors, aheat-recovery ventilation system for commercial kitchens, and anadvanced LED lighting module that offers remarkable light qualitymatching that of halogen (up to a CRI index of 98), yet using a quarterthe electricity and lasting more than 20 times as long.

Rounding out the selections are a line of commercial furniture thatcomes standard with FSC-certified wood at no up-charge or delivery delay and a new fast-connect wiring and cabling system that is made with noheavy metals or halogenated plastics.

The complete list is:

  • NyloDeck composite decking from Nyloboard, LLC
  • Foamglas building insulation from Pittsburgh Corning
  • Ornilux bird-safe glass from Arnold Glas
  • FSC-certified office furniture from Knoll
  • Bensonwood OBPlus Wall System
  • Stealth toilet from Niagara Conservation Corp.
  • Wilo variable-frequency-drive “smart” pumps
  • Halton Heat Recovery Unit for commercial kitchen ventilation
  • Xicato LED Spot Module
  • Electec halogen-free EZ-Wiring and EZ-Cabling systems 

Retail Specific LEED Rating System

Separately, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announcedthat the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released a newretail-specific rating system for LEED building certification. The LEEDfor Retail rating system was developed with the support of nearly 100pilot participants, including RILA members’ Delhaize America (NYSE:DEG), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Target (NYSE: TGT), Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS)and REI.

“Our new retail rating system builds on the long established LEED forNew Construction and LEED for Commercial Interiors rating systems, withadjustments and modifications made to accommodate the distinct needs ofretail space. Key considerations include occupancy, waste streams,energy consumption and water use,”  said Scot Horst, senior vicepresident of LEED.

Retailers are among the most proficient industries in building to LEEDstandards. In fact, more than 650 retail projects have already achievedLEED certification. Perhaps more importantly, more than 4,000 additional retail projects have been registered and are working towards LEEDcertification.

The LEED for Retail rating system was voted on and approved by 92% ofthe USGBC membership in March 2010. USGBC recently created LEED for Retail Reference Guides and a LEED Online documentation tool.

Alleged Green Marketing Scam

Nonprofit group ForestEthics released a report claiming that theSustainable Forestry Initiative eco-label is a greenwashing tool thatdoes nothing more than serve the interests of the timber, paper, andforest products industries.

“Greenwash is deception pure and simple,” said Aaron Sanger ofForestEthics. “Our report exposes SFI’s greenwash, an industry-sponsored scam that threatens our forests, communities, fresh water andwildlife.”

Among the report’s allegations:

  • Virtually all of SFI’s funding comes from the paper and timber industries
  • SFI’s most commonly used label, the Fiber Sourcing label, requiresno chain-of-custody tracking of a product’s content or origins
  • Out of 543 audits of SFI-certified companies since 2004, not oneacknowledges any major problem on issues–such as soil erosion,clearcutting, water quality, or chemical usage–that should be the focus of a ‘sustainable forestry’ program
  • In one case, the SFI audit team–which included only twoauditors–spent just five days assessing an area larger than the entirestate of Pennsylvania. They reported no violations of SFI standards anddidn’t identify so much as a single opportunity for improvement
  • Board members representing SFI’s environmental and social sectorsinclude Mike Zagata, former NY Governor Pataki’s “most controversialagency head”, and Marvin Brown, who this October resigned as Oregonstate forester amid accusations that his department conducted andtolerated environmentally-harmful forestry practices. 

The full report is available at the link below (PDF).


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