New Product: Enova
One of the more unique products showcased at Greenbuild was the additive Enova, a silica aerogel made by Cabot Corp. which improves energy efficiency for a variety of applications. Add Enova to paint to provide a thin, flexible coating with moisture resistance and thermal insulation properties. A 1-2mm coating with Enova aerogel provides noticeable insulating performance compared to standard paint or non-coated surfaces. Time will tell how widely adopted this type of product becomes for its potential energy savings and thermal insulation qualities.
Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard 3.0
Another highlight was the much-anticipated launch of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s third version of its Certified Product Standard which recognizes manufacturing and product achievement across five categories: material health; material reutilization; renewable energy and carbon management; water stewardship; and social fairness. Previously there were four levels of product certification: Basic; Silver; Gold; and Platinum. The updated standard adds a new certification level, Bronze – between Basic and Silver, and places more emphasis on energy and water, while providing more flexibility on ingredient disclosure requirements for entry-level certification.
Green Building Information Gateway Release
If you’re a data fiend, the USGBC officially launched the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG), a nicely designed and comprehensive online database of buildings that allows users to search for information such as:
- green building data by city – with maps, locate all green buildings within a specific area,
- project data by green building strategy – track credits and features such as building reuse or daylighting,
- building activities – research LEED, Living Building Challenge or Energy Star certification,
- building comparisons – analyze how green building attributes compare to other locales or similar building types,
- energy performance data – research information on energy use for buildings registered. (Note: Benchmarking and disclosure is now required in many cities across the U.S. including San Francisco and New York.)
GBIG is organized around activities, buildings, places, strategies and collections. Users can navigate the site through these main areas, browse featured content, or simply enter keywords into the search.
“The launch of GBIG represents years of research, information-gathering, and testing,” said Chris Pyke, Vice President for Research at USGBC, in a recent press release. “Green building has gone from an era of ‘firsts’ to a global movement connected by data.” Start searching now.
LEED-EBOM Recertification Guidelines
Finally, another key milestone that the USGBC announced at Greenbuild was the development of clear and specific guidelines regarding how the thousands of current LEED-EBOM (Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance) projects should apply for recertification. LEED Online, the go-to resource for managing the LEED documentation process, will soon support recertification with specialized forms, and it will do so within the project’s original certification home on LEED Online.
In addition, projects won’t have to re-document static environmental features, only items that involve ongoing performance (not static measures). In general, existing EBOM projects will need to provide documentation for their ongoing sustainability practices for 25% of the total recertification period. For example, if an EBOM project resubmits within two years of initial certification, it would need to document six months of performance metrics for most credits. When LEED v4 is released in 2013, it will be designed to fully integrate with recertification.
While we only scratched the surface of what Greenbuild had to offer, it is our pleasure to be messengers of good news as it is an auspicious time for green building. It goes without saying, but we’re glad to be a part of it and look forward to seeing what develops between now and next November. See you in Philadelphia!