Posted: Oct 12, 2015

Living Building Challenge Raises The Bar On Building Performance

By Scott Kriner

For years we have heard about the Living Building Challenge in the theater of sustainable building certifications. The LEED program is the “800 pound gorilla” in this category but the Living Building Challenge is self-proclaimed as “the world’s most rigorous and progressive building performance standard.”

Posted: Sep 08, 2015

USGBC's LEED Program Exploring New Credits For Social Equity

By Scott Kriner

“Sustainability” has been a term used in the building construction industry for some time now. We have become aware of the importance of a building’s impact to the environment, and its energy efficiency. Recently the concern over the health and wellness of the manufacturers, installers and building occupants has put pressure on manufacturers to be more transparent in their disclosure of chemical ingredients in building materials.

Posted: Aug 04, 2015

Groups Looking At Ways To Measure Chemical Footprints

By Scott Kriner

How Many Footprints Do You Have? As sustainability issues became more prevalent in the building construction industry we were introduced to the concept of determining a Carbon Footprint of a building. This was related to the amount of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the energy used to build a structure and for the operation of that structure. Buildings were analyzed for their overall Environmental Footprint, using various impact categories. Later we learned about how buildings can have a Water Footprint, and even a Waste Footprint for buildings.

Posted: Jul 07, 2015

Roofs Are Cool..Why Not Walls?

By Scott Kriner

A new three-year Research and Development project on Cool Walls has begun in California. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the energy-saving and environmental benefits of solar reflective walls, and to assess and advance available and emerging cool wall technologies. This will include cool paints, cool claddings, self-cleaning surfaces, fluorescent cool pigments and other novel solar reflecting technologies. Another important purpose of the project will be to develop an infrastructure to eventually promote cool walls and certify their performance.

Posted: Jun 09, 2015

IZA-Led Coalition Shows There's Strength In Numbers When It Comes To Affecting Public Policy

By Scott Kriner

In 2012, the metal roofing industry caught wind of a rainwater runoff evaluation that was being planned by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to supplement a 2011 investigation. Concerns over certain chemicals and metals in the Puget Sound were at the heart of the investigation. The intent of the project was to address chemicals and metals of concern in the rainwater runoff that were being detected in the Puget Sound.

Posted: May 12, 2015

Construction Practices Of Today Help Ensure Dire Predictions of Past Earth Day Celebrations Will Never Come True

By Scott Kriner

There are many ways for metal to be used in building construction that can help to reduce the building’s impact on the environment. Sustainable building practice is designed to extend the life of the building by using recyclable materials and by lowering the use of energy and water. The move toward Net Zero energy in buildings is another example of how structures will be designed and maintained differently to achieve significant reductions in the electricity load on the building.

Posted: Apr 07, 2015

Focus On Resilience In Buildings And Beyond Gathering Momentum

By Scott Kriner

Resilience is once again in the spotlight. As the environment changes around the globe and population continues to grow, the built community and designers will be challenged to create buildings that can withstand ever-changing conditions.

Posted: Mar 10, 2015

The Millennials Are Coming!

By Scott Kriner

The USGBC’s LEED program, as well as other green building rating programs around the world, have without a doubt transformed the building construction industry. What started as a way to design, construct and operate buildings to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible has changed over the past 20 years. Today’s version of LEED looks at the impact of the project site, energy efficiencies, water conservation, environmentally responsible materials and resources, and indoor quality.

Posted: Feb 10, 2015

DOE Research Looks At Taking Solar Power To The Next Level

By Scott Kriner

Many of us attend webinars that tease us with an intriguing title. One that caught my eye recently was hosted by the Department of Energy. The title was “Highly Efficient Solar Thermochemical Reaction Systems”. It sounded like a highly technical topic that someone like Bill Nye the Science Guy would just love to hear.

Posted: Jan 06, 2015

Health And Wellness Certification For Building Designs Are On The Horizon

By Scott Kriner

Even though there is no letter “H” or “W” in the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) the USGBC’s green building rating system is creeping into the health and wellness of the building occupants. Lowering energy consumption and reducing the environmental footprints of buildings have been the primary focus of most of the major green building rating programs, including LEED and Green Globes…until now.

Posted: Dec 02, 2014

Will The Enernet Be The Future Of Electricity?

By Scott Kriner

Just about everyone has seen the bulky inverter units on their cords used to charge laptop computers, smart phones, i-pads and numerous other small electronic devices. Even rooftop photovoltaic panels require inverters to change the DC power generated by the modules to AC for use inside the building. As the building construction industry moves closer to net zero energy designs, there is a growing need for buildings to generate their own electricity and to rely less on the traditional large utility grid.

Posted: Nov 11, 2014

USGBC Hints At Surprises Ahead During Greenbuild Remarks

By Scott Kriner

Like every Greenbuild conference and expo ever held, this year’s event in New Orleans was filled with new and surprising information. One can get a sense of the hot topics just by looking at the titles of the more than 200 education sessions, and the speeches given at the opening and closing plenary. This year’s event was focused on the slow acceptance of LEEDv4 since its launch at Greenbuild 2013.

Posted: Oct 14, 2014

Oklahoma City Adopts Resilience Code

By Scott Kriner

Autumn has arrived, the leaves are bursting into brilliant colors, and the nights are cool. It’s hard to believe that we are in the fourth quarter of 2014 already. It is often good to reflect on the events of the year. And the first three quarters of the year were packed full of events that disrupted the lives of many Americans. From wildfires in the Western states, to flash flooding in the Southwest, to a significant earthquake and aftershocks in California, hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and wind and hail damage from thunderstorms just about everywhere in the summer.

Posted: Sep 09, 2014

Organizations Align To Simplify Green Building Regulations, Incentives

By Scott Kriner

Big news in the sustainable building industry was the recent announcement of a partnership among five organizations that have been involved in codes, standards and rating programs related to green or sustainable building practice. The announced partnership among the US Green Building Council (USGBC), ASHRAE, International Code Council (ICC), AIA, and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is being touted as a step toward harmonizing and simplifying the implementation of green building regulations and incentives. The intentions are well-founded, but the details of the interaction among the five groups are just now being disclosed.

Posted: Aug 05, 2014

Photovoltaics And Metal Roofing: A Marriage Getting Even Better

By Scott Kriner

Metal Roofing is the ideal platform for rooftop photovoltaics (PV). The useful service life of typical PV units is often around 30 years before the output is below 80%. The useful service life of unpainted Galvalume® coated sheet standing seam roofing has been found to exceed 60 years based on a study by the Metal Construction Association and the ZAC organization. Service life of this type of roofing system is extended beyond 60 years in certain climate regions in the US.

Posted: Jul 08, 2014

Pending Legislation Could Be Good For Metal Construction Industry

By Scott Kriner

With public opinion about Congress at an all-time low, it’s interesting to see what our legislators are up to. When an earmark bill includes $1.8 million to study why pigs smell, it’s no wonder why the average American feels like Congress is out of touch and dysfunctional. But there are some rays of hope with certain pending bills that could actually help the construction industry.

Posted: Jun 17, 2014

Green Globes Challenging LEED For Certification Program Supremacy

By Scott Kriner

Today worldwide there are over 600 green product certification programs and approximately 200 green building rating programs. Two of the more notable and familiar green building rating programs are BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Here in the US, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced their first version of the LEED green building rating program in 2000.

Posted: May 13, 2014

The Growing Interest In Resilient Building Practice

By Scott Kriner

More and more information is coming forward on activity in the field of resiliency. The Resilient Design Institute defines the term resiliency as “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.” A 2011 UN report on disaster risk reduction stated that losses from disasters are rising faster than gains being made through economic growth in all regions.

Posted: Apr 15, 2014

Code Process Akin To Watching Sausage Being Made

By Scott Kriner

The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is undergoing modifications in its 3-year code development cycle in 2014. IgCC is just one code of a suite of codes administered by the International Code Council (ICC).The IgCC is an overlay code to be used along with the building, residential, plumbing, or electrical codes. It is also a model code, meaning that once it is approved by ICC, the 2015 edition of IgCC can be adopted (or not adopted) by local jurisdictions if they desire.

Posted: Mar 25, 2014

EPDs A Valuable Tool For Today's Designers

By Scott Kriner

LEED, LCA, PCR, EPD. These aren’t just acronyms. As Scott Kriner, Technical Director of the Metal Construction Association explains it, "They represent the industry’s advancements toward more energy efficient and environmentally responsible buildings." In this column for DesignandBuildwithMetal, Kriner reminds us how the environmental building movement got its start and how it has evolved, and where the Environmental Product Declaration fits into the big picture.

^ Back To Top