The Masonry Society

 Sustainability E-News

February 15, 2012                                                                   Volume 4, Number 3


From the Editor

One thing you can always count on is change, and 2012 promises to be no different.  Just when you got familiar with the latest in green building requirements, along comes new requirements.  See the article below for a link to the newest version of ASHRAE’s Standard 189.1.  And it won’t be long before the next public comment draft of LEED 2012 arrives, as well as the final version of the 2012 IGCC.  Stay tuned for future updates on these and other green building standards.

Christine “Tina” Subasic, PE, LEED AP

NOTE:  Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of the products and materials featured, nor have these products been evaluated by TMS or the editor.  Furthermore, the views expressed in the articles featured are those of the article authors.




Green building requirements can be found throughout North America and beyond.  The links below provide updates on some of the latest requirements.  ~Tina

Some Green Building Measures Become Law in NYC

Two years ago, the nonprofit Urban Green Council created a list of 111 recommendations to help make buildings in New York City more sustainable.  Today, 29 of those are now law and another eight are being codified.  Some of the policies will require buildings to curb the use of artificial light and install reflective roofing, according to this New York Observer report.

Colorado Tops List for Number of Green Buildings in 2011

Colorado had the largest number of green buildings in 2011 according to the US Green Building Council and this report.

ASHRAE Unveils Green Building Update

ASHRAE has announced the 2011 version of ASHRAE 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is now available.  Highlighted changes of interest to the masonry industry include a revision that requires permeable pavement and permeable pavers must meet a minimum percolation rate rather than a minimum solar reflectance index (SRI).  Read more at   

Top Sustainability-Shaping Trends of 2012

Research from Ernst & Young shows that sustainability reporting is increasing, but many U.S. companies are not using the best tools for the job.  Other trends to watch out for include the increasing role employees are playing in driving sustainability initiatives and the emphasis that executives are placing on ratings in sustainability indexes according to this blog.



We continue this month more news about concrete products, but this time with a twist.  The first link includes a story on Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, or AAC – a product now included in the TMS 402 standard, Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures.  The second features a new approach to making cement.  ~Tina

GreenSpec® Category Highlight:  Concrete Products

GreenSpec Insights’ Feb 2 edition featured several stories about concrete products including AAC, use of fly ash and more.  Check it out at Concrete Products Review.

Creating Cement Without the Kiln?

Professor Alex Moseson of Philadelphia's Drexel University is developing a new recipe for a more eco-friendly cement that uses industrial waste such as soda ash.  "The beauty of it is we can take things that don’t need to go through a kiln in order to make them cement," Moseson said in this Public Radio International article.  The new mixture is said to be similar to the recipe used to build pyramids, symbolic of the product's strength. 

Sustainable Development Council Publishes Quarry Rehab Guide

The Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has released a new edition Guidelines on Quarry Rehabilitation.  The document presents principles of quarry rehabilitation, tips and case studies and is premised on the belief that "the benefits of quarry rehabilitation outweigh the long-term costs."  Learn more by clicking here



Wisconsin Masonry Alliance Hosts Sustainability Seminars

The Wisconsin Masonry Alliance annouces their 2012 Symposium Series featuring The Masonry Society’s “The Role of Masonry in Sustainable Design” seminar.  Choose your location!  Green Bay on Feb. 14, Wisconsin Dells on Feb. 15, and Waukesha on Feb. 16.  Click Here for More Information and to Register Online! Or Download the Registration Brochure Here.

Sustainability/LEED Focus of ICON and NCMA Education

The Precast Show taking place in Orlando, Fla., March 1-3, 2012 will include ICON EXPO and NCMA CPU education programs.  Sustainability is the focus of several of the education programs, including a session on the Introduction to Green Building and the International Green Building Code.  For a tentative schedule, please click here.

The Art of Thermal Mass Modeling for Energy Conservation in Buildings

Leaders in building thermal performance modeling are being brought together to impart their knowledge and experience about the latest trends in building energy performance analysis and modeling at the upcoming American Concrete Institute Spring Convention in Dallas Texas.  The sessions, jointly sponsored by ACI/TMS Committee 122 Energy Efficiency of Concrete and Masonry Systems and ACI Committees 130 Sustainability of Concrete and 236 Material Science of Concrete, begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2012.  Do not miss the opportunity to gain crucial information about the tools and requirements to better achieve energy conservation in buildings for improved sustainability.  For more information visit:


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