The Masonry Society


Sustainability E-News


February 29, 2012                                                                 Volume 4, Number 4



From the Editor

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the National Concrete Masonry Association’s (NCMA) Convention on the subject of LEED and the new International Green Construction Code.  In both presentations I mentioned how both are changing, and what I presented that day would likely be different from what would soon be published.  March is a busy month for green building activities.  The USGBC has published the third (and final) public comment draft of LEED 2012 and later in March the IGCC 2012 will be for sale.  Be on the lookout for articles and more information on what both of these will entail.


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.




Lots of recent activity…check out the links below.  ~Tina


USGBC Releases Draft of LEED 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council has announced the third draft of LEED 2012 is now available.  Members of the public can comment on any substantive changes made since the second public comment period, which ran from August 1 through September 14, 2011.  Once the comment period process concludes, LEED 2012 will be balloted in June and launch in November.  The public comment period is open March 1 to 20, 2012.  Get the draft and submit your comments here.    


6 Factors That Will Boost Green Building Standards in 2012

Adoption of LEED Standards from the U.S. Green Building Council and other sustainable principles will spread in 2012 because they can help building owners save on energy costs and draw tenants, writes Marc Karell.  In this piece, he lists six trends that will fuel adoption of green building standards, including higher property values from retrofits of existing buildings, and an increasing number of government measures that mandate sustainable construction.


Guide to IgCC Published

The International Code Council and Delmar, part of Cengage Learning, have released the construction industry's first support publication referencing the 2012 International Green Construction Code to be released this spring.  Green Building: A Professional's Guide to Concepts, Codes and Innovations is the latest joint effort developed by the two organizations.





BOMA, USGBC Update Green Building Report  

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International was among 15 partner organizations who joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to announce the release of a report that recommends nearly three-dozen executive actions across 23 agency programs where the Obama Administration can drive the economic and environmental benefits of green building without new legislation.  Read more here.


Top 10 States for LEED Buildings

The U.S. Green Building Council has annouced the top 10 states for LEED certified buildings.  To see the list, click here.  To read more about how San Francisco made No. 1, click here.


Green Construction Growing “Like Mad" USGBC Exec Says

For a construction industry battered by the economic downturn, "the good news is that green construction is growing like mad," said Dan Geiger, executive director of the Northern California Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, according to this blog.  Green retrofit projects will multiply from 2010 levels by three to five times by 2015, while net-zero energy projects will be the standard for LEED Platinum by 2018, according to a forecast by McGraw-Hill Construction.


What Comes Next After Green Building?

Now that green building practices have become widely accepted by the global architecture-engineering-construction industry, what comes next?  Check out this article.


Green Construction Spreads Across the Home Building Industry
Almost half of the conventional builders surveyed by McGraw Hill Construction say that incorporating sustainable and energy-efficient technologies into their plans has helped them garner new contracts.  Almost three quarters of the green builders surveyed say their eco-friendly building strategies give them advantage over conventional builders, according to this Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier article.


Making Green Building in NYC a Less Terrible Experience

The Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place hosted a gathering to talk about something called the Zone Green Text Amendment, a set of proposals that would, if actually enacted into law, allow builders and owners more flexibility in adding green features to buildings.  Click here to learn more. 




Concrete masonry and cement are in the news again.  ~Tina


NCMA’s TEKs Reflect Changes to ASTM Specifications

TEK 1-1F — ASTM Specifications for Concrete Masonry Units — highlights significant changes that have been made to ASTM C90-11b to greatly reduce the amount of web area required in concrete masonry units giving rise to more energy efficient and sustainable units.  Changes to other unit designations are highlighted as well.  Visit NCMA’s website to get a copy of the new TEK.


Innovative Block Technology Could Substitute for Concrete Blocks

Plastone blocks developed by the Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE) in India are created from plastic waste and stones, and have been found to be five times stronger than concrete blocks.  The blocks could be used for flooring, lining canals and more, according to R. Vasudevan, a dean at TCE.  Read more by clicking here.


Eco-Cement, A Paradigm Shift for Sustainable Construction

The race to develop more eco-friendly cement is underway as the global industry seeks to diminish its carbon emissions.  This article in The Ecologist (U.K.) takes a look at how some companies are mixing in the green -- and what they're finding.


History Influences Search for a Greener Form of Cement

An alkali-activated cement is being developed by researchers at Philadelphia's Drexel University that consists of slag and 68% unfired limestone that doesn't need to be heated in order to be produced. "Our cement is more like ancient Roman cement than like modern Portland," said Dr. Alex Moseson, one of the lead researchers on the project,” in this article.  Although we won't know for 2,000 years if ours has the longevity of Roman buildings, it gives us an idea of the staying power of this material."





The Role of Masonry in Sustainable Design and LEEDTM

Arizona Masonry Guild will host this popular seminar from The Masonry Society on April 19, 2012 from 12:00- 1:30pm.  Contact the Arizona Masonry Guild for more information.


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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