The Masonry Society
Sustainability E-News
Better Building Standards
February 28, 2017                                   
Volume 9, Number 4 
From the Editor
As we look toward March and the end of the first quarter of the year it's often time to check and see if we are on track to meet the goals we have set for 2017. Unfortunately for Sustainability E-News we are behind on our funding goal for 2017. As I write this we are at less than 85% of our goal. Please consider joining our dedicated Sponsors by pledging your support to this newsletter. If you are a regular reader or especially if you forward this newsletter on to your company or members, consider the value and contact the TMS office for more information on becoming a sponsor!
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.
Resilience of building structures is often not a question of if or how it can be done, but rather proper execution of existing design details and strategies. Though the first article below focuses on new approaches to design, many of the strategies used in high wind areas such as Florida (roof tie-downs and code enforcement among others) can easily be applied in tornado-prone areas to improve building performance. ~Tina
Recent Tornadoes Highlight Need for Better Building Standards
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes said the tragedies like the deadly tornadoes that recently tore through the South demonstrate the need for better building standards. In this article the alliance discusses the benefits of adopting the research-informed Dual-Objective-Based Tornado Design Philosophy -- an idea backed by civil engineer David Prevatt: "If we can put a man on the moon, we can keep a roof on a house."
LEED Addenda Published
The quarterly LEED rating system and reference guide addenda for January 2017 includes three new interpretations, clarifications on group and campus projects, pilot credit updates, and form updates. Of note is an update to the Materials and Resources Calculator for LEED 2009. View the full article.
National Green Building Standard Proposed Changes Due
The 2018 National Green Building Standard (ICC/ASHRAE-700) development process is now underway. Changes to this residential green building standard can be submitted at Proposals are due March 1st

The quality of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a product is dependent upon the quality of the information in the underlying database - something designers don't often think about. Database accuracy can vary widely, and it is important to realize the product information included in an LCA is not necessarily the same as the product being used on the project. For example, the one tool assumes that concrete block has less than 5% cement replacement. Many units used on green building projects can have up to 30% cement replacement - and a much different environmental profile. The articles below report on several LCA tools.   ~Tina
A Review of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Tools
Sometimes referred to as "cradle to grave" analysis, LCA provides a mechanism for systematically evaluating the environmental impacts linked to a product or process and in guiding process or product improvement efforts. LCA-based information also provides insights into the environmental impacts of raw material and product choices, maintenance and end-of-product-life strategies. In this report, information is provided to assist first-time LCA practitioners in selecting appropriate LCA tools and data sources. LCA tools are evaluated based on credibility of information, ease of searching for data, understandability of datasets, and available breadth of processes. Three databases from public sources, the US Life Cycle Inventory Database, CPM LCA Database, and the European Life Cycle Database, along with three private LCA tools, ecoinvent 3.0, GaBi, and SimaPro, were analyzed according to these criteria.
Athena Impact Estimator Updated
The Athena Institute is pleased to announce the release of version 5.2 of the Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings. The Impact Estimator is a popular and free software tool that simplifies life cycle assessment (LCA) for building designers and sustainability consultants. What's new:
  • A much faster internal engine.
  • Better documentation for the LEED® v4 whole building LCA credit.
  • Material updates - cement, concrete block, ready mixed concrete, glass mat gypsum panels, and roofing products from Duro-Last® and Sika Sarnafil.
  • Assembly mapping for "extra basic materials."
Read more and get the software here.

A Look at Smart Buildings and Construction Risks
Building information modeling plays a role in the creation of smart buildings, which can enhance sustainability and safety. However, smart buildings can also bring additional risks that need to be addressed by all involved. Read more.
How to Efficiently Benchmark Your Sustainability Program
Ceres' updated Roadmap for Sustainability says companies should review their sustainability program to ensure the board of directors is involved in sustainability efforts and that clear standards are set for partners. After reviewing their program, businesses then can benchmark specific areas using industry tools. Read more.
Report Finds 98% of Companies Do Not Meet Sustainability Goals
Only 2% of companies achieve their set corporate sustainability goals, according to this article. Experts say one way to ensure companies meet CSR goals is to help employees see the bottom-line benefits and importance of sustainable practices. 

Register Now for March 8 Webinar on TMS 402/602 Updates
The TMS 402/602-16 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures is now available and it is adopted by the 2018 International Building Code for the design and construction of structural masonry, masonry veneer, and glass unit masonry. Quickly learn about the major updates and changes to the 2016 TMS 402/602 including the increased cavity width for veneers to accommodate increased insulation in this informative webinar presented by Dr. Richard Bennett, the Chair of the Committee that developed these provisions. Click here for information on this webinar or to register.
The 13th Canadian Masonry Symposium (CMS) is quickly approaching, and will be held In Halifax, Nova Scotia from June 4-7, 2017. Registration is now open.

In 2018 the 10th International Masonry Conference (IMC) will be hosted by the Technical University of Milan on July 9-11 in Milan, Italy. Abstracts are due June 30, 2017.
Also in 2018, the 10th Australasian Masonry Conference (AMC) will be hosted by The University of Newcastle and Think Brick Australia at the Park Royal Darling Harbour, Sydney, from 11-14 February, 2018.
The 13th North American Masonry Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, UT from June 16-19, 2019.
BIM-Masonry Symposium Announced
The BIM-M Executive Committee is pleased to announce the 2017 BIM-M Symposium for May 4-5, 2017. It will be held at the IMI District Training Center just outside Chicago. The 2017 BIM-M Symposium will highlight completed and on-going projects for BIM users.  While both symposium days will be valuable for all masonry BIM users, May 4 will emphasize designers and May 5 will emphasize contractors.   Architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers will be treated to products and techniques to simplify design, detailing and collaboration with masonry.  Further details and registration information will be forth coming on the BIMM web site (        

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