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GBlist: <<Update>> ASTM Residential Green Building Task Group

To:    Interested Parties / Residential Green Building                     
From:  Bion Howard, Consultant / Chair TG E50.06.03
Date:     18 April 1997
Subject:  ASTM Residential Green Building Standard Guide
This Guide project has been completely revamped in the ASTM E-50
Committee on the Environment, as of yesterday's meeting held
in Baltimore, Maryland.

This Task Group will suspend as of now, development of a
"Standard Guide," as a result of extensive discussions and
comments by the wood industry and representatives of NAHB.

The guide as drafted in 2nd ballot review was termed "flawed,
excessively regulatory in scope, and contains references
to approaches such as life-cycle-assessment (LCA) on building
materials that are error-prone and expensive to apply," and is
thought "inappropriate" by various building materials industry 
groups and trade organizations involved in ASTM.

The TG became increasingly aware that even if extensivly revised
the current draft document was perceived as excessivly burdensome
to industry, and not useful to stakeholders in the residential
construction arena (builders, designers, etc.)

The Task Group is going to be reorganized around the following
mission (draft):

   1.  to produce an ASTM reference "Manual" of practices on 
	residential Green Buildings that will utilize current
        and future results from green builder programs and
        from groups like the NAHB Research Center, the Energy
        Efficient Building Association, and other qualified
        sources (an initial step toward this goal will be the
        preparation of an internal "white paper" for use by 
        the E-50.06 Green Buildings Sub-committee);

   2.  to organize and hold a National/ International green
       buildings technical and applications symposium encouraging
       peer reviewed papers, and a strong focus on reaching
       a better technical and applications-oriented consensus
       than now exists (results to produce a Special Technical
       Publication in ASTM); and

   3.  that the efforts of the TG may at some future time be
       reoriented to produce standards, guides, practices, or
       other consensus materials for the benefit of the building
       community, industry and the environment.

This revised approach for the Task Group, having been in 
operation since March 1994, is under review by the TG members,
and subject to comment and approval but the Sub-committee and
Main Committee of E-50, ASTM.  Comments are welcome (see below)

Authors / Chairpersons Note (not ASTM's Position):
The accomplishment of this new approach requires new participation
from the environmental building community to achieve a renewed
counter balance between affected industry groups and companies that 
are now participants in the ASTM process, so that a strong commitment
to reducing the environmental impacts of development may be achieved.  
Currently, since the environmental community is very weakly represented 
on this Task Group, there is little chance of any renewed development 
of a meaningful and evenhanded green building standard will take place.

After over three years of effort, working in concert with others on
the TG, I would like to appeal once again for broader participation
from you, the real experts in Green Building.  This process has now
given over completely to the wants of industry groups who do not
share the same level of concern for the real issues facing more
environmentally sensitive development and building modernization.

If you would like more information on how to get involved with the
continuing and hopefully re-energizing efforts of this group please
contact me directly -- DO NOT POST TO THE LIST --  Thank you !!!  

------------------- Contact Information ---------------------
        Mr. Bion D. Howard, Principal          
  Building Environmental Science & Technology   
  P. O. Box 1007, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20773 USA
  bdhoward@ix.netcom.com < > http://nrg-builder.com
     Voice#  410-867-8000  fax#  301-889-0889
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