Red, White, Blue & Green: Independence Day P2

fireworksThe Fourth of July approaches. For those of us in the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes region, thoughts of Independence Day fireworks displays, parades and outdoor parties beckon from the weekend. While preparing for the festivities, you may want to consider how pollution prevention (P2) relates and include a little green with your red, white and blue. Continue reading “Red, White, Blue & Green: Independence Day P2”

Documents recently added to GLRPPR sector resources

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is also available as an RSS feed at

Lead-Free Wheels
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:15:14 GMT
The Lead-Free Wheels Program is partnering with retail tire outlets to make lead-free wheel balancing available to consumers when they purchase new tires. They are also actively working with numerous state and local fleets to phase out the use of lead wheel balancing weights. Site also includes information on sources of lead-free weights, wheel balancing, and lead-free alternatives. A project of the Ecology Center (Michigan).

National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative (NLFWWI)
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:11:37 GMT
The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative encourages the transition from the use of lead for wheel weights to lead-free alternatives. Wheel weights are clipped to the rims of every automobile wheel in the United States in order to balance the tires. These weights often come loose and fall off. They are either washed into storm sewers and end up in waterways or are gathered during street cleaning and placed in municipal landfills. The weights are susceptible to atmospheric corrosion. Currently, there are no regulatory controls governing the use of lead wheel weights.

Google PowerMeter
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:10:19 GMT
Google PowerMeter shows consumers their electricity consumption in a secure Google gadget. Google is currently testing the product with utility partners in the US, India and Canada.

Know the Number
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:08:42 GMT
The Carbon Counter displays the running total amount of long-lived greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere, measured in metric tons.

Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:06:51 GMT
The Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator is intended to assist institutional purchasers, including Federal Electronic Challenge (FEC) program participants, in quantifying the benefits of environmentally sound management of electronic equipment. The Calculator estimates the environmental and economic benefits of purchasing EPEAT-registered products, in addition to improvements in equipment operation and end-of-life management practices. Currently this tool is designed to evaluate EPEAT-registered desktop (with a CRT or LCD) and notebook computers. For end-of-life, users can calculate the benefits of reuse and recycling of computers as well as mobile telephones.

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:03:18 GMT
This interactive map uses a Google Maps interface to display: Existing and planned alternative fueling stations; Alternative fuel production facilities; Light-duty vehicle density; Roads and political boundaries. Users can customize the map display, print, and query the underlying data.

Climate Change Portal
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:00:46 GMT
This portal includes links to reports and other technical literature on the subject of climate change and how it affects water supply. Developed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, so the focus is California, but there is a lot of good, general information here.

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 17:10:10 GMT
The report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health.

Practice Greenhealth
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 20:11:09 GMT
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment.

Top 25 Green Energy Leaders
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 15:05:40 GMT
It is no longer enough to just conserve energy. More and more corporations, government agencies and entire cities are making large, long-term commitments to ensure that the power they do use comes from renewable sources. To recognize these trendsetters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes a quarterly list of the top American users of green power: organizations that generate their own renewable energy, buy it from suppliers, or purchase offset credits to compensate for their traditional energy use.

Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Decision-Making for Alternative Biofuels
Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:58:54 GMT
The specific aims of this program are to develop and apply methods to study the life-cycle health, environmental, resource, and economic impacts and performance of the various pathways from biomass to fuel use. This program will produce a comprehensive framework for assessing both the benefits and impacts of biofuel technologies for environmental quality, human health, natural resources, and local, regional and global economies. This effort includes methods development, data collection, information management, and decision-support tools.

Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:53:17 GMT
The GoodNanoGuide is a collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange ideas on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It is meant to be an interactive forum that fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop.

Green Building Sherpa
June 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm
An online directory of environmentally friendly products, services and information pertaining to building design, construction, management + operation.

Flexible Solar Power Shingles Transform Roofs From Wasted Space To Energy Source
June 9, 2009 at 9:59 am
A transparent thin film barrier used to protect flat panel TVs from moisture could become the basis for flexible solar panels that would be installed on roofs like shingles.

Climate TechBook
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 8:43 AM
The Pew Center’s Climate TechBook serves as an information resource on technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from across the economy, including: overviews of greenhouse gas emissions from the key economic sectors: electricity, transportation, industry, residential and commercial, and agriculture; technology overviews for broad technology areas, such as buildings and biofuels; and fact sheets that provide background information about specific technologies, the current status of the technology, cost information, policy options to promote the technology, and obstacles to further development and deployment.

GLRPPR has two Delicious winners.

[Post author: Bob Iverson]

Laura Barnes and Joy Scrogum of GLRPPR are winners in the P2tagteam world. P2Rx is sending delicious prizes to the top bookmarkers for the P2Tagteam on the Delicious site. Laura won a quart of custom made ice cream for being the top bookmarker. The ice cream was delivered frozen.

Joy received a bag of chocolate kisses for her bookmarking efforts.

You can see photos of the winners and their prizes on GLRPPR’s Facebook page.

In case you have not heard, Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows you to tag, save, manage and share Web pages all in one place.

Instead of having different bookmarks on every computer, Delicious makes it easy to have a single set of bookmarks kept in sync between all of your computers. Even if you’re not on a computer you own, you can still get to your bookmarks on the Delicious website.

If your friends use Delicious, you can send them interesting bookmarks that they can check out the next time they log in. Of course, they can do the same for you. As you explore the site and find interesting users, you can use our Subscriptions and Network features to keep track of the Delicious tags and users you find most interesting.

For more information on Delicious, see their Help section, which includes an excellent list of frequently asked questions.

P2Rx has started a collaborative tagging effort on Delicious to encourage P2 professionals to share the resources they find and bookmark. If you locate a resource that you think would be helpful to other P2 professionals, simply add P2TagTeam tag in the Tags field when you add the bookmark to Delicious. For more information on P2TagTeam, visit the P2Rx web site or contact Laura Barnes (

Two Firefox add-ons that sort your search results

I recently discovered two add-ons for the Firefox browser that make it much easier to locate relevant web sites in the sea of results from your favorite search engine.

The first is Search Cloudlet, an add-on that inserts context-aware tag clouds into a traditional Google, Yahoo and Twitter interface to help you navigate more efficiently through search results. You can see an example of a tag cloud at Wikipedia, where they also have a nice explanation of how they work. Search Cloudlet also allows you to include and exclude particular tags from your search results, which makes it easier to find what you need.

The second is DeeperWeb, which uses both tag clouds and topic mapping to organize Google search results. Like Search Cloudlet, the tag cloud feature allows you to exclude certain terms from your search. In addition, DeeperWeb includes “zoomies”, which are mini-search engines that arrange results into categories to make them easier to navigate. I particularly like the Metrics catagory, which pulls out statistics and other numerical data. Other zoomies include: Answers (from sites like and Yahoo! Answers); Business News; Wikipedia; Blogs; and Resources. You can also limit your results to a particular time frame (past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year).

What’s your favorite tool to help you wade through search results? Post your answers in the comments.

P2 is Delicious

One of the topics Rick Yoder covered at the recent GLRPPR conference was Delicious, a social bookmarking service that allows you to tag, save, manage and share Web pages all in one place.

Instead of having different bookmarks on every computer, Delicious makes it easy to have a single set of bookmarks kept in sync between all of your computers. Even if you’re not on a computer you own, you can still get to your bookmarks on the Delicious website.

If your friends use Delicious, you can send them interesting bookmarks that they can check out the next time they log in. Of course, they can do the same for you. As you explore the site and find interesting users, you can use our Subscriptions and Network features to keep track of the Delicious tags and users you find most interesting.

For more information on Delicious, see their Help section, which includes an excellent list of frequently asked questions.

P2Rx has started a collaborative tagging effort on Delicious to encourage P2 professionals to share the resources they find and bookmark. If you locate a resource that you think would be helpful to other P2 professionals, simply add P2TagTeam tag in the Tags field when you add the bookmark to Delicious. For more information on P2TagTeam, visit the P2Rx web site or contact Laura Barnes (

Joint Summer Conference a great experience

[Post author: Bob Iverson]

A heartfelt thank you goes out to our Hoosier hosts for the recent Region 5 & 7 joint conference in Indianapolis. The presentations were interesting, the facilities were comfortable and convenient, and our hosts were friendly and helpful.

Our three day session started off with a training day on how to help make a business green. Laura Barnes from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center led a training session on ways to save money and improve an organizations environmental performance through green business practices. Then Marcus Rivas from Region 7 presented case studies of work done by the Kansas Green Teams. Several members of the Green teams were able to join us by conference phone.

The next day Rick Bossingham, Assistant Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management welcomed us and gave an overview of where Indiana is heading in the environmental field. Tanya Mottley of the U.S. EPA Office of Pollution Prevention (P2) and Toxics then presented the EPA’s Strategic Plan and welcomed comments from participants. Her presentation lead us into a very interesting roundtable discussion of how traditional P2 activities fit into sustainability efforts.

After lunch, Karen Haley, Director of the Office of Sustainability, then told of the environmental efforts underway in Indianapolis. Denise Coogan with Subaru of Indiana gave a witty and informative presentation on how that carmaker has become a zero landfill company. The day wrapped up with Tony Nesky telling us of the Region 5 Sustainability Network and Phil Kaplan of the EPA discussed some of the results of recent P2 projects in the region.

Since Phil Kaplan is retiring soon, GLRPPR presented him with a “Legacy Tree” which will be planted in his hometown of Highland Park, IL. Phil has been a good steward of the environment and a friend to GLRPPR.

Rick Yoder of P2RIC got things rolling on Friday with a discussion of new web tools that could improve information discovery and collaboration. Greg Hume of TechSolve then presented information on his company’s Green Supplier network and collaboration with the city of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Michal Kopach then told us of the use of an electronic Lab Notebook for Green science at Indianapolis’ own Eli Lilly Company. Cam Metcalf of the Kentucky P2 Center was the final speaker with a talk on the Seven Steps of an Energy Management Program. For the last portion of the day, we went across the street to the Indiana Government Center to attend a webinar with Natalie Hummel of the U.S. EPA on the new Greenhouse Gas calculator tool.

The conference was held at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis. It was a fantastic facility. And those of us who went to dinner at a local Greek restaurant were full for days after all of the wonderful food.

Special thanks to Jennifer Schick of IDEM for all of her organizing efforts. She was helped by Bobbi Steiff and others at IDEM. Thank you everyone!!

(You can see pictures of the Joint conference on the GLRPPR Facebook page. If you are not yet a Facebook user, join us.)

Support GLRPPR with an In-Kind Contribution

The conference in Indianapolis was a success and we appreciate the time and effort of those who attended, presented, and discussed the issues on the agenda. If you attended the conference, please consider submitting an In-Kind Contribution for the time you invested in GLRPPR activities. GLRPPR is required by U.S. EPA to obtain in-kind funding contributions from individuals who participate in activities related to the program. By completing the online In-Kind Contribution Form every time that you invest your time in GLRPPR activities, you have the opportunity to help sustain the program.

Examples of activities that qualify for in-kind contributions include:

  • Attending conferences,
  • Participating in committee activities,
  • Contributing resources for the GLRPPR web site
  • Providing information to be shared among the region (i.e. articles for the blog, conference announcements, etc).

What expenses and activities count?

  • Travel to and from GLRPPR meetings and conferences.
  • Work hours NOT paid for out of federal grant funds.*
  • Materials and supplies used for GLRPPR activities.

*Include preparation time in office, travel time, time spent working on GLRPPR related project activities, and time spent working at meetings (including conference calls) conferences and GLRPPR sponsored training.

If you have any questions about in-kind contributions, please contact GLRPPR Executive Director Bob Iverson.

Documents recently added to GLRPPR sector resources

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is also available as an RSS feed at

level: The BIFMA Sustainability Standard
June 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International, the trade association for the commercial furniture industry, has launched its “level” product certification program. The sustainability standard takes into account material use, energy and atmosphere impacts, human and ecosystem health and social responsibility. The standard is modeled after Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with specific prerequisites, optional credits, and three conformance levels. LEED and its Green Building Rating System provide several best sustainable practices for furniture.

Water Use in Buildings: Achieving Business Performance Benefits Through Efficiency
June 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm
This 40-page printed report (available as hard copy or PDF) reviews the role of water efficiency in buildings. Among other topics, the report covers: involvement and importance of water efficiency, business benefits of water-efficient practices and methods, drivers and obstacles to water efficiency, types of water-efficient products and methods and sources of information behind product selection and use. Price $189.00 (U.S.; as of 6/3/09).

The EarthECycle Pittsburgh “Recycling” Scam
June 3, 2009 at 11:27 am
Report published by the Basel Action Network (BAN) & the Electronics Takeback Coalition describing a scandal involving a free electronics collection held as a benefit for a charity. According to the report, items collected were shipped overseas despite assurances by the recycling firm that all e-waste they collect is kept within the U.S. for processing. (PDF Format; Length: 18 pages).

Beware: Your Firm’s E-Waste Could Be Poisoning China
June 3, 2009 at 11:10 am
One of the thorniest problems with Green IT is what to do with all the computers, monitors, hardware, and other electronics your company no longer needs. You may think that you’ve solved the problem by choosing a responsible recycler or asset management firm. But according to a recent 60 Minutes segment, that e-waste may end up in unregulated toxic waste dumps in China that foul the land, water, and air, cause cancers and miscarriages, and endanger children. Includes video of a 60 minutes segment following the illegal trail of e-waste from a recycler in Colorado to China. Article by Preston Gralla, Greener Computing, 11/19/08.

Electronics TakeBack Coalition
June 3, 2009 at 10:59 am
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. Its goal is to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements. ETBC plans to accomplish this goal by establishing extended producer responsibility (EPR) as the policy tool to promote sustainable production and consumption of consumer electronics (all products with a circuit board). The Campaign will focus first on establishing EPR for personal computers.

What is the Basel Convention?
June 3, 2009 at 10:43 am
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in Basel, Switzerland on 22 March 1989. The Convention was initiated in response to numerous international scandals regarding hazardous waste trafficking that began to occur in the late 1980s. The Convention entered into force on 5 May 1992 and today has its Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. BAN web page. Includes country status table; text of the treaty in English, French Conference of the Parties Reports; Competent Authorities list; and a link to the Basel Secretariat.

Basel Action Network (BAN)
June 3, 2009 at 10:23 am
BAN’s Mission: “BAN works to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis. We work in opposition to toxic trade in toxic wastes, toxic products and toxic technologies, that are exported from rich to poorer countries. Alternatively, we work to ensure national self-sufficiency in waste management through clean production and toxics use reductions and in support of the principle of global environmental justice — where no peoples or environments are dispro-portionately poisoned and polluted due to the dictates of unbridled market forces and trade.”

Greener Computing
June 3, 2009 at 9:51 am
A comprehensive free information resource for large and small companies seeking to align environmental business practices with business success. Greener Computing reports on green IT, virtualization, e-waste, technology and the environment.

The Dirty Truth About (Some) E-Waste Collections
June 3, 2009 at 9:44 am
A new report from the Basel Action Network calling out an electronic waste recycler for misleading practices highlights how complicated and potentially risky the e-waste collection issue can be for companies and other groups. Article by Matthew Wheeland, 5/27/09 edition of GreenerComputing.

H.R. 1580: The Electronic Waste Research and Development Act
May 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm
This bill proposes to authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to award grants for electronic device recycling research, development, and demonstration projects, and for other purposes. Passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has been received by the Senate, as of 5/28/09. This page links to the full text of the bill and outlines bill actions.

New York City: Int. No. 728
May 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm
Text of e-waste legislation signed by mayor of New York City 4/1/08. New York City is the first municipality to pass an e-waste recycling bill; the law requires manufacturers of certain electronic equipment to create a collection program for any person in the City who wants to properly discard of their electronics. The bill also bans e-waste from disposal into the City’s solid waste stream. Devices covered include: CPUs, computer monitors, computer accessories including keyboards and mice, laptop computers, TVs, printers, and portable music players.

Virtual Information Bridge to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (VIBE)
Thu, 28 May 2009 19:33:25 GMT
This is a beta version of a new portal that gets users to a wealth of energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) information, data, and analysis tools. Topics include energy sources, energy carriers, transportation, buildings, industry, environment, and markets & investments.

E-waste Laws in Other States–Californians Against Waste
Thu, 28 May 2009 18:41:27 GMT
A list and brief overview of the major e-waste recycling legislation that has been passed in other states (besides California). Includes links to text of legislation.

Michigan Legislative Analysis: Electronic Takeback and Recycling Programs
Thu, 28 May 2009 18:30:28 GMT
Summary of House Bills 6714-6715 and Senate Bills 896-897 as reported by house committee, 12/3/08. “In general, this package of bill would add a new Part 173 (Electronics) to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to require manufacturers and recyclers of covered electronic devices (covered computers and covered video display devices) to register annually with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), pay annual registration fees to a new Electronic Recycling Fund, and to require manufacturers to operate takeback programs for covered devices used by individuals and small businesses. The bills are tie-barred to one another, meaning all must be enacted for any to go into effect.”

Michigan Act No. 394/Enrolled Senate Bill No. 897
Thu, 28 May 2009 18:16:57 GMT
Text of Michigan e-waste legislation, effective December 29, 2008.

Indiana HB 1589
Thu, 28 May 2009 17:11:07 GMT
Indiana law signed 5/13/09. Manufacturers of video display devices, such as TVs, computer monitors and laptops, must recycle 60 percent by weight of their sales of those products. They are required to register with the state by April 2010 and must include a plan describing how they will meet their recycling targets. They can count the recycling of other electronics, such as printers, keyboards and VCRs, toward their recycling goals. Manufacturers must report their progress at the end of each program year for state review. In the third year, the state will impose penalties for noncompliance.

Indiana Becomes Latest State to Pass E-Waste Law
Thu, 28 May 2009 16:52:41 GMT
The signing of H.B. 1589 makes Indiana the 19th state in the country to implement electronics waste regulations in the absence of a federal standard. The Indiana e-waste law forces manufacturers to take responsibility for the collection and recycling of their products. Manufacturers of video display devices, such as TVs, computer monitors and laptops, must recycle 60 percent by weight of their sales of those products. They are required to register with the state by April 2010 and must include a plan describing how they will meet their recycling targets. They can count the recycling of other electronics, such as printers, keyboards and VCRs, toward their recycling goals. Manufacturers must report their progress at the end of each program year for state review. In the third year, the state will impose penalties for noncompliance.

E-Waste Not
Thu, 28 May 2009 16:28:40 GMT
How–and why–we should make sure our old cell phones, TVs and PCs get dismantled properly; Time magazine article by Bryan Walsh, 1/8/09. Includes a good series of photos of China’s “e-waste village.”

Deceptive ‘Greenwashing’ Aims to Trick Ecotourists
Thu, 28 May 2009 14:16:25 GMT
Even the best-intentioned ecotravelers may not be getting what they pay for. As ecotourism grows in popularity, hoteliers are eager to cash in and slap a green label on everything, deserved or not, to draw visitors. The practice, which extends beyond the travel industry, is called “greenwashing,” and it is extremely pervasive–a recent study by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing found that 99 percent of all products labeled as “green” do not live up to their claims.

America’s Best Hospitals, Green Edition
Thu, 28 May 2009 14:13:35 GMT
The greening of hospitals is a topic making the rounds at medical conferences, with an increasing number of healthcare facilities looking to minimize their environmental footprint.

U.S. Army Sustainability
Wed, 27 May 2009 20:15:19 GMT
The Army Strategy for the Environment is designed to strengthen the Army today and into the future. It establishes the long-range vision for a sustainable Army, and the goals upon which the vision is based. This Strategy transitions the Army’s compliance-based environmental program to a mission-oriented approach based on the principles of sustainability.

Green IT Diffusion: An International Comparison
Wed, 27 May 2009 17:42:17 GMT
This paper provides a preliminary insight on the status of the diffusion and maturity of “Green IT” as well as some of the driving and inhibiting factors that influence it. The report is largely descriptive and is based on a survey of 143 organisations from Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Overall, the findings indicate that organisations are developing the “right mind-set”, taking a number of “softer actions”; and investing in new technologies to use IT as part of the solution to pursue both ecoefficiency and eco-sustainability objectives. Nevertheless, the state of Green IT among the surveyed organisations can be considered at the early stage of maturity.

Making Your Impact at Work: A Practical Guide to Changing the World From Inside Any Company
Wed, 27 May 2009 17:37:05 GMT
This guide is designed to empower current and aspiring social intrapreneurs to find ways to integrate sustainability into their day jobs. Building on the grassroot efforts started by its own employees, eBay partnered with Net Impact to develop Making Your Impact at Work as a way to empower current and aspiring social intrapreneurs to change their organizations one department or project at a time to ultimately influence the definition of sustainability jobs and how their company does business. Making Your Impact at Work summarizes key themes identified in the experiences of social intrapreneurs and provides a model for future changemakers to follow as they create a positive impact in their own corporate positions. The accompanying In-Depth Case Studies, available to Net Impact members, profile 15 social intrapreneurs representing 13 companies and a range of functions and industries, and provide details on the planning and execution of their corporate change projects. The companies represented include Accenture, Best Buy, Clorox, McDonald’s, Google, among others.

Global Best of Green 2009: Building a Better Business Through Effective Environmental Practices Throughout the World
Wed, 27 May 2009 17:34:18 GMT
Features successful practices by McDonald’s Corp. that cover energy, packaging, anti-littering, recycling, logistics, communications, restaurants, workplace, sustainable food and supplier leadership. The company chose to highlight practices it feels can be shared and applied throughout the entire company.

Technical Support Document: The Development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Highway Lodging Buildings
Wed, 27 May 2009 16:53:36 GMT
This Technical Support Document (TSD) describes the process and methodology for development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Highway Lodgings (AEDG-HL or the Guide), a design guidance document intended to provide recommendations for achieving 30% energy savings in highway lodging properties over levels contained in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The AEDG-HL is the fifth in a series of guides being developed by a partnership of organizations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the United States Green Buildings Council (USGBC), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Advanced Energy Efficient Roof System
Wed, 27 May 2009 16:49:16 GMT
Energy consumption in buildings represents 40 percent of primary U.S. energy consumption, split almost equally between residential (22%) and commercial (18%) buildings.1 Space heating (31%) and cooling (12%) account for approximately 9 quadrillion Btu. Improvements in the building envelope can have a significant impact on reducing energy consumption. Thermal losses (or gains) from the roof make up 14 percent of the building component energy load. Infiltration through the building envelope, including the roof, accounts for an additional 28 percent of the heating loads and 16 percent of the cooling loads. These figures provide a strong incentive to develop and implement more energy efficient roof systems. The roof is perhaps the most challenging component of the building envelope to change for many reasons. The engineered roof truss, which has been around since 1956, is relatively low cost and is the industry standard. The roof has multiple functions. A typical wood frame home lasts a long time. Building codes vary across the country. Customer and trade acceptance of new building products and materials may impede market penetration. The energy savings of a new roof system must be balanced with other requirements such as first and life-cycle costs, durability, appearance, and ease of construction. Conventional residential roof construction utilizes closely spaced roof trusses supporting a layer of sheathing and roofing materials. Gypsum board is typically attached to the lower chord of the trusses forming the finished ceiling for the occupied space. Often in warmer climates, the HVAC system and ducts are placed in the unconditioned and otherwise unusable attic. High temperature differentials and leaky ducts result in thermal losses. Penetrations through the ceilings are notoriously difficult to seal and lead to moisture and air infiltration. These issues all contribute to greater energy use and have led builders to consider construction of a conditioned attic. The options considered to date are not ideal. One approach is to insulate between the trusses at the roof plane. The construction process is time consuming and costs more than conventional attic construction. Moreover, the problems of air infiltration and thermal bridges across the insulation remain. Another approach is to use structurally insulated panels (SIPs), but conventional SIPs are unlikely to be the ultimate solution because an additional underlying support structure is required except for short spans. In addition, wood spline and metal locking joints can result in thermal bridges and gaps in the foam. This study undertook a more innovative approach to roof construction. The goal was to design and evaluate a modular energy efficient panelized roof system with the following attributes: (1) a conditioned and clear attic space for HVAC equipment and additional finished area in the attic; (2) manufactured panels that provide structure, insulation, and accommodate a variety of roofing materials; (3) panels that require support only at the ends; (4) optimal energy performance by minimizing thermal bridging and air infiltration; (5) minimal risk of moisture problems; (6) minimum 50-year life; (7) applicable to a range of house styles, climates and conditions; (8) easy erection in the field; (9) the option to incorporate factory-installed solar systems into the panel; and (10) lowest possible cost. A nationwide market study shows there is a defined market opportunity for such a panelized roof system with production and semi-custom builders in the United States. Senior personnel at top builders expressed interest in the performance attributes and indicate long-term opportunity exists if the system can deliver a clear value proposition. Specifically, builders are interested in (1) reducing construction cycle time (cost) and (2) offering increased energy efficiency to the homebuyer. Additional living space under the roof panels is another low-cost asset identified as part of the study. The market potential is enhanced through construction activity levels in target markets. Southern markets, from Florida to Texas account for 50 percent of the total new construction angled-roof volume. California contributes an additional 13 percent share of market volume. These states account for 28 to 30 million squares (2.8 to 3 billion square feet) of new construction angled roof opportunity. The major risk to implementation is the uncertainty of incorporating new design and construction elements into the construction process. By coordinating efforts to enhance the drivers for adoption and minimize the barriers, the panelized roof system stands to capitalize on a growing market demand for energy efficient building alternatives and create a compelling case for market adoption.

Asphalt Roofing Shingles Into Energy Project Summary Report
Wed, 27 May 2009 16:45:00 GMT
Based on a widely cited September, 1999 report by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, nearly 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingle wastes are produced in the United States each year. Recent data suggests that the total is made up of about 9.4 million tons from roofing tear-offs and about 1.6 million tons from manufacturing scrap. Developing beneficial uses for these materials would conserve natural resources, promote protection of the environment and strengthen the economy. This project explored the feasibility of using chipped asphalt shingle materials in cement manufacturing kilns and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers. A method of enhancing the value of chipped shingle materials for use as fuel by removing certain fractions for use as substitute raw materials for the manufacture of new shingles was also explored. Procedures were developed to prevent asbestos containing materials from being processed at the chipping facilities, and the frequency of the occurrence of asbestos in residential roofing tear-off materials was evaluated. The economic feasibility of each potential use was evaluated based on experience gained during the project and on a review of the well established use of shingle materials in hot mix asphalt. This project demonstrated that chipped asphalt shingle materials can be suitable for use as fuel in circulating fluidized boilers and cement kilns. More experience would be necessary to determine the full benefits that could be derived and to discover long term effects, but no technical barriers to full scale commercial use of chipped asphalt shingle materials in these applications were discovered. While the technical feasibility of various options was demonstrated, only the use of asphalt shingle materials in hot mix asphalt applications is currently viable economically. [PDF, 192 p.]

Construction and Development Effluent Limitation Guidelines
Wed, 27 May 2009 16:36:48 GMT
Construction and development activity typically involves site selection and planning, and land-disturbing tasks such as clearing, excavating and grading. Disturbed soil, if not managed properly, can be easily washed off site during storm events. Stormwater discharges generated during construction activities can cause an array of physical, chemical and biological impacts to surface waters. Completed construction projects often increase the amount of impervious surface in a watershed and alter the natural infiltration capacity of the land. Water quality can be degraded by construction sites and developed areas due to stormwater runoff that is higher in volume and pollutant loadings than in undisturbed areas. This site provides information on the development of effluent limitation guidelines for the construction industry, including environmental impact.

Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America
Wed, 27 May 2009 16:15:59 GMT
America’s carbon footprint is expanding. With a growing population and an expanding economy, America’s settlement area is widening, and as it does, Americans are driving more, building more, consuming more energy, and emitting more carbon. Rising energy prices, growing dependence on imported fuels, and accelerating global climate change make the nation’s growth patterns unsustainable. Metropolitan America is poised to play a leadership role in addressing these energy and environmental challenges. However, federal policy actions are needed to achieve the full potential of metropolitan energy and climate solutions.