Metals industry proactive in developing ASTM E60 sustainability standards

NORTH AMERICA: USA - ASTM International’s standards are used in many parts of the world. Beginning with a building and construction focus, they are now defining sustainability standards for every industry and application. The active participation of the US government, environmental interests and competing materials means proactive metals industry involvement is critical. Technical specialist Catherine Houska has been charged with identifying and encouraging metals industry participation on relevant work items. She fosters working relationships with other non-metal voting interests that have similar concerns, supported by the Nickel Institute, Copper Development Association, SSINA (Specialty Steel Industry of North America), ISSF (International Stainless Steel Forum), and IMOA (International Molybdenum Association). This joint effort has successfully managed to stop progression of several highly problematic ballot items and reshape others into standards that the industry could support.

We are currently closely following these standards:

Whole Building Life Cycle Assessments is an existing standard which is referenced by building and construction codes, standards and US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The current ballot item proposes to reduce the minimum design life from 75 to 60 years and to eliminate the service life requirements for interior building materials. We are working with other concerned industries to prevent both changes.

Standard Practice for Preparing Product Transparency Declarations for Building Materials is being sponsored by the American Chemistry Council as a potential accepted alternative to Health Product Declarations (HPD) within LEED. HPDs are currently an extra point category within USGBC LEED but major architecture firms, owners, general contractors and developers are starting to require them. The HPD “standard” was developed without input from materials suppliers. HPDs require a listing of “ingredients" and their individual hazards without consideration of scientific knowledge. The metals contingent has been working very closely with the ACC to modify wording to create a document that we can support.

E60.13 Sustainable Manufacturing has two new guidelines under development that will apply to all industries. Their purpose is to define sustainable manufacturing measurement and documentation practices. Both were drafted by the US government’s National Institute of Standards (NIST). The metals industry has worked closely with the authors and numerous changes have been made in response to our requests.

Published 27/02/2015 08:29:06 Last Modified 27/02/2015 08:31:03

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