Sustainability Trends

It’s been 5 years since the “Green Alphabet Soup” blog post in which I explained the various acronyms of sustainable building programs, and with the virtual 2020 Greenbuild show coming up on November 10th it seems like a good time to revisit some of these and see how things are trending. Transparency is the driving trend in today’s sustainable building practices, and that has increased to cover not only product ingredients, but the overall impact of human health and the environment.

LEED is still the leading program worldwide for designing and constructing sustainable buildings. The current version, LEED v4.1, builds upon the previous installments with additional focus on energy efficiency, water conservation, site selection, material selection, day lighting and waste reduction. You can find more details here at the USGBC site.

The Living Building Challenge is the most stringent program. Unlike LEED, LBC compliance is measured after the building has been operational without interruption for at least a year. This measures results of the program on actual performance, opposed to anticipated outcomes at the design stage. The LBC continues to evolve in response to monitoring current projects and opportunities. As such, the current version is Living Building Challenge 4.0.

The WELL building standard explores how design, operations and behaviours within the places where we live, work, learn, and play can be optimized to advance human health and well-being. Doors and hardware can contribute to four of the seven core concepts of WELL: air, light, comfort and mind.

The key to all of these programs is transparency, and documentation is required to divulge material composition, manufacturing processes and possible health risks. So EPDs, HPDs, GREENGuard Gold Certificates, Declare Labels and sustainability reports continue to provide evidence of claims. Now, many of these documents are required to be third party certified by companies like GreenCircle. There are various ways to go about selecting sustainable products, including online libraries such as UL Spot and Mindful Materials (see previous blog post). For a comprehensive list of ASSA ABLOY products and their sustainability documentation, visit the ASSA ABLOY Sustainability Resource Center, or for direct door and frame info – visit the sustainability pages for specifically for Ceco DoorCurries and Fleming.