During the June European Union Sustainable Energy Week, ASTM International hosted a workshop titled Sustainable Products and Their Importance to Green Buildings: A Focus on Standards and Certification.
The event took place June 20 in Brussels, Belgium, at the Résidence Palace International Press Center. Discussions included the role that ASTM International plays in developing standards for building materials and metrics for energy performance through its technical committees, including E60 on Sustainability, E06 on Building Performance and E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.
UL co-hosted the event and UL staff discussed its role in providing services to evaluate whether products meet environmentally sustainable product standards.
Standards are key to improving the energy performance of commercial buildings by providing benchmarks to measure factors in energy use. ASTM E2797, Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction, provides one such method. This standard provides a clear and precise methodology for determining building energy use and cost, data collection and analysis that is consistent, transparent and practical for the public and commercial property industry.
There are numerous tools being used for such performance measurements, and the workshop provided leaders in the European community with a venue to discuss how such tools can help meet various policy goals. Speakers included executives from ASTM International, UL and the European-American Business Council. Participants included staff from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, companies involved in building products, consumer associations and nongovernmental organizations.
EU policymakers see significant potential for reducing energy consumption in energy intensive sectors such as construction, manufacturing and transport. Both the EU and the United States have identified buildings as a major target for the reduction of energy use because they represent the largest share of total energy consumption (approximately 40 percent) and produce approximately 35 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.