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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

BEES Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability

Building materials research based on performance scores for global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, ozone depletion, water intake, criteria air pollutants, smog, ecological toxicity, and human health.

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Software Solution: Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability

Over 18,000 copies of BEES 3.0 have been requested by individuals from more than 80 countries! The BEES® (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability), software tool for building materials research is based on standards that encourage practical, flexible, and transparent reporting.

Building Material and Energy Flows

BEES reduces complex, science-based technical content (e.g., over 400 material and energy flows from raw material extraction through product disposal) to decision-enabling results and delivers them in a visually intuitive graphical format.

Designers, builders, and product manufacturers will appreciate this easy-to-use program for selecting cost-effective, environmentally preferable building products.

The Windows-based decision support software includes actual environmental and economic performance data for nearly 200 building products. The developer also asks for field input to include additional products.

Environmental Performance Scores

Twelve environmental impacts are now included in this PC-based software tool's product environmental performance scores: global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, ozone depletion, water intake, criteria air pollutants, smog, ecological toxicity, and human health.

The Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed and automated this software tool for measuring the life-cycle environmental and economic performance of building products. It is based on standards agreed to by the EPA, industry associations, and public-interest groups.

Download the software for free. Registration is required. A CD ROM and print manual can be ordered through the EPA’s Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse; call 202-566-0799 or e-mail a request to: ppic@epa.gov.

New Product Submission

Manufacturers can submit products to be evaluated and included in the BEES program. For a BEES analysis covering 12 environmental impacts (global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, criteria air pollutants, water intake, ozone depletion, smog, human health, and ecological toxicity), submit a payment of $8,000 for the first product and $4,000 for each additional product with similar processing steps. These prices are below the cost of validating, completing, and incorporating your data set into BEES, and represent a limited-time offer that is guaranteed only while funds are available. Refer to their website for full information.

Building and Fire Research Laboratory
NIST: National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8600
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8600
(301) 975-5900, TTY (301)975-8295
FAX (301) 975-4032
www.bfrl.nist.gov



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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