IGMA Members Get Details on Why Life Cycle Assessment Research is Critical Now
March 25, 2011

Kerry Haglund of the University of Minnesota brought her discussion on Life Cycle Assement (LCA) research to members of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) during the group's annual meeting, taking place this week in Las Vegas. During yesterday's presentation, Haglund explained to the group some of the urgency behind her request for funding for the research project. As Haglund explained, ASTM has been mandated to develop a standard for environmental product declarations, labels that she says "are rapidly gaining ground in North America." These labels disclose life cycle environmental performance of products and services.

The problem, however, is "there is no current data in the U.S. LCI inventory database representing North American windows," Haglund said. Not that that is stopping the progress - as currently in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's database is dated data from a Dutch manufacturer. Haglund told her listeners yesterday that ASTM has agreed to pause its standard development to allow Haglund's team to gather current data, should the window industry participate.  

Haglund noted that LCA is coming soon to codes and other standards, noting it's already referenced by the Green Building Initiative, the National Association of Home Builders is adding this information to its national green building standard, ASHRAE is looking at adding it to its 189 standard, and the International Green Construction Code is considering this data as well. She added that she recently learned GSA is using LCA information to help it  make decisions in design processes, etc., in new and retrofit buildings.

Haglund's group is looking to collect data from the ground up, going into plants and conducting surveys. The first step of the framework - setting up the scope and goals for the project - have been conducted. The next step is getting the budget to continue - before ASTM moves forward with its data.

The IGMA board has agreed to discuss further at its meeting this afternoon to decide whether or how to participate in the research.

The IGMA Annual Meeting ends today, as the Glass Association of North America's Glass Week kicks off. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for updates from the conferences.

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