ULE to Develop Standards for Sustainability for Glass and Glazing Materials
November 18, 2009
UL Environment (ULE), an Underwriters Laboratories company, is working to develop standards for sustainability in a number of new categories including glass building materials and glazing materials, windows and associated hardware and accessories. The standards will be written to establish environmental requirements for building products and the environmental criteria are based on the life cycle impacts and health effects of the associated products.
“Sustainability standards establish the basis for differentiating environmentally superior products in the marketplace. This rewards sustainable innovation by helping manufactures that develop more environmentally sustainable products differentiate themselves,” Chris Nelson, ULE director of commercial development, tells USGNN.com™. “Standards also help businesses and consumers purchasing green products feel confident that they are truly getting environmental benefits. As green purchasing becomes more and more common, standards such as those [we] are developing will help build trust between manufacturers and their customers, making green purchasing decisions easier.”
Nelson explains that in doing their initial research they looked at areas of innovation and product development where there was a lot of direction on building rating guidelines and also where UL has a lot of expertise.
“We also looked at products where there was a gap in standards available today and where we believed a need to be in the marketplace,” says Nelson.
The UL Environment Standard Technical Panels, which are comprised of stakeholders such as manufacturers, government entities, consumer interest groups, product installers, users, distributors and testing organizations, will have an active part in the development of the standard. The goal will be to have the standards referenced by the U.S. Green Building Council, National Association of Homebuilders and BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), the U.K.’s building rating system.
“[The standards] are being developed through an open ANSI consensus-based process and we are reaching out to the manufacturers to become involved,” says Nelson. “Properly-developed sustainability standards are important because they establish the basis for differentiating environmentally superior products and services, allowing businesses and consumers to make environmentally preferable choices more easily. We believe that to develop good standards, we need to bring in the best expertise from a variety of areas and make the development process collaborative. This helps us incorporate the needs and concerns from multiple stakeholders and develops a more widely accepted standard that industry players will use and support.” He adds that while there are glass industry companies involved, he could not release specific names.
ULE anticipates drafts of all sustainability standards announced in 2009 to be ready by the end of 2010.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.