Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 2008)
Evaluating Sustainability Using Standard Approaches: The BEES Tool
In support of the ASTM International, Symposium on Common Ground, Consensus Building and Continual Improvement, this paper describes the BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software that integrates standard approaches for selecting cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products. Version 4.0 of the Windows-based decision support software, aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, includes actual environmental and economic performance data for over 230 building products across a range of functional applications. BEES measures the environmental performance of building products using the environmental life-cycle assessment approach specified in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14040 standards. All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and waste management. Economic performance is measured using the ASTM International standard life-cycle cost method (E 917), which covers the costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. Environmental and economic performance are combined into an overall performance measure using the ASTM standard for Multiattribute Decision Analysis (E 1765). For the entire BEES analysis, building products are defined and classified based on the ASTM standard classification for building elements known as UNIFORMAT II (E 1557).