Significance and Use
5.1 This practice provides a practice for data collection for the purpose of assessing the sustainability of building products. Such data can inform decisions relative to construction, renovation, repair, and maintenance of buildings with the goal of promoting sustainability and sustainable development.
5.1.1 The users of this practice include building industry professionals who possess a broad, general understanding of sustainability issues relative to the performance of buildings. Such users may include planners, developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, contractors, owners, financial organizations related to the buildings industry, building materials and product manufacturers, government agencies including building officials, and other building professionals.
5.1.2 Users should note that, subsequent to the preliminary assessment facilitated by the comparative information collected in accordance with this practice, additional detailed and more technical information may be required in order to adequately assess specific needs for specific applications.
5.2 There are many environmental features and issues, each with local, regional, and global implications, involved in sustainability. It is becoming increasingly necessary to be able to quantify complex sustainability data relative to building industry information tools. This practice provides a format for relating the commonly accepted sustainability principles to building industry data collection methods. Users may wish to consider other building product attributes for which sustainability principles are deemed to be important or measurement methodologies may exist, or both. For example, the embodied energy of the product and greenhouse emitted over a product’s lifecycle, which can have a significant effect on the overall sustainability of a building product, may be deemed important.
5.3 The format for data collection is intended to facilitate a cost-effective and efficient assessment of sustainability issues relative to building materials.
5.4 The scientific understanding of the functioning and interrelation of ecosystems continues to evolve; nevertheless, there are many accepted principles relative to the design, construction, and operation of buildings for improved sustainability. Commonly accepted environmental principles are addressed in the five criteria categories, with an emphasis on the following characteristics: the selection and acquisition of materials (Criteria Category 1), the manufacturing process (Criteria Category 2), the operational performance of the installed building product (Criteria Category 3), the impact of the building product on IEQ (Criteria Category 4), and the corporate environmental policy of the company manufacturing or fabricating the building product, or both (Criteria Category 5).
5.5 To the greatest extent feasible, questions are designed to prompt simple yes-or-no responses.
5.5.1 For questions prompting a yes-or-no response, a “yes” response is typically indicative of the more sustainable response. However, this practice provides no instruction as to the degree of impact on sustainability of a “yes” response relative to a “no” response for a particular question; and, this practice provides no instruction as to the degree of impact on sustainability of one question relative to another question.
5.5.2 The user is cautioned to review each question and the comments associated with each question. Unique characteristics of a building product and unique applications of a building product may affect interpretation of the data.
5.5.3 Comments may be provided where there is information which will elucidate the topic and improve understanding relative to the complexities of the particular question.
5.5.4 “N/A” may be indicated where questions request information that is not applicable or not available, or both.
5.5.5 “U/K” may be indicated where questions request information that is unknown or unavailable.
1.1 This practice covers a set of instructions for collecting data to be used in assessing the sustainability of building products for use in both commercial and residential buildings.
1.1.1 There are many features of a building that contribute to sustainability; one of them is the selection of products for use in a building. Other key features influencing sustainability include, but are not limited to: overall efficiency of the design of the building, the impact the building has on the habits of the occupants, and the impact the building has on the microclimate and macroclimate. This practice addresses sustainability issues related to building products. This practice does not address sustainability issues related to overall building design, site selection, building operations, or other features influencing sustainability.
1.1.2 While it is recommended that users rely on professional judgment informed by both environmental expertise and specific knowledge of the intended use of the product, this practice provides no instruction as to interpretation of the data obtained. Interpretation of the data obtained is the responsibility of the user of this practice.
1.1.3 This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This practice is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project’s many unique aspects. The word “standard” in the title means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.
1.2 This practice is organized according to the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) MasterFormat2 sections to promote consistency in the evaluation of building products.
1.2.1 CSI MasterFormat version 1995 is used to organize information in Table 2. Appendix X1 provides a cross reference comparison to CSI MasterFormat 2004.
1.3 This practice includes general, comprehensive data requirements. Depending upon the building product, certain data requirements may not apply given the unique characteristics of the product and the potential environmental impacts related to the intended use of the product. Depending upon the building product, certain data requirements may need to be added as appropriate to the unique characteristics of the product and the potential environmental impacts related to the intended use of the product.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.