Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tokyo Skyscraper to be World's Tallest Wood Building

A proposed skyscraper in Tokyo would be the tallest wooden structure in the world. The 70-story tower will have a hybrid wood and steel structure. Read more about the project and other tall wood buildings around the world: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/wooden-skyscrapers-timber-trend-catching-fire-duplicate-2/index.html

Model LCA Specifications

MKA has developed model specification templates for requiring LCA data for structural materials, which are available for download from the Carbon Leadership Forum. These templates are editable and open access, and MKA hopes to receive feedback from projects that utilize them to continue to improve the specifications.

Visit the CLF website for additional information and to download the templates: http://www.carbonleadershipforum.org/2017/02/09/model-lca-specifications/

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Legislative Session

Carbon taxes and other LCA-related bills are back with the 2018 Washington Legislative Session that recently started.

There are several carbon tax bills currently proposed in both the house and senate, but the one to pay the most attention to is SB 6203, the governor's tax plan, with 16 senators co-sponsoring. The first public hearing was held on January 16, and video of that session is available at the link above. This bill would levy an initial $20/ton tax on emissions from fossil fuel combustion and electricity generation. It does not address embodied emissions from a source such as cement importation or emissions for chemical processes like cement hydration.

HB 2412, the Buy Clean Washington bill, is more focused on construction materials. It would direct state agencies including DES to set maximum acceptable embodied carbon equivalents for a variety of construction materials, including concrete, steel, and wood. The maximums would be set using industry-average EPDs. The current bill is "broad and short" and will like undergo further development prior to any floor vote. The first public hearing was last week, video available at the bill link.

The Embodied Carbon Network is tracking HB 2412 and hopes to help in the development to ensure it is a usable standard for the construction industry.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 legislative session

There are several bills currently in the Washington legislature that would have impacts on sustainable design and structural engineers. There are (at least) two versions of a carbon tax, following last year's Initiative 732. One comes from the governor's office as SB 5127 while the other has been sponsored by Joe Fitzgibbon as HB 1646.

There is also a bill (SB 5379) to require use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to the "maximum extent possible" in public buildings under 12 stories.

Update 2/23:
A second CLT bill has been introduced, (SB 5450) with a much more general directive to the building code council to address CLT in Washington codes. 

SEAW does not endorse specific positions on specific legislation, but I encourage members and firms to consider their positions on these bills and contact their legislators as appropriate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Material PCRs and (selected) EPDs

Below is a compilation of the various available Product Category Rules (PCRs) and selected Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for structural products in the Washington market.

As the market is changing rapidly, this list may not include all available EPDs or the latest versions of PCRs. Know of something that's not on the list? Let us know and we'll try to keep this list up-to-date.


Carbon Leadership Forum

SCS Global

Brick under development by ASTM



NRMCA's EPD database, including industry averages and a list of product-specific EPDs (including EPDS for CalPortland and Cadman Seattle plants)
NPCA's EPDs for precast concrete
Stoneway's on-demand EPDs

AISC Hot-rolled steel
AISC Plate
CMC Rebar
ClarkDietrich Cold-Formed Studs
Overall list of Steel Industry Averages


AWC Industry EPDs
EPDs by FPInnovations

Overall list of PCRs and EPDs from ASTM