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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Introduction to LEED v4

Cascadia and LMN are hosting an Introduction to LEED v4 on May 4. From Cascadia:
On October 31st of this year, registration for LEED v2009 will be officially closed, and less than 5 years from that, on June 30th, 2021 -- known as the Sunset of LEED v3 -- no project will be receiving certification under v2009.

LEED v4 represents the future of green building. However, LEED v4 is quite different from the previous version in many ways --  different rating system, redefined prerequisites and credit requirements, a heavier focus on materials, as well as an expansion to cover more building types. All with a greater aspiration to encourage projects to do more good.

Knowing the upcoming change can vastly impact our industry and leave you with questions, Seattle Collaborative is hosting a presentation to introduce the upcoming LEED V4 for you, so reserve your ticket and come learn the vital basics about LEED V4. The presentation is approved for 1 hour of AIA Continuing Education credit and 1 hour of USGBC Continuing Education credit. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Google helps launch Quartz Project

The Quartz Project is an online database of open source environmental product data. While not a full EPD, this gives some ballpark numbers and overall impacts. For example, rebar.

See the full database at:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November updates

November's committee meeting included a presentation by Erica Fischer on the connection between fire engineering (particularly for steel structures) and sustainability. Performance-based fire design is rare in the US but common in other parts of the world. Spray-on fireproofing has a high cement content that results in large amounts of embodied carbon emissions.

Other news items this month:

King County adopts new climate plan, including 25% building energy use reduction by 2030.
151-page Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP)

New resilient design pilot credits announced for LEED v4: