On July 18, 2012, at 11 a.m., the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition (AHPBC) was born. At the teleconference announcing its launch, representatives from some of the 27 associations representing a wide array of building and construction-related industries outlined its key goals: promoting and developing green sustainable standards The organization’s website is www.betterbuildingstandards.com.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the announcement of the coalition comes as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is revising its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is reviewing the use of green building standards by the federal government.

Roofing industry stakeholders on hand for the teleconference included Jared O. Blum, president of PIMA, and Craig Silvertooth, president of the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing. They joined a chorus of other construction-related stakeholders to affirm the importance of consensus-based rating systems and the value of their expertise. “The formation of this coalition is yet another positive step on the road to making green construction not an exception but rather standard operating procedure for the construction, design and building maintenance communities in this country,” said Blum. “As building product manufacturers, we understand our responsibility to work with the design community to achieve truly energy efficient high performing, 21st century buildings.”

“Today's highest performing building materials combine long-term durability with energy efficient properties and numerous other environmental benefits,” stated Silvertooth. “Green building certification systems and standards should promote the use of these important materials, rather than penalize their selection.”

It’s hard to argue against hearing out all the experts and gathering all the necessary data before products are ruled out. I’d sum up part of their argument this way: Eliminating some high-performance materials because they contain a certain chemical, for example is counterproductive on the whole if it results in a roof with a shorter service life, reduced energy efficiency, and leads to mold and mildew. It’s important to understand the big picture, and that won’t happen unless everyone comes together. Let’s hope the end results is a true consensus and more high-performance buildings. The alternative is a bit gruesome to contemplate.


 For more information, visit www.betterbuildingstandards.com.