Thursday, April 21, 2011

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! Science-Based Approach for Selecting Green Products

I am following up on Scott's post last week about Sustainability to let other museum professionals and designers know about new online software called BEES that helps you select green products. I'm asked all the time if there is a 'certified' green products list and the truth is, there is none. There are lots of different lists and standards, as well as just plain old marketing claims. But this software tool, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology can help.

Years ago, one of our first clients was the California Energy Commission who first told us about the BEES software. At the time, it was in Beta testing and only for Windows users. It was not user friendly at all. Now, this version is for Mac platforms too and it's FREE!

BEES uses a science-based approach to evaluate environmentally-preferred building products including performance data and cost factors. It uses a life-cycle assessment approach and all stages are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management.

Economic performance is measured using ASTM standard life-cycle cost method, which covers initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. The software then combines environmental and economic performance into an overall score. Here is the link to BEES software

So the next time you are evaluating so-called 'green products' for your museum project, you might want to check this out. ENJOY THE EARTH EVERY DAY!

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