11/27/2013: Philadelphia, PA: The City of Brotherly Love played host to over 10,000 green building fanatics this year. Besides great buildings, great history and great cheesesteaks, Philly had so much to offer the green building aficionado.
The long-awaited release of LEED version 4, which was delayed over a year and a half due mostly to major transformations in the Materials category, was well received. While v4 (as it is known) moves EPD's and HPD front and center, the market has some time to adapt to this new transparency. v4 asks only for the information regarding contents of products and their environmental or human health impacts. Market forces and future LEED standards are relied upon to improve the sustainability of the products that go into our environments.
For those unfamiliar with EPD's and HPD's here is a brief synopsis.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD): a verified standardized way of communicating and comparing the environmental impacts, such as energy, water, and transportation associated with manufacturing a product
Health Product Declaration (HPD): an ingredient inventory that lists all of the ingredients of a finished product and the associated health information.
Stories of the unintended consequences of spraying pesticides or building 10 billion dollars sea walls to protect New Orleans were fascinating to this attendee but cannot be retold here. Try Wikipedia for Operation Cat Drop to learn more about how trying to reduce malaria increased the occurrence of typhoid. As far as New Orleans is concerned one expert who calls the Big Easy home told me the ground is subsiding twice as fast as sea levels are rising. Magnifying the problem and sending New Orleans towards a future similar to that of the Netherlands or Venice Italy. Come to Greenbuild next year to learn more as we head New Orleans in 2014.