For decades, architects who were focused on sustainability put their emphasis solely on limiting a building’s operational energy. But in recent years, architects have started to insist on additional product transparency in the products that compose those buildings and contribute to their overall climate impact.
That topic will be on the agenda at this week’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo — the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building — as Sloan Director of Corporate Sustainability Patrick Boyle joins a Thursday panel on “Leveraging EPDs to Build Lower Embodied Carbon Buildings.”
Boyle, with representatives from SCS Global Services and Owens Corning, will focus on the significance of building material choices and their contribution to a building’s carbon footprint, while also helping to understand the process, standards and best practices for evaluating carbon-neutral and reduced embodied carbon claims for building materials.
Equally significant (though less topical), Sloan will host a Greenbuild cocktail party for local architects, designers and others within the sustainability commercial building space.
6 p.m. Wednesday
The Game Room of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 S. Michigan Ave.
Sloan gets transparent
Boyle’s Thursday Greenbuild presentation will equip attendees with proven best practices for mining data from the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Lifecycle Assessment Report to lower the embodied carbon of building materials and lead to lower-carbon buildings.
The panelists won’t have to look far for an example of product transparency put into practice: Sloan is the only commercial plumbing manufacturer to offer Health Product Declarations (HPDs), with six HPDs covering more than 200 high-efficiency products in our lineup.
Sloan added EPD, HPD and Declare labels for many of its most popular commercial restroom products in 2017. The chrome finish of Sloan’s Royal® flushometer product line has been approved by Declare as Living Building Challenge (LBC) compliant, while Sloan’s PVD finish has been approved as LBC Red List Free (free of all red list ingredients).
We currently offer Declare labels — a transparency platform and product database allowing manufacturers to publicly “declare” the lifecycle sustainability of their products — covering flushometers and both hybrid and waterfree urinals, with several of these products achieving Red List Free ratings.
Cutting down on carbon
Because every component of a commercial building has a carbon footprint, Sloan recently issued a series of carbon-neutral products to reduce environmental impact.
In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Sloan offsets its products’ carbon usage with forestry credits as a nature-based solution to sequester emissions and reduce their carbon footprint. According to the U.S. Forest Service, forests as a whole sequester approximately 10%–20% of the country’s emissions annually, and provide options such as improved water and air quality that other carbon offset options cannot.
Sloan’s carbon-free products cover a number of product categories, including:
- Flushometers (Royal®, SOLIS®, ECOS®)
- Urinal and water closet combinations
- High-efficiency toilets
- High-efficiency urinals
“Carbon offsetting is the next evolution of sustainability here at Sloan,” Boyle says in an Arbor Day Foundation video. “Ever since we rolled out our carbon-neutral product line, we’ve had a lot of buzz, a lot of interest generated from our customers.”
A commitment to sustainability
When we previewed the Road to Greenbuild event in September, Brian Imus, Executive Director of the host Illinois Green Alliance, said forward-thinking businesses recognize that sustainability can be a job generator while also benefiting the environment, public health and future generations.
He added, “They lend their professional expertise to advancing that mission because they care about sustainability. Whether they’re on the real estate side or they’re contractors, architects or product manufacturers, what they do matches what they care about.”
For architects, designers, engineers and building owners — or anyone else invested in making sustainability a priority — this week’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is the center of the commercial building design universe. That’s why Sloan is so deeply involved.
Imus says, “Sloan’s involvement is a good example of that commitment to sustainability, where they’re able to connect with the community and share their experience.”
Don’t miss this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, November 14–16 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. And read more about Sloan’s commitment to creating a cleaner planet for generations to come.
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