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Standards & Compliance Briefing: IgCC Guide, Builders Challenge, SITES, ZHome, Responsible Jewellery Council

The International Code Council and Delmar have released a support publication for the construction industry referencing the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The guide, Green Building: A Professional’s Guide to Concepts, Codes and Innovation, includes coverage of green building design, rating systems, standards, and the regulatory process for residential and commercial construction; an explanation of the differences between green standards, codes, and other rating systems; as well as specific coverage of the IgCC provisions.

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) – a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the private sector – has released version 2.0 of the Interoperability Process Reference Manual (IPRM), a testing and certification framework for the North American electric power industry. Developed with input from ANSI, the framework lays out a plan for better interoperable smart grid products and significant reductions in installation costs for the smart grid. ANSI also will offer its accreditation services for the IPRM framework, ANSI said in a statement.

The DOE’s Building Technologies Program will launch its Builders Challenge 2,  which aims to recognize those builders who are able to meet and surpass the performance standards of the EPA’s Energy Star for Homes version 3. The program’s expanded guidelines will include plans for reduced water use, pollutant source control, and readiness for future renewable energy installations. Commenting on the 2012 program requirements is open until Jan. 31, and the program will launch in April, the DOE said.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), a voluntary performance standard for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices, have certified its first three projects.  The St. Charles, Missouri, campus of Novus International, the Green at College Park of the University of Texas at Arlington, and the Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tenn., have been certified, chosen from a pool of more than 150 pilot projects seeking certification since summer 2010, the group said.

zHome – a 10-unit townhome development in Issaquah, Wash. – is the first community in the nation in which every home has earned the EPA WaterSense label for new homes, a standard for houses that use at least 20 percent less water than a typical home. zHome installed WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and bathroom faucets, and a rainwater harvesting tank for clothes washing and toilet flushing, for a net reduction of 70 percent in potable water use compared to a similar structure. The zHome community is also zero-energy, carbon-neutral, and the winner of the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2011 award for the best residential project in North America, the EPA said.

The EPA has released a new reporting tool, the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool, that allows the public to search and map water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. The mapping tool produces “top ten” lists to help users easily identify sources of pollution, such as wastewater treatment plants or industrial manufacturers, that are impacting an area’s water bodies.

The EPA recognized Valley Chrome Plating for its achievements in environmental and worker protection under the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) program.  The  Clovis, Calif., plating company successfully substituted lead anodes and hexavalent chromium with less harmful alternatives, and eliminated 3,000 pounds of lead waste and 6,000 pounds of hexavalent chromium from its waste stream. NPEP was a voluntary program for manufacturers, commercial companies, and other facilities to reduce the use and release of highly toxic chemicals. NPEP officially ended in 2011, the EPA said.

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has eleven new members who have earned certification for meeting ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards of the RJC’s Member Certification System. The companies are De Beers Diamond Jewellers, Cristofol, Exelco, Samir Gems, Allgemeine Gold-und Silberscheideanstalt, I.D.R.P., InterJewel (Thailand) Co., Gemasia, Dharm Diam, D.Navinchandra Exports and Boite d’or Gioielli. The Responsible Jewellery Council promotes responsible and ethical practices throughout the jewellery industry supply chain, from mine to retail. All RJC commercial members are audited by accredited, third-party auditors to verify their conformance to RJC code of practices, RJC said.

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