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So far this year, there are two "buzz" terms which continue to dominate conversations about green building materials—sustainable product certifications and environmental product declarations (EPDs).

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., April 8, 2013—William C. Griese, standards development and green initiative manager at the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in Anderson, S.C., is a recipient of the 2013 President's Leadership Award from ASTM International.

Expected to be out for ballot in mid-2013, LEED v4 will be the most revamped edition to date. With a massive quantity of revisions and new credits, more than 35 of which have been out for public comment over the past few months, it is important to understand that criteria for certified buildings will soon be very different. In particular, draft criteria for MR Credit 2, building product disclosure and optimization – environmental product declarations, provide a forecast of how demands for green building products might evolve over the next few years.

Over the years, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established documents which have been used in many sustainability standardization initiatives. In particular, standards like ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 50001 (energy management) have been commonly referenced by manufacturers, certifiers, and standards developers in the development of sustainable operations criteria. These standards, when used in conjunction with other ISO standards such as the ISO 14020 series (environmental labels and declarations) and the ISO 14040 series (lifecycle assessment), have provided a valuable framework by which many all-encompassing sustainable product standards have been developed.

Earlier this year, USGBC announced a total footprint of 2 billion square feet in LEED certified projects, and an additional 7 billion square feeet of registered in-process LEED projects. As LEED's profound marketplace influence continues to strengthen, many are wondering what new drivers will soon be introduced by USGBC and what impact these may have on the tile industry.