Two new sustainability standards regarding smart-grid models and natural stone products, respectively, are under development.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) are developing ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201P, Facility Smart Grid Information Model. The standard will address electrical consumption management tools and smart-grid communication. It seeks to define an object-oriented information model to enable building appliances and control systems to manage electrical loads and generation sources in collaboration with smart electrical grids, and to dispense information about these loads to utility providers. The standard will coordinate with work by the North American Energy Standards Board to develop a basic energy-usage data-model standard and a facilities data model that provides additional energy-usage data for lighting, heating, and HVAC loads, among others.
In the product realm, the Natural Stone Council is working with Ecoform, an environmental analysis firm, and NSF International, to develop a sustainability standard for natural stone products. The organizations are seeking to harmonize national and international environmental requirements for stone quarrying and production, encourage transparent chain of custody reporting, and create parity between stone and other competitive products covered by existing certification programs. Per requirements from the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) for adoption as an ANSI standard, a consensus committee of public agency officials, academics, nongovernmental agencies, industry leaders, and product users will vote on the standard before it is open for mandatory public comment periods. The standard is expected to be completed in 2012.