Q. We are interested in learning more on how to participate in the green building movement. We are particularly interested in finding out about any standards on products and systems. Where can we start?

A. Many organizations and associations have developed ranking systems and performance guides designed to help building owners and specifiers rate a project's environmental, economic, and social impact on the neighboring community. To help promote a cohesive approach to these efforts, several ASTM committees have included sustainability concepts in preparing their standards.

Members of ASTM E-06, Performance of Buildings, are leading the effort. They have responded by developing a series of documents aimed at standardizing the concept of sustainability. For example ASTM standard E 2431, Guide for General Principles of Sustainability Relative to Buildings, guides users on how to balance preserving the environment with the needs of the real world regarding quality of life and jobs. And ASTM E 2114, Terminology for Sustainability Relative to the Performance of Buildings, provides specifiers with definitive language and terms used in this important and emerging industry movement.

Another important ASTM committee is C-16, Thermal Insulation. Committee members develop standards that help reduce building energy consumption. They have developed more than 40 active material or system specifications, along with a number of application guides.

To help learn all of the standards pertaining to the green movement, ASTM has gathered 145 standards that are referenced by the U.S. Federal Green Construction Guide for Specifiers onto one CD-ROM. “Sustainability in Building,” (item No. Greencd07) is available for $260. Visit www.astm.org.