Tag Archive | "ANSI/NSC 373"

Natural Stone Council Updates Sustainability Standard

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Natural Stone Council Updates Sustainability Standard

Posted on 24 October 2019 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Council – a collaboration of natural stone trade associations to promote the use of natural stone in commercial, residential, government, institutional, educational, and all types of applications interior and exterior – announced updates to the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard (ANSI/NSC 373).

NSF International’s National Center for Sustainability Standards facilitated the standard’s development, including revisions, and published the updated standard in August 2019. The 2019 updates address a broad scope of issues including water, site management, land reclamation and adaptive use, corporate governance, management of excess process materials, and innovation.

Updates to the standard also address a wider range in variability of operations, natural stone dimensional deposits, and regulatory requirements across the country. The ANSI/NSC 373 joint committee, comprised of members from a cross-section of stakeholders within and outside of the stone industry, worked to update the standard with input from task groups. Along with the updates, the committee has re-energized its efforts to educate the design community about using the standard.

First issued in 2014, the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard establishes criteria and methods for tracking, measuring and improving sustainability in the production of natural stone, long regarded for its durability and resiliency.

The standard aligns with materials and resource credits for LEED v.4 and Living Building Challenge projects. It applies to all processors of natural stone, from quarry operators to final stone fabricators.

You may also be interested in this article about new additions to the Natural Stone Institute Resource Library

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Michels Red Granite Quarries Achieve ANSI/NSC 373 Certification

Posted on 01 March 2018 by cradmin

michelsFollowing its commitment to sustainable business practices, Michels Corporation achieved certification of two red granite quarries in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Red Granite Quarry and Wausau Red Granite Quarry have both achieved certification to the ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone Standard.

Requirements for the Chain of Custody portion of the NSC 373 standard have also been completed by Michels. This allows the material to be tracked from point of harvest, through fabrication and travel and to the project site.

Michels became the first company in Wisconsin and fifth in the world to successfully complete the Natural Stone Council’s process and received NSC 373 certification for two of its limestone quarries in 2017 Michels continues to explore certification at additional sites that align with the standard.

NSC 373 certification is a voluntary accreditation based on performance and metrics for improvement in the following categories: water, transportation and chain of custody, site management, land reclamation, corporate governance, energy, management of excess process material and solid waste, safer chemical and materials management, human health and safety, and innovation.

“Sustainability is important to Michels, our customers and the design community,” said M.O. Bohrer, Michels Vice President of Corporate Business Development and former chairman of the Natural Stone Council. “We are tremendously proud to be the first company to have both red granite and limestone quarries that meet these rigorous standards.”

You may also be interested in this article about LEED and LBC recognizing sustainable stone certification.

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LEED v4 and LBC Now Recognize Sustainable Stone Certification

Posted on 25 October 2016 by cradmin

natural-stone-councilThe Natural Stone Council (NSC) – an association made up of the leading Natural Stone Associations in the country – announced its Sustainable Production for Natural Dimension Stone (ANSI/NSC 373) certification is now recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED v4 building certification program, as well as the International Living Future Initiative’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge (LBC) version 3.1. Design teams now have a clear path to ensure the stone they specify helps projects reach sustainability goals as outlined by LEED and LBC.

“Being named an approved program by the USGBC and the ILFI within Responsible Sourcing of Materials is a huge accomplishment for the stone industry,” says Kathy Spanier, NSC Sustainability Committee Chair and Director of Marketing at Coldspring, a Minnesota-based stone industry producer. “These achievements come as the result of tremendous coordination and years of cooperation among stone industry associations, environmental experts and additional stakeholders to further the awareness of sustainably sourced natural stone.”

The sustainable stone certification standard was established in 2014 by the NSC. The two main goals of the standard are to provide natural stone quarriers and fabricators with third-party verification of their sustainable practices and to give the building and design community confidence that certified stone is a sustainable material choice.

The NSC Sustainability Committee worked closely with third-party organizations to determine the sustainable footprint of how stone is quarried, transported and processed in order to align the ANSI/NSC 373 with LEED and LBC. In addition, ANSI/NSC 373 was developed using the consensus-based ANSI (American National Standards Institute) process and can be applied internationally with certification by a third-party certifier like NSF International.

“I attribute the success of the ANSI/NSC 373 certification acceptance to the Natural Stone Council’s early commitment and dedication to aligning with leading green building programs such as LEED and LBC,” says Jessica Slomka, manager, National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF International, LEED AP BD C.

ANSI/NSC 373’s national and international requirements for environmental, ecological, human health and social responsibility in stone quarrying and processing will help satisfy the growing demand for transparency in the market.

“Natural stone rates high on an environmental scale. It is reusable, low maintenance, emits no VOCs, and is one of the most durable and most beautiful materials on the planet,” says Duke Pointer, Executive Director of the Natural Stone Council. “The ANSI/NSC 373 certification gives the market confidence they are using a material that has also been third party verified.”

LEED v4 and LBC Application

The LEED Steering Committee approved certification to ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimensional Stone as a “USGBC-approved program” third-party verification (full credit) in Option 1 of LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C Material Resources credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, provided that the facility and/or quarry operation has earned certification including either optional credit 7.2.1 (Ecosystem Boundaries) or 7.2.2 (Environmental Impact Assessment), and has made its scorecard publicly available.

In addition to LEED v4, the Living Building Challenge is advocating the Sustainability Standard for Natural Dimension Stone for Living Building projects using natural stone. ANSI/NSC 373 aligns within the LBC 3.1 Material Petal, in the Responsible Industry category.

The rigorous and voluntary certification standard including its companion Chain of Custody program is gaining acceptance among stone industry companies. In 2014, TexaStone Quarries, which operates natural stone quarries and a closely aligned fabrication facility in Garden City, Texas, became the first company in the world to achieve certification. Coldspring became the second to achieve ANSI/NSC certification of its headquarters, primary manufacturing operations and three Minnesota-based quarries. Additional companies have since certified, with more working to achieve certification.

For more information about ANSI/NSC 373, visit http://naturalstonecouncil.org/education-training/nsc-initiatives/dimensional-stone-standard/ .

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