Each month RECORD reviews building product related web sites and blogs that might be of interest to our readership. We visit each site, kick the tires a bit, and share what it is about and how it functions. Please let us know if there is a site you've found particularly useful, well-designed, or easy to navigate. — Rita Catinella Orrell


BASF’s SELECT Eco-Label Manager tool is a new database created to manage the plethora of eco-labels, environmental claims, directories, and ratings systems, by allowing the user to search, analyze, and compare these programs in a structured and consistent format. Currently, the SELECT tool (which stands for Sustainability, Eco-Labeling and Environmental Certification Tracking) includes 100 programs primarily associated with North America for review, but is continuing to add programs from all regions globally. Record got a tour of the site from a BASF specialist, and we were impressed by how organized and easy to navigate it was, considering the complexity of each entry. A search function (sometimes a luxury item on sites like this) makes it easy to find specific programs. Examples of claims/systems on the site include Built Green Canada, a residential construction checklist and energy rating system; USGBC LEED programs, and the Green Guides, a set of guidelines established by the Federal Trade Commission to help manufacturers make clear and substantiated marketing claims. Currently, the password protected tool is available to BASF employees and preferred customers, stakeholders, and members of the press  — contact BASF directly if you would like a trial.  


ThyssenKrupp Elevator announced comprehensive and specific sustainability goals in February, with an overall plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 20% by the end of 2015. The company is also hoping to inspire building owners, architects, and elevator consultants to do their part and upgrade or install more energy efficient elevators. To help, ThyssenKrupp created an online energy calculator to show how simple changes can make a difference. Measuring the elevator energy consumption is complex, says ThyssenKrupp, and depends on a lot of factors — motor efficiency, frequency of use, speed, etc. — therefore the calculator is only meant to spit out an estimate. The simple calculator asks for 10 specifications, like the number of floors in the building, building type, number of elevators, capacity, and cab lighting. Energy costs are then broken down into categories: fan, lighting, machine room cooling, elevator, and annual consumption figures.