BASF First Annual Forum on Sustainable Construction

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Round Table Reveals Current Challenges for Green Building

We need better tools to measure performance and justify first-cost for energy-efficient and more durable products

"We need better tools to measure performance and justify first-cost for energy-efficient and more durable products," said a group of leading architects at the BASF First Annual Forum on Sustainable Construction on November 19th, 2008.

The Forum, held in Boston, Massachusetts during the Green Build Conference, brought together BASF representatives and thirty senior architects who spent ninety minutes discussing current challenges in the areas of energy-efficient building technologies, more durable construction, increased construction speed and existing tools that measure sustainability.

"At BASF we believe that our ability to lead the sustainable building materials market depends on our success in establishing an ongoing dialogue with the design community to get real-time, real-life feedback. We established the BASF Annual Forum on Sustainable Construction to start the process," said Jack Armstrong, Leader, Building and Construction Initiatives for BASF.

Key qualitative findings on the subject of durability revealed an overall need in the industry for better total-cost-of-ownership information to support increased costs. Similar tools are also needed to help clients understand how insulation upgrades and other energy-saving technologies pay for themselves over specific time frames.

Additionally, the group reported that, in the absence of a reliable and easy-to-use resource for green materials specifications, architects still rely on manufacturers' binders, as well their websites, as their primary resources for sustainable material specifications.

There was also a consensus that due to the current economy, owners are demanding faster completion times to reduce labor costs.

Preceding the live forum, one hundred twenty-five invitees, including ninety architects, completed a brief online survey conducted by research firm BuildingInsight LLC. Respondents pointed out that clients are willing to approve up to 5% increased first cost for improved energy efficiency. They also reported that more than one-third (35%) of their projects call for energy efficiency performance of at least 20% beyond minimum requirements. In addition, 90% of respondents have experience using green building standards on non-residential construction projects.

The survey responses reflected the central learnings from the Forum, including the need for more reliable life-cycle analyses tools and measurements to justify increased insulation as a core strategy in green building.

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BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $16.4 billion in 2007. For more information about BASF's North American operations, or to sign up to receive news releases by e-mail, visit

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


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