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BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability)

Building products evaluation software for environmental performance

The BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) free downloadable software brings to your fingertips a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Engineering Laboratory the tool is based on consensus standards and designed to be practical, flexible, and transparent. Version 4.0 of the Windows-based decision support software, aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, includes actual environmental and economic performance data for 230 building products.

BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in the ISO 14040 series of standards. All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management. Economic performance is measured using the ASTM standard life-cycle cost method, which covers the costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. Environmental and economic performance are combined into an overall performance measure using the ASTM standard for Multi-Attribute Decision Analysis. For the entire BEES analysis, building products are defined and classified according to the ASTM standard classification for building elements known as UNIFORMAT II.