Founded in 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory
federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration. NIST’s mission
is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science,
standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life. NIST
employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel.
About 1,800 NIST associates complement the staff. In addition, NIST partners with 1,400
manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 350 affiliated centers around the country.
Among the many subjects NIST has studied through its Building and Fire Research Laboratory is
the life cycle assessment of numerous building products. Among those studied by NIST were Dryvit
Outsulation systems. NIST performs its analysis by using special software it developed called BEES
(Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability).
The BEES software brings to your fingertips a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective,
environmentally-preferable building products. Developed by the NIST Building and Fire Research
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 (including Dryvit Outsulation systems).
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 performances 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
BEES has been supported in part by the U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
Program. The EPP program is charged with carrying out Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal
Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” which encourages Executive agencies to
reduce the environmental burdens associated with the more than $230 billion in products and services
they buy each year, including building products.