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ASTM Standard addresses agricultural raw materials in construction.

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April 1, 2011 - Proposed ASTM WK30419 standard may foster greater use of agricultural raw materials, which consist of ligno-cellulosic fibers, similar to wood fibers and particles. With standard, companies that want to bring agricultural fiber products to market will have a way of documenting performance and reliability. Alternative building industries will use standard to improve quality and distribution, and regulators can use standard to help with approvals and safety of alternative materials.

Use of Agricultural Raw Materials in Construction Is Subject of Proposed New ASTM Standard

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: March 29, 2011

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., - A proposed new ASTM International standard may foster greater use of agricultural raw materials (ARM). ARM are a source of ligno-cellulosic fibers, which are similar to wood fibers and particles. ARM are set to become an important source of fibers for the construction industry. The proposed new standard, ASTM WK30419, Guide for the Use of Agricultural Fiber in Construction is being developed by Subcommittee E60.01 on Buildings and Construction, part of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability. According to Dmitry Ozeryansky, a structural engineer contracting with the Ecological Building Network, and an E60 member, interest in agricultural raw materials is growing within the construction realm because of the move toward sustainable materials. "Enormous quantities of these ARM fibers are residues of food production and are often burned or landfilled because of a lack of demand for their use," says Ozeryansky. "ARMs are rapidly renewable resources that can positively impact the sustainability attributes of a product." ASTM WK30419 will be useful in the following ways:
o Companies that want to bring agricultural fiber products to market will have a way of documenting performance and reliability;
o Alternative building industries will use the proposed standard, once it has been approved, to improve quality and distribution; and
o Regulators will be able to use it to help with approvals and safety of alternative materials. In 2011, the Biobased Product Labeling Program will be implemented for consumer products; it will display the certified percentage of farm-based materials (ARM and 'farm based materials' are synonymous). This program was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to a mandate in the 2008 Farm Bill to create new markets for commodity crops and agricultural waste. ASTM International has been selected to provide certification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture biobased labeling program. Ozeryansky says that all interested parties, particularly those involved with technologies related to agricultural raw materials, are welcome to join in the ongoing development of ASTM WK30419. ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions. View this release on the ASTM Web site at ASTM Committee E60 Next Meeting: April 11-14, 2011, April Committee Week, Anaheim, Calif.
Technical Contacts: Bruce King, Ecological Building Network, San Rafael, Calif., Phone: 415-987-7271;; Dmitry Ozeryansky, Ozeryansky Engineering, Memphis, Tenn., Phone: 510-287-6115;
ASTM Staff Contact: Stephen Mawn, Phone: 610-832-9726;
ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;
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