ALEXANDRIA, VA.—The Charles Pankow Foundation awarded a $153,000 grant to the CSI Foundation to support continued development of GreenFormat, a new CSI format that enables manufacturers to report accurately the sustainability-measuring properties of their products.

GreenFormat will help organize basic information about products and provide objective, standard-based performance measurements about their "green" and sustainable characteristics. According to CSI, having this information available in a common and structured format will reduce research time and improve designer/specifier/builder productivity.

To use GreenFormat, product manufacturers will complete an online reporting questionnaire about their products. Sustainable information reported in GreenFormat is grouped into categories. The GreenFormat resource will be available to the construction industry through

Accessible, quantifiable data about product performance is expected to address industry concerns about "greenwashing" by tying products to objective performance standards and ultimately helping the industry move toward reducing the impact of buildings on the environment.

"The Foundation invested in this project because we believe that GreenFormat meets a market need by facilitating project teams’ ability to support green design, and also by enabling better quality construction documents for building design and construction teams," said Rik Kunnath, president of the Charles Pankow Foundation. The funds will be used to acquire industry comment, revise and refine the draft version of the format, refine the website and database, and bring the format to the industry.

The Charles Pankow Foundation joins CSI and BuildingGreen, Inc. (BGI), to complete testing and deliver GreenFormat to the industry. BGI brings its expertise in construction sustainability to the process by providing technical advice to CSI to complete the development and assist in maintaining the quality of GreenFormat. "We are very interested in the development of a structured format for product data, which we aim to use to enhance our GreenSpec product database," said Nadav Malin, vice president of BGI.