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The Weyerhaeuser Co. Foundation has agreed to donate $60,000 to the Athena Institute, a nonprofit organization that works with architects, engineers and other building industry personnel to find ways to lessen the environmental impact of building projects.
"This grant will help them improve tools for assessing how building products and systems affect the environment,” said Karen Johnson, president of the foundation.
Wayne Trusty, president of the Athena Institute, said the grant will be used to update the organization’s software, known as the “Athena Impact Estimator” for building projects. The software evaluates whole buildings to give a view of the total environmental impact of an individual building project. The software uses “life cycle assessment” methodology, which assesses the environmental performance of building materials and structures over the course of their entire “lives.”
"Athena will now be able to take more information into account with regard to the production, use and disposal of building products," Trusty explained. "As a result we will be able to look at a broader range of environmental impact measures for products used in buildings, and our new software system will now better integrate current environmental procedures and standards."
The Weyerhaeuser Co. Foundation is the philanthropic arm of forest products company Weyerhaeuser. The foundation aims to support environmental and forest sustainability initiatives.