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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; BEES Please

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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The Department of Commerce (DOC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the continuing and proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before July 9, 2004.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information should be directed to the attention of Barbara C. Lippiatt, Economist, NIST, (301) 975-6133. In addition, written comments may be sent via e-mail to

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I. Abstract

Over the last ten years, the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed and automated an approach for measuring the life-cycle environmental and economic performance of building products. Known as BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability), the tool reduces complex, science-based technical content (e.g., over 400 material and energy flows from raw material extraction through product disposal) to decision-enabling results and delivers them in a visually intuitive graphical format. BEES Please is a voluntary program to collect data from product manufacturers so that the environmental performance of their products may be evaluated scientifically using BEES.

NIST will publish in BEES an aggregated version of the data collected from manufacturers that protects data confidentiality, subject to manufacturer's review and approval. BEES measures environmental performance using the environmental 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.

II. Method of Collection

Data on materials use, energy consumption, waste, and environmental releases will be collected using an electronic, MS Excel-based questionnaire. An electronic, MS Word-based User Manual accompanies the questionnaire to help in its completion.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0693-0036.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 30. Start Printed Page 25882

Estimated Time Per Response: 62.5 hours

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Burden Hours: 1,875.

Estimated Total Annual Respondent Cost Burden: $0.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, e.g., the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: May 4, 2004.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 04-10503 Filed 5-7-04; 8:45 am]