Frequently Asked Questions
Who started Ecospex?
EcoSpex™ was founded by the Blue Wilderness Group Inc., R&D spanned over 7 years by advancing over one thousand one-on-one conversations, uncovered what architects, designers, builders, utility companies, construction and procurement professionals need to enable the development of affordable, sustainable buildings. Global databases of construction products and standards were examined and assessed. Extensive market research, business planning and infrastructure system analysis and SWOT were conducted. The SWOT approach included consultation with Canadian, American and global design community to understand their issues pertaining to sustainable product specification. This evidence based research uncovered the strengths and shortfalls of other tools, while it outlined the workflow, thought and decision processes and development for EcoSpex end-users.
Blue Wilderness partnered with Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 2011, and worked together to bring EcoSpex™ to the pilot stage. (Blue Wilderness provided the overall day to day management with BRE to built the system and provided the technical expertise to enhance and extend the functionality of EcoSpex™. A tremendous amount of evidence based research was done that included both qualitative and quantitative work to advance a innovative solution for the marketplace.
Ecospex is now an independent company. Today, the focus is bringing EcoSpex to full commercialization, secure new investors and firm up the international partnership with EcoSpecifier Australia.
Investment and Funding for EcoSpex involved the following:
- Blue Wilderness Management Group Inc.
- Building Research Establishment (BRE) UK
- National Research Council of Canada - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC- IRAP)
- Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
- Province of Ontario –Ministry of Innovation
- Ryerson University 2011 and 2013
- The Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE)
How does EcoSpex differ from other similar databases such as Environmental Building News (GreenSpec, Pharos) Green Wizard, TerraChoice/UL Environment and EcoScorecard?
Many green building databases provide limited information and access to green products’ technical and sustainability attributes, third party certificates and alignment with green building rating systems. EcoSpex provides free user access to full product attributes, including third party certificates, 3-part specifications, alignment with green building rating systems and local utility incentives. All information is verified by our internal team prior to upload, and information is reviewed and updated annually. For more details on our verification process, click here. For more information on what makes us different, click here.
How does EcoSpex address greenwashing?
EcoSpex can help determine whether a product’s sustainability claims are accurate through our robust verification process. We work with suppliers/manufactures to identify any gaps in their product’s technical and sustainability reporting materials. For more details on our verification process, click here.
What is the value of EcoSpex?
We believe that EcoSpex offers extensive value to both suppliers/manufacturers and design and construction community professionals. If you are a supplier/manufacturer, click here. If you are a design and construction professional, click here.
Why did we choose Uniformat and Masterspec for the site?
Uniformat and Masterspec format were chosen because they are universally recognized in North America by manufacturers and the design and construction communities. For more information, click here.
What is the difference between verification and certification?
Verification is an internal EcoSpex quality assurance process which ensures that all Standard and Premium Verified listings' product information is accurate and up to date. Certification refers to a third party managed program, often product-specific, which verifies specific types of product or supply chain attributes such as emissions, performance, responsible sourcing, legislative compliance and environmental impacts. Examples include the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus Program, SCS Global Services FloorScore Program, Forest Stewardship Council Program, Cradle to Cradle Certification, Energy Star Program and Greenguard Environmental Institute Certification Program.
What does a Premium Verified listing mean?
A Premium Verified listing is one with extensive downloadable data about a product, which has been verified by our internal EcoSpex team prior to upload. Click here for a full description of what the listing includes.
Who verifies the product listings?
Verification is completed by our technical EcoSpex team, headed up by Andrew Peel, the founder of Peel Passive House Consulting, and a Passive House certifier. We Click here for a full list of our team members.
Can I access the database right now?
The database has not launched to the public yet, while we populate it with enough data to be useful for designers. We anticipate a public launch in early 2016.
How does EcoSpex benefit the designer?
Convenient, free access to accurate, up-to-date reporting for green products across a wide range of Masterformat/Unicode sections in the format required for your projects. Easy search functionality and ability to save product profiles and view at a later date. Ready to try EcoSpex? Click here to register and get started.
Is there a cost to view the EcoSpex database?
There is no cost to users. Manufacturers pay a fee for Standard and Premium listings.
Does my registration expire?
User registration does not expire. If you have already registered with EcoSpex, you can login using your username and password by clicking here.
How do I search for products?
You can search for products using the MasterFormat/UniFormat categories or you can use our Advanced Search. Click here for a brief demo on how to search for products.
Can I save product information and review it later?
Yes, you can save products for later review by clicking on Add to Projects. Click here for a brief demo on how to use this tool.
Can I send product information to a colleague to review?
Yes, once you have saved products in the Add to Projects section, you can invite colleagues to review the saved products. Colleagues will be sent a direct link with your name and will not need to login to view the saved products. Click here for a brief demo on how to use this tool.
How often are new products added to EcoSpex? How do I find out about them?
New products are added to EcoSpex every quarter. If you are registered as a user and have granted us per permission to email you; you will receive a notification of recently added products. You can also click here to see recently added products on our Home Page.
How does EcoSpex verify that a manufacturer is still producing a product in accordance with requirements after verification is obtained?
Product verification for Standard and Premium Verified listings is renewed on an annual basis. Our internal EcoSpex team contacts each manufacturer via email and phone once a product listing has been live for 12 months. If product documentation has expired in the interim or is no longer valid, it is removed from the listing.
How does EcoSpex benefit the manufacturer?
Access a dedicated group of professionals seeking energy efficient, sustainable, low carbon construction and cleantech materials; improve your audience reach; reduce marketing costs related to documentation; be seen as an innovator; increase your credibility by providing transparent product reporting. View our manufacturer benefits section here. Ready to try EcoSpex? Click here for product registration.
How can I be sure that the information I submit will be kept confidential?
We guarantee the confidentiality of your product information, and only publicly post documents that you wish to post. Our full confidentiality policy and our terms and conditions are available on request.
How much does a listing cost?
Premium Verified are currently offered at our Pilot Program pricing, a 60% discount over regular pricing due to subsidies from the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) in Ontario. For more information on the listing costs, click here, or call Julie Scarcella (705) 445-1256 or email@example.com
How long does it take for a product to be verified?
Our typical verification process requires 5 weeks, which includes correspondence with suppliers/manufacturers.
How do I submit a product to EcoSpex?
Submit your product by registering and filling out our online questionnaire. Once you submit your completed questionnaire and supporting documentation, we will get in touch by email within 48 hours to confirm receipt.
What products should be listed in EcoSpex?
Any product that has one or more environmental or health-preferable characteristics compared to other base-level products in their category, and can be assigned a Masterformat and Unicode category. If your product is unique and doesn’t appear to fit within a Masterformat or Unicode category, contact us.
What is the difference between a Basic Listing and a Premium Verified Listing?
A Basic Listing provides basic information about a product, including the manufacturer name, product name, 1 image and company contact details.