Very Important News

Scientists Report 165% Performance Boost from New Additive

The industry’s most respected semanticists have developed a new eco-prefix—but do they have the numbers to back up their claims?

April 1, 2015

Performance Boost from Green Prefixes

Source: BuildingGreen, Inc.
Claiming a “once-in-a-lifetime semantic breakthrough,” researchers at Dow Linguistic today introduced a new additive they say could boost any product’s sustainability 165% compared with conventional eco-prefixes.

“This is the graphene of morphemes,” quipped lead developer Iima Silliman, Ph.D. “It out-performs ‘bio’—and even ‘eco’ itself—by an order of magnitude on two key ASTM tests: Y-ME and 1TS-BS. There is literally no other way to more than double a product’s sustainability just by leveraging the power of linguistics.”

Dow is keeping the formula proprietary while it “negotiates hyphenation rights with certain clients,” according to a press release, which simply refers to the new lexical tool by its trade name, PerFix. But the developers have released preliminary data comparing the new prefix to conventional technologies (see chart).

Some are skeptical of the performance claims, however. “We don’t even know what letters are in it,” complained one well-known architect. “‘Eco’ might not be the latest and greatest prefix, but it’s been around forever, and it has proven its durability.”

She continued, “When we switched from pavers to ecopavers and from regular SPF [spray polyurethane foam] to biofoam in the ’90s, our perception—and, more importantly, our clients’ perception—of our projects’ runoff impacts and energy performance shot up more than 40%. And it has stayed up for decades.”

Adoption of the prefix is likely to be driven by cost: existing affixes don’t carry a premium. “Frankly, I’m hesitant to adopt an expensive new morpheme whose pre-formative properties haven’t been thoroughly tested in the field,” said one specifier BuildingGreen spoke with.

There will be a first-cost premium, Silliman acknowledges, but he said that the “tiny yet potent” collection of as-yet-undisclosed letters will be worth it. “Soon enough, our new prefix will speak for itself.”

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