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North American Precast Concrete Environmental Product Declarations

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 16, 2016 10:36:05 AM

(From the National Precast Concrete Association's website.)

The North American Precast Concrete industry (NPCA, PCI and CPCI) recently released Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in three key precast concrete product categories. The EPDs will allow architects, engineers, building owners, and other specifiers to better understand the environmental impacts of precast and prestressed concrete products.

The precast concrete industry wide EPDs are now available for the following products: Architectural and Insulated Wall Panels, Structural Precast Concrete Products and Underground Precast Concrete Products.

Environmental Product Declaration

WHAT IS IT?

International Organization of Standards 14025 defines an environmental product declaration as quantifiable environmental data used to compare products that fulfill the same function. It’s like a nutrition label on two different boxes of cereal. They both contain the same nutritional information such as calories, fat and sugar. That way, a consumer can make an informed decision on which one to choose. Replace those indicators with Acidification Potential, Primary Fossil Energy Consumption and Net Fresh Water, and you get an EPD.

EPDs are created based on a Product Category Rule and a Life Cycle Analysis. While creating an EPD can be complicated and time-consuming for an individual precaster, the good news is that the National Precast Concrete Association – along with the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute have developed EPD’s for the industry.

View North American Concrete Product Category Rules

For more information on EPDs, visit the ASTM International website or view the following articles:

HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?

USGBC Logo EPDs

Materials that compete with precast concrete, such as ready-mixed concrete, masonry block, plastic, fiberglass, wood and steel, have already developed or are in the process of developing their own EPDs, which are being requested with bid documents in ever-increasing numbers. If you do not have an EPD available when you’re asked, it will be too late. EPDs take a lot of time to develop. NPCA has been working to get these EPDs written for more than three years.

LEED v4, Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products and the International Green Construction Code request building product manufacturers to submit EPDs to demonstrate environmental performance of their products.

LEED v4, which takes effect in 2016, provides two points for a project that can document:

  1. Having 20 products and materials with EPDs and
  2. Having 50% of the products (by cost) demonstrate lower impacts than industry baselines through EPDs.

LEED v4 values different types of EPDs as follows:

Self-declared EPDs are worth 1/4 value (not third-party verified)
• Industry-average EPDs are worth 1/2 value (third-party verified)
• Product-specific EPDs are worth full value (third-party verified)

QUESTIONS

Please feel free to contact Claude Goguen and he will answer any questions or concerns you may have.


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