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Concrete Industry Issues Environmental Product Declarations

concrete-structureThe North American Precast Concrete industry has released Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in three key precast concrete product categories: architectural and insulated wall panels, structural precast concrete products and underground precast concrete products. The EPDs will allow architects, engineers, building owners and other specifiers to better understand the environmental impacts of precast and prestressed concrete products.

An EPD is a standardized, internationally recognized tool for providing information on a product’s environmental impact. Information in the EPD documents is based on a third-party verified ISO-compliant Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which considers all processes in the manufacturing of a product, including raw material and energy extraction, preliminary production and the manufacture of end products.

The industry-wide EPDs, jointly released by the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI), the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), are issued within clearly defined product groups based on the precast concrete Product Category Rules (PCR). LEED v4 has incorporated a new credit for EPDs that have been third-party verified by an approved program operator.

The EPDs were independently prepared by Athena Sustainable Materials Institute in accordance with ISO 14025 and ISO 21930; the Product Category Rules for Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Precast Concrete (UN CPC 3755), March 2015; and ASTM international’s EPD program operator rules. They were also independently verified by ASTM International (in accordance with ISO 14025) and by Industrial Ecology Consultants (in accordance with ISO 14025 and the Product Category Rules).

Photo credit: concrete structure via Shutterstock

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