materials

Life-Cycle Assessment

Life-Cycle Assessment

Life-cycle assessment is a process or technique to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with a product over its entire life-span. In the case of a building, life-cycle assessment evaluates the impact of all building materials used in a building through all the stages of its life which include extraction of material, manufacture, transportation, use, and final disposal or end of life. Life–cycle assessment can be used to evaluate the overall environmental impact of the whole building or to quantify the impact of a single material in the building. LEED 2009 awarded points for building material reuse; however, LEED v4 awards points for whole building life-cycle assessment under the “Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction” credit in the Material and Resources category. There are two variants under life-cycle assessment: Cradle-to-grave (open loop assessment): The cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessment approach includes assessment from the resource extraction phase to disposal phase Cradle-to-cradle (closed loop assessment): The […]

The Three Types of EPDs

The Three Types of EPDs

This post is a follow up to our earlier post on Environmental Product Declarations. Three types of Environmental Product Declarations can contribute towards Option 1 of the Environmental Product Declarations credit. A product with any of the following three documents below will help a project team achieve the 20+ product threshold needed for credit achievement. Product-Specific Declaration Industry-Wide (Generic) EPD Product-Specific Type III EPD These three types of EPDs are meant to accommodate the various stages of EPD development throughout the different industries. Based on the stage of development, each type of EPD is valued as a quarter of a product, half of a product or one whole product in terms of how much each document contributes towards LEED compliance. All EPDs must be publicly available, however the materials an EPD does or does not reference will help determine what kind of EPD it is. Once the project has reached the […]

Environmental Product Declarations: Standards & Process

Environmental Product Declarations: Standards & Process

The transition to LEED v4 brought many changes to the material credits, including a brand-new credit all about Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). An EPD is a verified and registered document that communicates the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of a product based on the product category rules (PCR). EPDs must also be consistent with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards such as ISO 14025, 14040, 14044, EN 15804 or ISO 21930. These standards address how to perform a LCA, what data to include and how to compile that data into an EPD. Below is a breakdown of all the necessary components that contribute towards creating an EPD. EPD Standards EPD Process As mentioned above, the PCR and ISO Standards are the building blocks to creating an EPD. The first step is finding or developing a PCR, which involves the EPD Program Operator. Common Program Operators include UL Environment/UL Spot, ICC-ES, ASTM, […]