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.
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, NSF, FP Innovations and SCS Global Services. Once the PCR has been established and the life-cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted, the information gets created into an EPD. That EPD must then go through third party verification to determine that the LCA and PCR followed the correct requirements. Once verification has occurred, the EPD is registered and published with a program operator.
Be sure to check out our subsequent post breaking down the three types of EPDs.