The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is updating the Industry-Wide Environmental Product Declaration to address evolving requirements producer members confront when project owners or design teams apply Life Cycle Assessment criteria or request EPD submittals, often in conjunction with LEED v4 green building certification.
|The Industry Wide-EPD version 3 will update standard data based on new surveys of what NRMCA hopes will be expanded universe of participating producers and ready mixed plants versus the v2 sampling.|
The 2016 IW-EPD, or version 2.0, spanned data from 88 companies and 2,519 ready mixed plants. It enabled participants who had submitted plant operating and environmental performance data to assist customers calculating credits under the then-new green building standard’s Materials & Resources section. Development of an IW-EPD version 3.0 this year responds to what the association notes is a consistent increase in LCA and EPD activity over the past three years and volume of projects (> 2,500) attaining certification under LEED v4. In addition to buildings, NRMCA cites the emergence of LCA and EPD language in infrastructure specifications and related sustainability efforts, among them the Federal Highway Administration Sustainable Pavement Program.
A revised IW-EPD will keep ready mixed concrete documentation in lockstep with LEED v4 requirements and coincide with a revised Product Category Rule for Concrete, the 2014 charter version of which expires this year. Producers providing plant data will be listed in the IW-EPD v3 and the only ready mixed concrete sources eligible to reference declaration figures for LEED certification submittals. NRMCA is working on the new version with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute. The Ottawa-based consultant facilitated the first two versions, and has also assisted the National Precast Concrete Association and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute with EPD and sustainable plant certification program development.
Athena will support a confidential platform through which ready mixed producers submit such operations data as energy and material use, waste volume, raw material transportation and water consumption. A roster of participants will be finalized this month. NRMCA requests that member or non-member producers wishing to participate in the IW-EPD designate a point person responsible for collecting and relaying operations data. Athena will conduct online surveys and work with the primary contact to define reporting plants and what data to collect. Producers must register by completing a form posted it www.nrmca.org/sustainability and forwarding it to NRMCA Manager, Customer Service Jacques Jenkins, [email protected]. Participation fees are $50/plant (members), $250/plant (nonmembers). Additional information on the IW-EPD v3 and 2019 Product Category Rule for Concrete can be obtained from NRMCA Senior Director – Sustainability Initiatives James Bogdan, 412/420-4138, [email protected].
LEED v4.1 PREMIER
The U.S. Green Building Council has opened registration for the newest version of its green building certification program, starting with New Construction or LEED BD+C v4.1, and Interior Spaces, LEED v4.1 ID+C categories.
“The hallmark of LEED is ‘continuous improvement’—and that is exactly where we are going with LEED v4.1,” says USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “LEED v4.1 is set to raise the bar. It is the most comprehensive, collaborative, accessible and effective LEED system to date. From improving energy performance to emphasizing human health and integrative building design, LEED is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo.”
The goal is to make the rating system more accessible to more projects based on lessons learned from LEED v4 project teams, he adds. The newest beta version updates performance thresholds and referenced standards to ensure LEED remains the global leadership standard for green buildings and continues to expand the marketplace for project certification. The changes also advocate for improved performance throughout the life of buildings; rewards leaders based on their performance; and, incorporates performance reporting to enable building owners to track progress toward environmental, social and governance goals.
“LEED v4.1 is aimed at addressing the challenges project teams face as they pursue their sustainability goals,” observes USGBC Senior Vice President Melissa Baker. “BD+C updates referenced standards to encourage leadership and responds to market feedback. ID+C updates mirror BD+C while also focusing on the realities teams experience as they interact with their base building.”
With an eye to broad implementation, USGBC is presenting LEED v4.1 as an accessible, user-friendly and agile tool. To participate, users can register using LEED Online, review the LEED v4.1 Beta Guide and download the LEED v4.1 rating system. The latest education videos and live online webinars featuring USGBC subject matter experts are also available. USGBC staff will be on hand at regional events and Greenbuild 2019, November 20-22, Atlanta. LEED v4.1 candidates will be on track to join a roster of 96,000-plus commercial projects across 167 countries and territories participating in the green building certification program. — www.usgbc.org