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NRMCA begins harnessing data to update Industry Wide-EPD

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

NRMCA 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 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 parties 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 in mid-February. 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 the form posted here 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].