CalStar cites first Environmental Product Declaration for unit masonry

Sources: CalStar Products Inc., Racine, Wis.; CP staff

Fly ash-bound brick and paver producer CalStar has completed a life cycle assessment (LCA) and published an Environmental Product Declaration for its building brick, while achieving Sustainable Materials Rating Technology (SMaRT) Product Certification Platinum for all current products.

CalStar retained a leading architectural firm, Chicago-based Perkins+Will, to complete an ISO-compliant LCA for its brick. The results were externally reviewed and published in a third-party verified EPD—the first ever such document for brick in the U.S. The EPD outlines 13 different environmental impacts over the life cycle of CalStar’s masonry product, from raw material extraction through end-of-life or reuse, and can be downloaded here.

The EPD was certified by the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), a Washington, D.C.-based auditor and developer of the SMaRT Sustainable Product Standard. SMaRT measures a product’s environmental, economic and social benefits over its life cycle and throughout its global supply chain. CalStar brick attains a SMaRT Platinum rating, scoring 90 out of 173 points on six criteria in the MTS Consensus Sustainable Product Standard.

CalStar EPD and SMaRT scores dovetail LEED 2009 and proposed LEED v4 (mid-2013) rating criteria. LEED v4 is expected to have dramatic changes in the Materials and Resources section, typically known for recycled content and regional materials credits, CalStar officials note. Though the final version remains a work in progress, they add, LEED v4 will favor products with EPDs and LCAs. CalStar bricks will contribute to new credits as well as the Innovation and Design point already available for SMaRT Certified products.