ASTM publishes Product Category Rules for Concrete Masonry Products

National Concrete Masonry Association-led team of producers and allied interests has finalized “Product Category Rules for Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Manufactured Concrete20-NS-PCR-300
and Concrete Masonry Products.” The 21-page document presents baseline data for life cycle assessments detailed in Environmental Product Declarations. In turn, EPD support concrete product customers seeking certification or recognition under new or emerging green building rating systems.

The ASTM-published PCR covers 11 categories of Committee C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units-designated product—primarily dry cast—including Concrete Building or Facing Brick, Loadbearing and Nonloadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, Prefaced Concrete Masonry Units, Cast Stone, Segmental Retaining Wall Unit, Roof Paver, Adhered Manufactured Stone Masonry Veneer and Articulating Concrete Block.

“With increasing emphasis on material transparency in high performance and sustainable codes and standards, NCMA recognized the need to develop tools for concrete masonry producers. Product Category Rules will facilitate development of environmental product declarations for manufactured concrete and concrete masonry products. Such declarations will help to highlight the environmental attributes of these products,” says NCMA President Robert Thomas.

Joining association staff on the PCR development were representatives from a) member producers Anchor Block Co., Brampton Brick, CalStar Products, A. Jandris & Sons, Nicolock, and Taylor Concrete Products; and, b) associates or allied groups Big River Industries, Canada Masonry Design Centre, Concrete Masonry Association of California & Nevada and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. ICPI is overseeing concurrent development of a PCR on segmental paving products (see companion sidebar). Additional information on the PCR for Concrete Masonry can be obtained from NCMA Director of Research and Development Nick Lang, 571/224-0935; [email protected].

Product Category Rules for Pavers

ASTM International-organized meetings of Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and National Concrete Masonry Association members and allied interests have netted Product Category Rules on segmental concrete paving products, plus a parallel document on masonry products (companion item, opposite page). Following a public comment period and independent review panel oversight, the draft PCR on segmental concrete paving products has been finalized.

The PCR document is owned by ASTM, which serves as a Program Operator in accordance with international standards. The Rules lay the groundwork for ICPI members and staff to conduct life cycle analyses (LCA) quantifying energy use and carbon emissions as well as other concrete paver production impacts. PCR establish LCA boundaries; once an analysis is conducted for a paver plant, data can be readied for an Environmental Product Declaration, an emerging tool driven by new LEED v4 green building rating system guidelines.

EPD comparison will become another basis for design professionals, clients and public agencies’ paving product selection. Funded by the ICPI Foundation for Education & Research, the PCR for segmental concrete paving products prepares the industry for broad LEED v4 adoption. PCR and EPD will gain increasing after October 2016, when the U.S. Green Building Council drops pre-v4 LEED versions.