ASTM, ICC ES pool resources in PCR-, LCA-, EPD-centered consortium

Officials from ASTM International, the International Code Council’s ICC Evaluation Service subsidiary and Michigan-based NSF International have announced the first Program Operator Consortium, serving as an expert resource for creating product category rules (PCR), reviewing life cycle assessment (LCA) reports, plus verifying and publishing environmental product declarations (EPD).

Formal signing of a consortium agreement took place last month in Washington, D.C., amid the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Greenbuild organizer, the U.S. Green Building Council, has ushered PCR, LCA and EPD into mainline construction as part of the LEED v4 rating and project certification system. ASTM, ICC ES, NSF and a fourth consortium member, Cambridge, Mass., cloud software specialist Sustainable Minds LLC, will pool resources; leverage existing relationships; jointly conduct outreach, marketing, education and communications; and, promote overall PCR, LCA and EPD use in building and construction. Each member conforms to guidelines of ISO 14025-Environmental Labels and Declarations – Type III Environmental Declarations – Principles and Procedures.

“Our organizations have a global reach, so we are collectively poised to act as a clearinghouse for best practices,” says ASTM Executive Vice President Kathie Morgan. “Together, we can quickly meet needs and answer questions of all stakeholders.”

Manufacturers, suppliers and design professionals will begin to see co-branded, verified EPD from consortium members, who envision value to decision-makers when specifying materials and products, plus added visibility for product transparency efforts. “When an architect or specifier is choosing products, partners in this effort want them to recognize that a high-profile group is now linked together, providing instantly recognizable value in the marketplace,” notes ICC Evaluation Service President Shahin Moinian.

“By working collaboratively, we can more effectively educate manufacturers and design professionals about the overall value of PCR, LCA and EPD,” adds NSF Chief Technical Officer Dr. Lori Bestervelt. “That helps us strengthen our relationships, build new ones, and—just as importantly—support sustainability on an even larger scale.”

“With the proliferation of program operators, complex reporting requirements, and increased demand for these services, we saw the potential to deliver real and measurable value to manufacturers by launching this consortium,” affirms Sustainable Minds CEO and founder Terry Swack. “[It] can create uniformity that will significantly reduce market confusion.”

Ceratech ICC-ES Report

ekkomaxx cement, processed by Alexandria, Va.-based CeraTech Inc., recently received evaluation report ESR-3691 from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), a subsidiary of the International Code Council. The report provides evidence that the industry’s first non-portland cement binder complies with the 2012 International Building Codes (IBC) and the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). Building officials, architects, contractors, specifiers and designers can use the ICC-ES report to provide a basis for using or approving ekkomaxx in construction projects citing the ASTM C150 standard for portland cement.

“CeraTech can now reference the evaluation report to ensure building officials and the building industry that the product meets I-Code requirements,” affirms ICC-ES President Shahin Moinian. “Building departments have a long history of using evaluation reports, and ICC-ES operates as a technical resource with the highest quality of product review for the building department. Final approval of building products is always in the hands of the local regulatory agency.”

ICC-ES thoroughly examined CeraTech’s product information, test reports, calculations, quality control methods and other factors in accordance with ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria AC459 to ensure the ekkomaxx product is code-compliant. “Having ICC-ES validate our cement system as meeting or exceeding ASTM C150 standards is ground breaking,” says CeraTech CEO Jon Hyman. “It sets a new precedent and represents the first time in the construction industry that a[n] environmental cement technology has been established as meeting or exceeding the construction standards for portland cement.”

ekkomaxx cement concrete utilizes 95 percent recycled fly ash and 5 percent readily renewable liquid additives. CeraTech’s leadership in durability and sustainability over portland cement, company officials contend, is underscored by the product’s lowest carbon footprint (near zero) of any cement available; reduced water requirement in concrete production, upwards of 15 gal./cu. yd. compared to conventional mixes; and, increased durability and product lifecycle 2.5–3 times that of portland cement concrete in certain conditions. —