|The Capitol Aggregates declaration can be accessed at www.nrmca.org/sustainability/EPDProgram.|
The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association has certified its inaugural Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for cement in North America, covering ASTM C150 Types I and III, C595 Types IP and IL, and C91 Types N and S from Capitol Aggregates’ flagship mill in San Antonio, Texas. The EPD for Capitol Aggregates, a long-time NRMCA member serving the Texas market for nearly 60 years, follows a September 2015 milestone when the association certified its 2,000th concrete declaration. That watermark is by far the most of any building material or product category represented in EPDs targeted to new green building rating system requirements.
The Capitol Aggregates EPD is divided into Product Identification, Declared Unit, Reference Service Life, Material Content, System Boundary, Life Cycle Inventory, Life Cycle Assessment, and Additional Environmental Information sections. The latter references the Capitol Skymine, equipped to a) capture up to 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually from San Antonio mill processes and waste streams; b) remove mercury, metals, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates from flue emissions; and, c) convert captured emissions to commercial-grade hydrochloric acid, baking soda and bleach.
Developing and certifying EPDs requires material producers to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) of plant operations and product inputs, followed by extensive third-party review. The NRMCA EPD Program abides ASTM International’s Product Category Rule for Portland, Blended Hydraulic, Masonry, Mortar, and Plastic (Stucco) Cements. Consistent with international standards protocol, NRMCA-verified EPDs are published online at www.nrmca.org/sustainability/EPDProgram.
NRMCA’s EPD Program aims to help concrete producers and allied suppliers meet requirements or cover incentives in new green building rating systems, chiefly LEED v4, plus standards accompanying the International Green Construction Code and Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. EPDs are third-party verified reports suppliers, processors and manufacturers publish to provide quality-assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance of their materials and products.
Architects and engineers request or require EPDs to demonstrate reduction in the environmental impacts of their building projects. Design professionals can objectively compare the environmental impacts of the materials or products they specify against an industry benchmark or average. NRMCA was one of the first industry groups to publish an industry-wide EPD and industry benchmarks.