Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff
The second version of the NRMCA Industry-Wide (IW) Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Benchmark (Industry Average) Report discloses production impacts of 72 concrete mixes with 2,500–8,000 psi design strength, covering the bulk of product used in residential, commercial and public construction. The updated IW EPD is prepared from 88 producers operating 2,500 ready mixed plants, and includes a wide range of mix designs for each strength class, from 100 percent portland cement mixes to those with 50-plus percent fly ash or slag cement factor.
The new IW EPD version times with the U.S. Green Building Council’s ramp up of the LEED v4 project rating standard, whose Materials and Resources section includes a credit incentivizing project teams to specify EPD-backed products. Concrete can significantly contribute to the credit due to the various building applications it fits, NRMCA affirms. The new Benchmark (Industry Average) Report presents impacts for average concrete mixtures at the national level and in eight different regions. It allows concrete operators to compare their product-specific environmental impacts to industry averages when seeking to optimize an order’s environmental footprint. In addition to LEED v4, Green Globes and the International Green Construction Code have criteria favoring EPD.
The IW EPD and Benchmark Report support NRMCA’s Build with Strength campaign, which promotes the competitiveness of cast-in-place concrete in the green building marketplace, while aligning with trends toward product and company transparency. The association developed the documents with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and verified them through a third party, NSF International. IW EPD and Benchmark pdf can be found here.