EPA proposes PCR/EPD criteria to back new construction materials labeling

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff The Environmental Protection Agency invites comments through April 4 on “Criteria for Product Category Rules (PCRs) to Support the Label Program for Low Embodied Carbon Construction Materials.” Posted here, the 30-page document offers guidelines to improve PCRs by establishing consistent data quality and transparency requirements for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). The proposed criteria…

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EPA invites comments on low carbon construction materials, product labeling

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff The Environmental Protection Agency has opened to public comment a draft approach for implementing an Inflation Reduction Act-funded Label Program for Low Embodied Carbon Construction Materials. The $100 million undertaking will support the White House Buy Clean Initiative, applicable to Departments of Defense and Transportation and General Services Administration procurement, by helping define…

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A brief history of Environmental Product Declarations and the arrival of EPD 3.0

Increasing demand for low carbon concrete, transparency, and digitization are driving a radical transformation in how EPDs are developed and used.  Industry demand for low carbon concrete and the critical need to measure reduced carbon metrics are driving radical change in the concrete industry, which increases monthly with new legislation, investor and commercial demand influencing construction materials production and specifications.…

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ASTM Advances Sustainable Non-Hydraulic Cements

ASTM C01 Committee on Cement recently approved the first standards addressing non-hydraulic cements and specifically, cements that require carbonation curing. With almost several years in the making, ASTM C1905, Specification for Cements that Require Carbonation Curing and ASTM C1910, Standard Test Methods for Cements that Require Carbonation Curing set the requirements for specifying these unique cements. Approval emerged from Committee…

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EPA opens $100 million grant program for construction material EPDs

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff The Environmental Protection Agency is accepting through January 8 applications for grants under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)-funded Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Construction Materials and Products program. Budgeted at $100 million, it will support a) businesses that process or manufacture, remanufacture or refurbish construction materials or products in development and verification…

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UN office paves path to agencies’ low carbon material procurement

Officials of global or national cement, concrete and steel groups recently convened in Vienna for a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) workshop aimed at developing a harmonized guideline for Product Category Rules. PCR published according to widely recognized standards underpin Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), the principal tools public and private construction stakeholders use when assessing carbon dioxide emissions associated…

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Sustaining Results

A visit with American Concrete Pipe Association Chairman Kurt Johnson Sharing fellow members’ eagerness to put two years of business and workforce disruptions behind them, Kurt Johnson embraces the challenges and positive market signals accompanying his 2022 American Concrete Pipe Association Chairman’s term.  “For more than a century, this organization has pulled member producers, associates and allies together for the…

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Digitizing production and QC: Nothing to lose, and so much to gain

Optimizing the production side of ready mix operations reduces cost, manual processes, carbon emissions, and wasted human potential The production side of the ready mix industry has traditionally consisted of many manual processes. Think about your own operation: Do your batch operators sit behind a screen from the time they arrive at the plant until it is time to go…

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Life cycle assessment standards group revises PCR, EPD preparation

Sources: American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, Washington, D.C.; CP staff The “2022 ACLCA PCR Guidance – Process and Methods Toolkit: Creating standardized, consistent, and reliable PCRs & EPDs for transparency, procurement, and supply chain data” provides process checklists for each of the roles in product category rule (PCR) creation. A successor to charter 2013 guidance, the document features methods…

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What Buy Clean means for the concrete industry

And how concrete producers can capitalize on the federal government’s changing policy landscape In December 2021, the White House issued an executive order focused on reducing emissions across federal government properties. The order introduces a “Buy Clean” meant to reduce carbon emissions arising from the production or manufacturing and use of building materials. For the first time, suppliers of concrete…

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