Environmental Product Declarations
In UK Construction, the term (EPD) is now short-hand for LCA output compliant with EN 15804, the European standard which has been written to provide the rules for company and industry claims on environments credentials.
The driver for EN 15804 was the need for true comparison between manufacturers of the same product, but also between very different products. To achieve this is a huge task and hence under EN 15804 are Product Category Rules (PCRs) which provide a further level of detail. EPD’s can cover the whole life cycle of products: cradle to grave. In EN 15804 this is module A to C (and these have sub sets). When comparing EPD’s designers must ensure that the EPDs they are using cover the same modules.
British Precast worked closely with sustainability consultants thinkstep on developing a life cycle assessment tool for the purpose of producing verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in accordance with BS EN 15804: 2012 +A1 (2013). The tool created is robust and accurate but also user friendly for manufacturers of any size. The tool has an extensive list of over 50 material inputs covering all the commonly used aggregates, cements, reinforcements and admixtures.
The tool has been externally verified by the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) and a number of generic EPDs across British Precast have been published using the tool and data from product association members.
British Precast Architectural and Structural has published two EPDs to date as part of this project. The declared units for the two EPDs are 1m3 of precast concrete ground beam and 1m2 of precast concrete cladding panel. The two EPDs are association declarations which use manufacturing data from member companies of British Precast Architectural & Structural and a defined mix design to form a sector average.
Find out more about the ground beam EPD here.
Find out more about the single leaf precast cladding EPD here.
British Precast Architectural and Structural has an on-going commitment to transparently declare the environmental impact of its products. In line with this commitment the association plans to develop and publish two further generic EPDs, one for brick-faced cladding and a second for cross-wall.