Environmental Product Declarations
In UK Construction, the term EPD is now short-hand for LCA (Life-cycle assessment) 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. The need to compare apples with apples. To achieve this is a huge task and hence under EN 15804 are Product Category Rules (PCRs) which provide a further level of detail. EPDs 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 EPDs designers must ensure that the EPDs they are using cover the same modules.
Over the last two years, 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 now been externally verified by the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) and five generic EPDs have been published using the tool and data from product association members. The published EPDs are part of British Precast and our Product Group’s on-going commitment to sustainability and transparency. The seven published EPDs are: