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How easy actually is it for facility managers to get EPDs? How do you request them? Are more manufacturers doing them?
Under the first option of the new Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credit, LEED v4 awards a point for construction projects that use at least 20 building products sourced from a minimum of five different manufacturers that have issued Environmental Product Declarations or Health Product Declarations. This will have a direct impact on manufacturers, and they have been focused on addressing products that meet the criteria. To comply with the credit category, manufactures will be required to provide information pertaining to their products that have a life-cycle assessment conforming to ISO 14044, have an EPD for their product, or verify that their product is certified by a third party demonstrating LCA impact reductions below industry average.
Of course large manufacturers, flooring companies and furniture companies, etc., will be first in line to demonstrate that they have products which comply. And many of them already do. Smaller manufacturers will have a harder time ensuring that their products will meet the criteria as there is a cost associated with providing this level of scrutiny, but this is what market transformation is all about. I am grateful the market continues to push the envelope to ensure that materials in the built environment meet some standards to enhance safety for building occupants. When specifying products, simply ask the manufacturer if they have developed an EPD for the product you’re interested in. If they have not, ask them when they might have one available.
Answers provided by Elaine Aye, a principal with Green Building Services in Portland, Ore. Aye is a LEED Fellow.
Defining Environmental Product Declaration
EPDs as Increasingly Critical Piece of Product Selection
How LEEDv4 Provides Incentive To Use EPDs
How Facility Managers Can Get EPDs