The North American precast concrete industry has released environmental product declarations (EPDs) in three key product categories: architectural and insulated wall panels, structural precast concrete products, and underground precast concrete products. The EPDs will allow architects, engineers, building owners, and specifiers to better-understand the environmental impacts of precast and prestressed products.

AN EPD is a standardized, internationally recognized, comprehensive tool for providing information on a product’s environmental impact. Information in the EPD documents is based on an IOS-compliant Life Cycle Assessment and verified by a third party. The detailed analysis considers all processes in the manufacturing of a product, including raw material and energy extraction, preliminary production, and the manufacture of end products.

The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI), National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA), and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) issued the EPDs within clearly defined product groups based on the precast concrete product category rules. Using products with EPDs can contribute to LEED credits. LEED v4 has incorporated a new credit for EPDs that have been third-party-verified by an approved program operator.

The EPDS were independently prepared by Athena Sustainable Materials Institute in accordance with ISO 14025 and ISO 21930; the Product Category Rules for Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Precast Concrete (UN CPC 3755), March 2015; and ASTM’s EPD program operator rules. They were also independently verified by ASTM in accordance with ISO 14025, and by Industry Ecology Consultants, in accordance with ISO 14025 and the product category rules.

CPCI, NPCA, and PCI are technical resources (Body of Knowledge) for the precast industry. From this, building codes, design guides, educational programs, certification, sustainability programs, and new research ideas are derived. This initiative develops, maintains, and disseminates the Body of Knowledge necessary for designing, fabricating, and constructing sustainable and resilient precast concrete structures.