The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) under its rigorous product certification program certified the first-ever Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for cement in North America. San Antonio, Texas-based Capitol Aggregates published an EPD for five cement products manufactured at its San Antonio cement plant using NRMCA as the EPD Program Operator. The company, a long-time member of NRMCA, is a strong regional supplier of aggregates and cement since 1957.
Developing and certifying EPDs requires a product manufacturer to go through a detailed process of conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) of plant operations and product inputs followed by an extensive review by independent LCA professionals. NRMCA’s EPD Program follows the Product Category Rule for Portland, Blended Hydraulic, Masonry, Mortar, and Plastic (Stucco) Cements published by ASTM International. As is required by the international standards, the EPDs verified by NRMCA are published on NRMCA’s Web site at www.nrmca.org/sustainability/EPDProgram.
This new achievement follows a September 2015 milestone when NRMCA certified its 2,000th concrete EPD, by far the most of any building product category. Established in 2012, NRMCA’s EPD Program aims to help concrete producers and concrete product suppliers, including cement manufacturers, meet new requirements in green building rating systems such as LEED v4 and other standards, including the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. EPDs are third-party verified reports published by product manufacturers that provide quality-assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance of their products.
Architects and engineers are requesting EPDs for building products as a way to demonstrate reduction in the environmental impacts of the building projects they design. With EPDs, they can objectively compare the environmental impacts of the products they specify against an industry benchmark, or average. NRMCA was one of the first industry groups to publish an industry wide EPD and industry benchmarks.