NRMCA announced this week that it has updated its industry average environmental impacts for concrete, and continues its leadership position when responding to product transparency within green building standards. The second version of the NRMCA Industry-Wide (IW) Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Benchmark (Industry Average) Report discloses the environmental impacts of concrete manufacturing for a wide range of concrete products. The updated document includes additional member companies, concrete plants and concrete mixes. Similar to the original, the new NRMCA IW EPD lists impacts for concrete ranging compressive strengths from 2,500 psi through 8,000 psi, covering most concrete used in residential, commercial and public construction. A wide range of products (mix designs) are covered for each strength class; from 100 percent portland cement mixes to mixes with over 50 percent replacement with fly ash and slag cement. Lightweight concrete mix designs have also been added in the new version. Therefore, the IW EPD now includes 88 companies, 2,519 plants, and 72 mixes offering enhanced data for baselines and resulting in significant national coverage and production.
LEED v4 includes a credit that encourages a project team to use building materials that have EPDs. Because of its versatility, concrete can significantly contribute to this credit due to the various building applications that concrete provides for a project. The Benchmark (Industry Average) Report presents the impacts for average concrete mixtures at the national level and in eight different regions of the country. This allows companies to compare their product-specific environmental impacts to industry averages when there is interest to optimize a product’s environmental footprint. Other green building standards including Green Globes and the International Green Construction Code also have criteria to use building products with EPDs.
NRMCA’s reports were developed in collaboration with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and were third-party verified by NSF International. This effort is another example where the ready mixed concrete industry has claimed a leadership position in transparency when comparing to other product categories. The IW EPD and Benchmark Report can be found here.
This updated report is part of the overall Build with Strength campaign which promotes the competitiveness of NRMCA members and the ready mix industry as a whole in the green building marketplace and the trends toward product and company transparency.