for lists of companies with verified EPDs.
NRMCA is an
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program Operator
in order to help concrete producers and concrete product suppliers meet new requirements in LEED v4, International Green Construction Code
(IgCC) and the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. EPDs are third party
verified (certified) reports published by product manufacturers that provide
quality assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance
of their product.
EPDs are developed in accordance with strict international standards that
include a transparent verification process for adopting Product Category Rules (PCR)
by which EPDs are developed and verified. To produce an EPD, a company must
perform a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on a product and report the
results in the EPD. The PCR defines, among other things, the functional unit
(product to be analyzed), scope and boundaries of the LCA and the environmental
impacts to be reported in the EPD. Before the EPD can be published, it must be
third party reviewed and verified.
NRMCA manages the process of
from beginning to end, helping manufacturers identify consultants and tools to
perform the prerequisite LCA in order to develop a draft EPD. Once the draft EPD is
developed, NRMCA verifies that the LCA and EPD were conducted in accordance with
the selected PCR and if so, certifies the EPD.
Click here for
more details on the NRMCA EPD Program.
Free Webinar: Environmental Product Declarations
NRMCA will be presenting free webinars on
Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) on May 22 and June 19. EPDs are third
party verified (certified) reports published by product manufacturers that
provide quality assured and comparable information regarding environmental
performance of their products. Well established in other parts of the world,
EPDs are starting to appear in the US as the common methodology for assessing
environmental performance of a product. The upcoming LEED v4 Rating System and
Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products are starting the demand for EPDs. Join
us for an informative 1-1/2 hour webinar as we offer a brief overview of EPDs,
the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that supports them and the Product Category
Rules (PCRs) that sets the ground rules for them. In addition, the webinar will
discuss NRMCA’s EPD Program and present the first certified EPD for concrete in
Watch a Recorded Webinar on EPDs
Click here to watch a recording of a Webinar describing the PCR and EPDs.
to download Part 1 of the Webinar presentation.
Click here to download Part 2 of the Webinar presentation.
Radical Material and Resources Reporting Criteria in
With the proliferation of eco-labels
and green certifications worldwide, it can be confusing for manufacturers to
determine which sustainable guidelines to address. Over the past 10 years the
LEED rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council has steadily
transformed the marketplace and is set to do so again with the newly released
LEED v4. The new version has radically overhauled the Materials and Resources (MR)
credits. The revamped MR credits, called Building Product Disclosure and
Optimization, will create opportunities for manufacturers that take the path to
transparency through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) Reports and Health Product Declarations (HPDs).
Well established in other industries, these metrics are starting to appear in
the construction industry as common methodologies for assessing the sustainable
performance of a product, process or organization.
What is NRMCA doing to help
members meet these new reporting requirements in LEED?
Click here to learn
about the NRMCA EPD program and begin developing your own EPDs.
Click here to learn about the NRMCA Industry Wide EPD project.
Click here to learn about the NRMCA Responsible Sourcing (CSR) project.
Click here to learn about the NRMCA-RMC Research & Education Foundation
Guide to HPD project.
NRMCA Testifies at IgCC Committee Action Hearings in
Along with industry allies, NRMCA successfully
defended its position on many proposals affecting concrete interests at the
International Green Construction Code (IgCC) Committee Action Hearings in
Memphis, TN during the week of April 28. The IgCC is an overlay code that works
with other building codes to provide an approach to reduce the impacts of
building construction on the natural environment and promote conservation from
many perspectives. The results of the code development cycle will be the
publication of the 2015 IgCC model code.
Tien Peng of NRMCA participated in the hearings
and delivered testimony on issues affecting the concrete industry. Some positive
▪ Successfully opposing proprietary interests to
remove Solar Reflectance (SR) as a measure to mitigate Urban Heat Island effects
▪ Partially successful in opposing proprietary interests limiting Life Cycle
Assessment tools and eliminating operational energy analysis
▪ Partially successful in supporting concrete interests in functional
resilience, environmental product declarations, and extended service life of
Click here for a full report
of the code hearing or contact
Tien Peng at
206-913-8535 or email@example.com.
Concrete: The Role of Performance-based Specifications
Concrete is used in nearly every structure we build today,
including buildings, bridges, homes and infrastructure. With greater emphasis
placed on sustainability in recent years, structural engineers are faced with
the challenge of meeting traditional design criteria in addition to evolving
criteria that support sustainable construction. Performance-based specifications
for concrete can substantially help meet this new challenge. Prescriptive
requirements such as minimum cement content or maximum water to cement ratio are
among many common specification requirements that can increase the environmental
footprint of concrete. NRMCA has tools and guidance on how concrete performance
can be improved while lowering environmental footprint by implementing
here to download a Webinar recording (large file - may take several minutes
Click here for more
details and resources on Performance Based Specifications
the 2030 Challenge for Products
Embraces a Low Carbon Future
In an effort to help
concrete producers reduce their carbon footprint, the National Ready
Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) announced on October 4, 2012, that it has signed on
to the 2030 Challenge for Products. The 2030 Challenge for Products is a
global challenge to specify and manufacture products that meet a carbon
footprint of 30% below the product average through 2014 and subsequently
improve on this reduction: 35% in 2015; 40% in 2020; 45% in 2025; and
50% in 2030. Issued by Architecture 2030, the 2030 Challenge for
Products builds on the widely adopted original 2030 Challenge, which
calls for the operation of all new buildings and major renovations to be
carbon neutral by 2030. more |
Helping to Develop a Standard to Track and Report Environmental Impacts of
Researchers at the
University of Washington’s College of Built
Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF), is working with a diverse stakeholder
committee, including NRMCA staff and member representatives, to develop
standards to track and report the environmental footprint of concrete. Use of
these standards (Product Category Rules/PCRs) will enable the concrete industry
and concrete producers to
report the 'environmental footprint' (Environmental Product Declaration/EPD) of
different concrete mixes and enable architects and engineers to specify low
The standard is
expected to help people in the building industry meet Architecture 2030’s
2030 Challenge for Products and meet the new LEED
v4 credit for Material Disclosure and Optimization. Launched a year ago,
the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products calls for dramatic reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse
gas emissions related to manufacture and transportation of construction
materials. Scheduled for release in 2013, LEED v4 does away with
credits for recycled content and regional materials and replaces them with a
credit called Material Disclosure and Optimization that will require material
suppliers to submit EPDs in order to help achieve the credit. Building industry specific PCRs, like the concrete standard
released by CLF, are key to advancing the goals of the 2030 Challenge for
Products and LEED v4.
Pavements: A Manual of Practice
This manual, developed by the
Concrete Pavement Research and Technology Center (CP Tech Center) at
Iowa State University provides detailed information on sustainability
concepts for concrete pavements. The intended audience includes decision
makers and practitioners in both owner-agencies and supply,
manufacturing, consulting, and contractor businesses. Readers will find
individual chapters with the most recent technical information and best
practices related to concrete pavement design, materials, construction,
use/operations, renewal, and recycling. In addition, they will find
chapters addressing issues specific to pavement sustainability in the
urban environment and to the evaluation of pavement sustainability.
Institute of Technology’s (MIT) ongoing research through the MIT Concrete
Sustainability Hub has set a new standard in life-cycle assessment (LCA)
modeling. The three reports published in August, 2011, discuss initial findings
on the life-cycle environmental and economic costs of pavement, commercial
buildings and residential building. The results provide a rigorous means of
testing the relative environmental impact of paving and building materials and
The NRMCA Sustainable Concrete Plant Certification
program provides a quantitative, performance-based metric, to allow ready mixed
concrete producers to demonstrate excellence in sustainable development. The
Certification provides ready mixed concrete plant personnel with specific
guidance to assess their production practices and implement sustainability
strategies that will ultimately lower their overall footprint.
NRMCA and the Wildlife Habitat Council have formed a partnership designed to encourage participation in the programs of each
organization while demonstrating voluntary corporate
leadership in environmental performance.
published the 2011 Sustainability Report to communicate the ready mixed
concrete industry’s progress toward meeting sustainability goals. In
2009, the U.S. ready mixed concrete industry established a vision,
strategies and goals toward sustainable concrete manufacturing and
construction. At the same time, the concrete industry was experiencing
the worst economic downturn in its history and unprecedented regulatory
changes. However, despite these challenges, the industry has
re-dedicated itself to upholding the principles of sustainable
development by establishing programs to help meet the aggressive goals
it set for itself in 2009. The NRMCA 2011 Sustainability
Report describes how the industry has invested millions of dollars in
cutting edge research, new education and training programs, new
personnel and plant certifications and codes and standards advocacy to
establish concrete as the sustainable material of choice for building
and infrastructure projects and lower its environmental footprint.
CSR04 - Life Cycle Assessment of
CSR05 - MIT Research: Life Cycle Assessment of Commercial Buildings
CSR06 - MIT Research: Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings
CSR07 - MIT Research: Life Cycle Assessment of Concrete Pavements
CSR08 - MIT Research: Effects of Inflation and Volatility on Construction
CSR09 - The
Urban Heat Island Effect and Concrete's Role in Mitigation (coming soon)
Concrete Solutions to Architecture 2030 Challenge
Concrete's Contribution to LEED v4
The ready mixed concrete industry is dedicated to upholding the
principles of sustainable development
—development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own needs—by attempting to balance
social, economic and environmental impacts.
Sustainability has become part of the fabric of society. Corporations in every
industry are shaped by their customers’ desire to be more environmentally
responsible. Companies that adopt sustainable practices will become preferred
suppliers. While environmental performance, including greenhouse gas emissions,
will be increasingly monitored and regulated, voluntary initiatives such as the
one presented here will help achieve ambitious sustainability goals.
Construction industry stakeholders—including project owners, designers,
contractors and product manufacturers—are especially affected by the challenges
of sustainable development since the built environment has significant
environmental, social and economic impact on our lives and planet. On one hand,
our built environment provides us with places to live and work and contributes
to a robust economy and societal needs. On the other, operating our buildings,
houses and infrastructure consumes enormous amounts of energy and valuable
resources. Building products require natural resources and energy to produce and
transport. New construction projects can burden natural habitats.
The concrete industry is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of
sustainable development. Its products help improve the overall environmental
footprint of the built environment. For example, high performance concrete wall
and floor systems help improve energy performance of buildings. Light colored
pavements reduce urban heat islands and minimize lighting requirements. Pervious
concrete pavements reduce and treat stormwater runoff. Concrete is extremely
durable and provides for long service life. And the industry continues to
develop new sustainable products through research and development.
The concrete industry is dedicated to continuous improvement through product and
process improvements. The industry continues to increase the use of recycled
materials, including industrial by-products, thus conserving valuable natural
resources and reducing process energy required to manufacture concrete. The
industry continues to explore new ways to further reduce the carbon footprint
through the development of innovative cements and concrete mixtures. Concrete
companies also strive to improve manufacturing processes, including the use of
alternative energy sources, to minimize the energy of production and the
associated greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the industry continues to enhance
transportation efficiency and delivery methods to reduce the environmental
impact of the construction process.
NRMCA Sustainability Initiatives document outlines goals for reducing the
overall environmental footprint of concrete construction and provides strategies
for achieving these goals. The concrete industry has been a key contributor in
building this nation’s infrastructure and will continue to enhance the
sustainability of our built environment for generations to come.
Comments and suggestions are
comments to Lionel Lemay,