BETHESDA, Md.—The American Society for Testing & Materials International is collaborating with industry groups it represents—including sealants and single-ply roofing membranes—to develop Environmental Product Declarations.
EPDs are certified environmental declarations developed in accordance with the ISO 14025 standard created by the International Organization for Standards.
Developed in 2000, IS0 14025 establishes principles for the use of environmental information, and an EPD is a standardized method of quantifying a product's environmental impact.
Defining how products impact the environment—particularly products used in construction projects—is becoming increasingly important, according to Matthew E. Croson, president of the Adhesive and Sealant Council.
For example, the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction, had inserted EPD requirements into its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, Croson said.
ASTM International and the ASC will collaborate on educating the sealant industry on the value of Type III EPDs and proactively developing Product Category Rules to support the creation of EPDs, he said.
"A Type III EPD requires the development of PCR, which can then be leveraged by industry in developing Life Cycle Assessments, which can then support a Type III EPD," Croson said. "We want to make sure industry is represented during meetings discussing any PCR that touches the sealant industry."
ASTM Committee C24 on Sealants met in Indianapolis June 9-11, in part to discuss the development of PCRs for sealants in preparation for creating a Type III EPD. The meeting concluded with a research and learning session on PCRs, at which conference call participation was encouraged.
ASTM became a global program operator for PCR development and EPD verification in October 2012, according to Timothy Brooke, ASTM vice president for certification, training & proficiency testing.
Currently, ASTM is active in developing PCRs for six different industry sectors, though eventually it plans to develop PCRs for all of the more than 90 industry groups involved in ASTM, Brooke said.
"We're working with trade associations through their own internal processes," he said. Although the PCR development and EPD verification processes are lengthy and detailed, Brooke said he expected at least four industry PCRs would be developed and published by the end of 2013.
A draft version of the PCR for thermoplastic and thermoset single-ply roofing membranes is available on the ASTM website. Representatives of the Single-Ply Roofing Institute, which worked with ASTM in developing the PCR, could not be reached for comment.