The NPCA Board of Directors, committees and professional staff often look ahead two, three, five or more years to determine what issues precasters will face and determine how NPCA can address them.
This is especially true when it comes to sustainability. Years ago, NPCA leadership and staff decided to pursue Environmental Product Declarations for precast products. An EPD is like a food label for building materials. It allows architects, engineers, building owners and other specifiers to better understand the environmental impacts of materials they are using. The request for EPDs allows them to document the environmental impact of the materials when applying for LEED or another green building status.
The sustainability committee and professional staff worked with NPCA members, as well as staff and members from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, to develop the EPDs. Committee members wanted precast producers and suppliers to be ready when the frequency of EPD requests increased, which they have in recent years.
In addition, EPDs have shown up for the first time in proposed legislation. In January 2017, California Assemblymembers proposed an act which would require state agencies and universities to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions of products purchased with state funds. Officials would then factor that information into their decision when selecting materials and suppliers. If the bill passes, a bidder would be required to submit an EPD for any product used in building and improvement projects.
The precast-specific EPDs are available to NPCA members and are valid until 2020. The NPCA Sustainability Committee will be looking for more data contributors for the next version of these EPDs. Having your name as a data contributor gives you an edge when using them, so please consider signing up.
For any questions about this or any other sustainability-related topics, contact Claude Goguen, P.E., LEED AP, director of sustainability and technical education for NPCA, at [email protected] or (317) 582-2328.