EPDs in the Spotlight

Environmental Product Declarations have never been in such high demand. If you have them for your products or specify products with them, we want to highlight them in our upcoming annual Eco Leaders issue!

The conversation is decidedly shifting in the building industry from net zero energy, which measures the operational emissions from a home or building, to net zero carbon, which is a much more robust assessment of embodied carbon, including raw material procurement, product manufacturing, transportation, installation, operations, and end-of-life considerations.  

This transformation is being driven by a combination of ratcheted codes and regulations, investor requirements, and shifting market dynamics.  

Builders are actively exploring net zero-carbon strategies as a key factor of differentiation in response to surging consumer demand for net-zero-carbon homes.  They report a growing willingness by their buyers to invest in sustainability upgrades that will increase the carbon neutrality of their homes—especially when those upgrades will lower the total cost of homeownership over time, increase resale value, and enhance occupant health and comfort. 

According to COGNITION Smart Data, 70% of early adopter consumers report that living in a net zero-carbon home is important.

How important is living in a net zero carbon home to you

Getting to Zero Carbon

To get to a net zero carbon built environment, a thoughtful strategy must be deployed that blends meticulous product specification, sustainable design, building science best practices, advanced construction processes, and carbon offsets purchases.

Specifying low-carbon products is the most challenging part of the process, given that there are around 20,000 product inputs and 450 SKUs in a typical American home and a small pool of available low-carbon products to choose from.

Screenshot 2023-09-25 at 18-04-17 lp-flameblock-fire-rated-sheathing-catalog

LP Building Solutions has a substantial “carbon negative” portfolio.

That’s where Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs, come in. An EPD is a standardized document that communicates the environmental performance and human health impact of a product over its lifetime. 

EPDs are based on a product’s life-cycle assessment, or LCA, which measures potential environmental impact, from natural resource acquisition, to production and use stage, and ultimately to end-of-life disposal or recycling.

Another key component of EPDs are product category rules, or PCRs, which outline how data is collected for a specific type of product. As a result of having product category rules, EPDs enable a standard of comparison between different products in the same category, taking into account the most significant environmental aspects of a product and showing objective and verifiable information about the environmental impact.

Calling All EPDs!

Given the importance of utilizing low-carbon products to achieve net zero-carbon homes, Green Builder Media is focusing our annual July/August Eco Leaders issue of Green Builder magazine on EPDs.

Our goal is to create a guide that building professionals can use with standout low-carbon products that will help them achieve their sustainability project goals.

Here are three areas where you can help: 

  • If you are a manufacturer with products that have EPDs, we encourage you to submit your information for consideration for editorial coverage in our Eco Leaders issue.
  • If you’re a building professional, please fill out this survey and let us know what you think about EPDs and whether or not you look for them when specifying products.
  • If you know of a specific standout product with an EPD, shoot me an email at sara.gutterman@greenbuildermedia.com with information about the product and a testimonial about why you think it is special (even better, send a short video of yourself with this testimonial, and we’ll post it on our social channels!)  We’d love to include you in the Eco Leaders editorial!

Not only do we want to learn about products with EPDs, but we also want to understand:

  • What motivates companies to obtain EPDs for their products.
  • Which key environmental impacts EPDs are addressing.
  • What kind of innovations have been implemented as a result of the EPD process.
  • How companies are communicating about their EPDs.
  • What motivates building professionals to specify products with EPDs.
  • Which categories have the most and least amount of EPDs.
  • When EPDs are specified in the product selection process.

Please click on one of the above links to help us get answers to these important questions—we look forward to hearing from you!