For nearly 20 years, the U.S. design and construction community has largely focused on single-dimension green attributes of building materials. Most practitioners, with hurried schedules and product specifications up to their eyeballs, look for two primary green features—recycled content and low-emitting materials. However, that is now changing.
In the November 2015 issue of The Construction Specifier, this author examined the basics surrounding building material disclosure and environmental product declarations (EPDs). In this followup article, he looks at how the information will be used in lifecycle databases, whole-building analyses, product manufacturer improvement, green project rating systems, and building codes.
Buildings designed with energy efficiency in mind are becoming the norm. In fact, according to a 2013 McGraw-Hill study, “firms are shifting their business toward green building, with 51 percent of respondents planning more than 60 percent of their work to be green by 2015.”
The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) has published product category rules (PCRs) for locks, latches, exit devices, door closers, and hinges. This sets the framework for manufacturers to develop environmental product declarations (EPDs), ultimately increasing transparency and helping design professionals compare components.
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