A new environmental product declaration (EPD) details the vinyl roofing industry’s footprint based on a lifecycle assessment (LCA) conforming with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14025, Environmental Labels and Declarations.
The EPD, produced by the Vinyl Roofing Division of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association (CFFA) and verified by ASTM International, was based on a cradle-to-building with end-of-life stage scenario, covering areas over which the roofing industry has direct control. In other words, impacts during the building use stage—such as maintenance, repair, replacement, and building operating energy—were not considered, as they would be particular only to specific buildings and owners and outside the scope of influence of the manufacturers.
The vinyl roofing EPD covers 40-, 48-, and 60-mil finished thicknesses of white, single-ply reinforced roofing membranes. Its development was the third phase of a Vinyl Roofing Division ‘transparency initiative’ that began in 2013 as the group’s collaboration with ASTM and the Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) to publish product category rules (PCR) for single-ply roofing membranes made of any thermoplastic or thermoset material. (The PCR creates a level playing field for generating comparable EPDs.)
“Today’s emphasis on green measurement systems and labels has led to a proliferation of unsubstantiated product marketing claims,” said Stanley Graveline, a member of both the division’s technical committee and ASTM committees on roofing/waterproofing and sustainability. “The availability of verified EPDs helps architects, roofing consultants, contractors, and owners accurately assess a product’s impact on the environment.”
Interest in creating EPDs has grown dramatically, especially given the latest version of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program awards new Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits for construction projects incorporating at least 20 building products with published declarations. Similarly, the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI’s) Green Globes program provides a prescriptive path that includes referring to industry-wide or product-specific EPDs in order to select products.
For more information, CFFA has produced a video.