Wood council releases seven updated EPDs

June 15, 2020

The American Wood Council (AWC) has released seven updated environmental product declarations (EPDs) for wood products. Photo courtesy AWC[1]
The American Wood Council (AWC) has released seven updated environmental product declarations (EPDs) for wood products.
Photo courtesy AWC

The American Wood Council[2] (AWC) has released seven updated cradle-to-gate, industry-wide environmental product declarations (EPDs) for wood products.

These third-party verified updates replace the 2013 editions previously available for use in determining the environmental footprint of the industry’s principal products, as well as with green building rating systems and sustainable construction standards.

Six of the EPDs were developed jointly by AWC and the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and cover lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, laminated veneer lumber, I-joists, and glue-laminated (glulam) timber. The redwood lumber EPD was developed by AWC and replaces the previous cradle-to-grave EPD for redwood decking.

“Whether you are a developer, builder, designer, or consumer, you want to know about the environmental impacts of products you specify and use. EPDs are standardized tools that provide valuable information based on life-cycle inventory data,” said Kenneth Bland, AWC vice-president of codes and regulations. “Each EPD also includes an example calculation for determining the long-term carbon sequestration of atmospheric [carbon dioxide] CO2 after considering biogenic carbon emissions during manufacture for the product. This calculation is particularly useful for identifying the long-term benefit of using wood products, which convert atmospheric carbon dioxide, a significant greenhouse gas [GHG], to stored carbon.”

Underwriters Laboratories Environment (ULE) again served as the program operator for the wood products industry EPDs, requiring rigorous compliance with its Part A: Life Cycle Assessment Calculation Rules and Report Requirements. With support from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the EPDs were developed from third-party verified life-cycle assessment reports prepared by Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials, Athena SMI, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab.

The new EPDs can be downloaded from “UL SPOT[3]” by searching “American Wood Council,” or from the AWC website[4]. The updated EPDs are based on the 2019 Product Category Rule (PCR) ULE Part B: Structural and Architectural Wood Products EPD Requirements, which was developed in accordance with international standards ISO 21930, Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works — Core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and services, and EN 15804, Sustainability of construction works, Environmental product declarations, Core rules for the product category of construction products.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: https://www.constructionspecifier.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Opener-13.jpg
  2. American Wood Council: http://www.awc.org/
  3. UL SPOT: https://spot.ul.com/
  4. AWC website: https://www.awc.org/sustainability/epd

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