Washington, D.C. — The Steel Recycling Institute released the first industry-wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for Cold-Formed Steel Studs and Track manufactured in the United States and Canada. The EPD quantifies the “cradle-to-gate” life cycle environmental impacts of these products, and can be used by architects and engineers to document these impacts. The EPD, based on a peer-reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA), can also help designers achieve the credits required for building certification within LEED and other green building rating programs.
This is the first industry-wide assessment of the life cycle environmental impacts of these commercial building products in North America. Roll-formed from galvanized steel sheet into a variety of shapes, cold-formed steel studs and track are being used as the primary structural system for buildings up to nine stories in height and have been used for curtain walls and interior partitions for decades.
“Environmental impacts of materials are critical decision factors for architects, engineers and builders,” said Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of SMDI. “With the construction industry moving to comprehensive assessments of a product’s entire life cycle, it’s important this EPD is now being added to the resources we and our partners have developed for our customers in the construction industry.”
While a core component of steel’s sustainability is its continuous recyclability; environmental implications of steel reuse, recovery and recycling are reported in a separate module in the EPD to give users the ability to factor in their own end-of-life assumptions.
This process began with development of the “North American Product Category Rule (PCR) for Designated Steel Construction Products” published in May 2015, which covers fabricated structural steel, coldformed steel sections and concrete reinforcing steel used and/or sold in North America. In addition to SMDI members, PCR development stakeholders included the American Institute for Steel Construction, the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, the Metal Building Manufacturers Association and the Steel Framing Alliance. It is based on the EN 15804 European standard for construction products and conforms to ISO 21930:2007 – “Sustainability in building construction – Environmental declaration of building products.”
The EPD is available for download at www.recycle-steel.org.