In UK Construction the term (EPD) is now short-hand for output compliant with EN 15804, the European standard which has been written to provide the rules for company and industry claims on environments credentials.
The driver for EN 15804 was the need for true comparison between manufacturers of the same product, but also between very different products. The need to compare apples with apples. To achieve this is a huge task and hence under EN 15804 are Product Category Rules (PCRs) which provide a further level of detail.
EPD’s can cover the whole life cycle of project: cradle to grave. In EN 15804 this is module A to C (and these have sub sets). When comparing EPD’s designers must ensure they use EPDs that cover the same modules.
It is important that whole building whole life performance is considered. Masonry construction contributes to reduced environmental impacts through inherent resilient benefits and thermal mass. It has a longevity of performance that far exceeds competing materials. It is critical that these factors are taken into account alongside using the data in EPDs, or else wrong conclusions may be drawn.
For more information on EPDs click here.