05 August 2019
Blog

How can Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) improve my BREEAM or LEED rating?

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are an important validation tool, both for manufacturers to provide transparent data about the environmental impact of their products, and for specifiers and contractors to make informed choices when considering the objectives of their project or improving the building certification rating of the asset. 

Part L certificate Tata Steel construction

 

Generally speaking, there are two main types of EPDs to be aware of. The first provide average data for a general product category, with information taken from a group of different manufacturers. The second are product specific EPDs, which, as the name suggests, are individual to a particular manufacturer’s product. 

Each of these EPD’s could be ‘internally reviewed’ or ‘externally verified’.  To contribute to points and increase the rating within building certification schemes such as BREEAM, EPDs should be externally verified to the standards EN 15804. This means that an independent, qualified party reviews the EPD and confirms its validity which is then certified as externally verified. Some environmental declarations are produced that don’t undertake that 3rd party verification. 

Tata Steel are unique, as a manufacturer, in operating an EPD programme in accordance with ISO standards.  Tata Steel’s EPDs are of the type that help accrue a greater number of building certification points as they are 3rd party externally verified (Type III) EPD’s and are product specific. See the table below for a summary of EPD points under BREEAM..

Example Scheme EPD Type Requirement  Points available
BREEAM More than one product
(from one product group)
and more than one manufacturer
ISO 14025
Operator issued EPD’s
0.5
  More than one product
(from one product group)
and one manufacturer
EPD generated with
product category rules
based on EN 15805
or ISO 21930
0.75
  Single product and
single manufacturer
(potentially manufactured
in more than one location)
EPD generated with
product category rules
based on EN 15805
or ISO 21930
1.5
LEED Publicly available, critically reviewed LCA ISO 14044 at least
cradle to gate
Valued as 1 whole product
  Product Specific Type III internally reviewed ISO 14071, 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 Valued as 1 whole product
  Industry wide Type III (manufacturer named) ISO 14025, 14040, 14044 Valued as 1 whole product
  Product Specific Type III & externally verified ISO 14025 and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 Valued as 1.5 w