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Next generation of environmental product declarations at Greenbuild 2011

EMERYVILLE, CALIF.—Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) announced new developments that support the call for greater environmental transparency in the green building sector.

First, SCS announced that it is certifying Type III Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to the new LEED Pilot Credit 43 as well as to the EPD requirements of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA).  Participating manufacturers will be identified during the next few months as projects are completed.

Second, SCS is offering the next generation of EPDs — comparative EPDs — that ensure even greater transparency, both in breadth and depth. Comparative EPDs are based on the advanced life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) protocols and product category rules (PCRs) currently being standardized under the open, multi-stakeholder American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process. These advances augment international life cycle assessment standards (ISO 14044), and are designed to ensure that all relevant environmental issues are addressed, that time and resources are not wasted chasing phantom impacts or excessive data, and that analyses can be conducted cost-effectively.

Finally, SCS introduced the Environmental Building Declaration (EBD), an interactive data integration platform designed to enable building owners, occupants and professionals to track environmental and human health impacts at each stage of the building’s life, select building materials and assemblies with the lowest impacts, and model different scenarios to optimize impact reduction.

“We are committed to bringing real transparency to LEED, to support the green building industry’s efforts to measure sustainability,” said Stan Rhodes, SCS president.  “Environmental Declarations are only as good as the LCAs they are based upon.  Green building professionals should beware of incomplete EPDs and LCAs that fail to examine all of the relevant impact categories, which can put their brands at risk.”