Aaron Smith highlights the importance of transparency with EPDs, LCAs, HPDs during AAMA Fall Conference

The age of transparency is here, and it’s a major focus of green building standards and codes, said Aaron Smith, director of sustainable building solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions.

Smith, LEED(R) AP BD+C, gave a presentation called “Opening the Door to Transparency - LEED v4, EPDs and HPDs" at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2015 Fall Conference.Product transparency has become the new standard for green building rating systems, according to Smith.Customers want to know how a product is made, where it is made and what is in it. LEED is promoting this in the marketplace through Environmental and Health Product Declarations.

“Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs, are being codified in many places, like California, Europe and more,” said Smith.

He compared an EPD to any label one might find on a food product at the grocery store. Not only can EPDs contribute to a positive environmental impact, but there is incentive for manufacturers to participate. New credits reward openness about a product's ingredients and environmental footprint, Smith stated.

Smith broke down the life cycle assessment (LCA) of a product, which “identifies the environmental impacts of a product, process or activity over its lifespan.”

The life cycle of a product from cradle to grave includes five stages:

* extraction and processing of raw materials

* manufacturing

* transportation and distribution

* use, reuse and maintenance

* recycling and final disposal

Alternately, a Health Product Declaration (HPD) is a specific format for a manufacturer inventory, Smith explained. To count toward LEED, an HPD must include “full disclosure of known hazards” including any residuals down to 0.1 percent or 1000 parts per million (ppm). HPDs present building product ingredients in a format that is consistent, transparent and in a standard format, said Smith.

“Not long ago, there was little expectation that we’d know what products are made of,” said Smith. “That information was for the manufacturer alone, and any risks were addressed by government regulations. Not anymore. Now, we can ask to see what’s inside, and we’re all safer for it.”

* About the speaker *

Smith is the director of sustainable building solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. He is responsible for embedding sustainability into every facet of the innovative culture at ASSA ABLOY. He also researches and addresses trends and opportunities around sustainability, and leads the company’s vision for delivering sustainable product innovation, sustainable operations and supply chain management, and operational excellence to drive sustainable leadership for the ASSA ABLOY Group.

Smith also oversees his company's Environmental and Health Product Declaration program, driving life cycle assessment and product transparency across the organization.

* About AAMA *

More information about AAMA and its activities can be found via the AAMA Media Relations page or on the AAMA website, http://www.aamanet.org.

AAMA is the source of performance standards, product certification and educational programs for the fenestration industry.(SM)

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