This important step provides architects with a new tool for making educated and accurate product-specification decisions.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the most rigorous and complete method for assessing the environmental footprint of a product or service in a fully transparent way. Vetrotech’s LCA examines the total environmental footprint of its Keralite product line from cradle to grave—raw material extraction to end of life. The results of the LCA are validated by an independent third party and disclosed in the EPD. UL Environment is the program operator, and the EPD has recently been published on UL Environment’s Sustainable Product Guide.
“It’s important to Vetrotech to be transparent about the impacts of its products,” said Tad Radzinski, president of Sustainable Solutions Corporation, which developed the LCA and EPD. “LCA is also a useful tool for their product development process. Once you fully understand environmental impacts through LCA, it allows you to make changes in your product development process to reduce impacts and make the process more sustainable.” Architects specifying fire-rated glass can use the EPD to help make more informed choices about which products have the least impact in areas such as global warming potential and embodied energy. Additionally, credits are available under LEED v4 for using products with third-party-verified transparency, and the Keralite EPD will satisfy these requirements.
“At Vetrotech, we have embraced sustainability in our strategy, taking a life cycle approach to our products, to minimize their environmental impacts and eco-innovate for new glazing generations,” said Kevin Norcross, general manager of Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America. Furthering its mission to better understand and improve their products, Saint-Gobain companies like Vetrotech are utilizing LCAs and EPDs to measure their impacts and monitor progress. The holistic view of these products facilitated by LCA empowers Vetrotech to implement product stewardship in a meaningful way, and in doing so, foster a more sustainable business model.
The recently published EPD may be downloaded from the Vetrotech website at this url: bit.ly/keralite-glass-ceramic-epd