Experts spoke about life-cycle assessments and the intricacies that go into them at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 78th Annual Conference held Feb. 15-18 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Those at the conference also heard updates during the Regulatory Affairs Committee, including developments with ENERGY STAR and California building codes.
Life Cycle Assessments Addressed
Vik Ahuja, LEED AP and sales executive for the building and construction sector at PE International, and Kerry Haglund, executive director of the Efficient Windows Collaborative, gave those at the annual conference a refresher on life-cycle assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The participants were provided with an update on the Windows Product Category Rules (PCR), which has now been split into two documents for use in business-to-business and business-to-consumer LCA and EPD development.
Additionally, participants were guided through the creation of both LCAs and EPDs and provided with information on obtaining critical data needed to complete this process.
“The players involved in developing an Environmental Product Declaration are the Product Category Rules program operator, an LCA consultant and an EPD program operator,” says Ahuja.
Ahuja also described the current demand for EPDs, driven by, among other factors, the global construction market. Global construction is expected to grow by almost 70 percent by 2020, he says. Other factors include established and emerging Global Green Building Councils, LEED v4, building owners and more.
Maureen Knight Provides Update on Regulatory Affairs Committee
AAMA’s government affairs/product stewardship manager, Maureen Knight, gave attendees an update during the Regulatory Affairs Committee meeting on industry developments, including ENERGY STAR and ongoing revisions to jurisdictional California building codes. She reviewed the ENERGY STAR specification process and discussed opportunities to make this process clearer and more predictable. During a December 2014 meeting, stakeholders including AAMA, encouraged the EPA to collaborate with other federal agencies to address and replace the multitude of underperforming and inefficient single-pane windows that remain in use in homes across the country.
In terms of the California codes, she spoke about individual county building codes being amended to address Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Knight stressed that familiarity with these varying amendments is crucial when selling into these markets.
Knight added that in California, the Air Resources Board (ARB) has placed updates to the formaldehyde emissions measure on hold pending the release of EPA guidance on a national formaldehyde emissions rule. In 2014, Prop 65 identified 12 chemicals, substances and mixtures that may be disclosed in future warnings. Final revisions to Prop 65 are expected in early summer 2015, says Knight.