Database Helps with Environmental Product Declarations

CHICAGO — A new online database is offering a single source for environmental product declarations (EPDs) that will help green builders assess the potential environmental impact of a product.

The EPD Registry contains data about the environmental impact for products from U.S. and international manufacturers. A growing desire for product transparency helped lead to the creation of the EPD Registry, which simplifies the search process while providing manufacturers with a central repository in which they can list their EPDs. The registry is published by Eco Health Data based in Chicago, a global database of EPDs. The registry is free and is searchable by manufacturer name, product name and product category.

“Until now, there has been no central repository of EPDs. The EPD Registry fills this important information gap in the market,” said Eda Clausen, principal at Eco Health Data, in a statement. “Searchable by product name, manufacturer or MasterFormat Number, The EPD Registry eases the EPD search process for design and construction professionals while providing manufacturers with a central database in which to list building products that feature an accompanying EPD.”

The database can be a helpful tool for those seeking building products that can contribute to LEED certification and other green building programs such as Green Globes. U.S. residential and commercial buildings are responsible for 41 percent of all energy consumption and 72 percent of electricity usage, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Similar to how nutrition labels summarize the nutritional value of a product, an EPD summarizes the environmental impact of a product such as its potential contribution to global warming, smog or acidification. This type of data is increasingly beneficial to architects, green building professionals, federal agencies and others who specify or purchase products based on environmental attributes.

“The Materials and Resources category of LEED v4 further supports the evolution of the market with a series of requirements written with a clear direction in intended outcomes while recognizing the challenge ahead for LEED project teams and building product manufacturers,” the USGBC has said in its support for more product transparency.

There is no fee to search The EPD Registry, however, Eco Health Data charges manufacturers an annual fee to list their products, which will run on the database with company contact information, a product description, a product image and links to sustainability documentation.

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