Select which product option(s) to pursue. Early product research can help the project team capitalize on opportunities for products contributing to multiple credits and options. Individual products may contribute under either Option 1 or Option 2 but not be counted toward both.
The required scope of this guideline is for permanently installed building products, excluding mechanical, plumbing, electrical (MEP), and specialty equipment and items purchased for temporary use on the project. Furniture is not considered permanently installed and is not required to be included in the submission.
Option 1 is for projects with permanently installed products that have a product-specific declaration adhering to third-party certification programs to ensure that they conform to ISO 14044, which defines how LCAs are critically reviewed.
Option 2 is for projects with products with either product-specific or Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or industry-wide EPDs. Products must be sourced from multiple manufacturers, as indicated in the Required Performance Criteria. Various thresholds are available to accommodate stages of EPD development in different industries.
The table below compares different EPD formats to product-specific declarations:
|Data are critically reviewed
|Data are specific to product
|Data are reported according to product category rules (PCR)
Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction. Washington, DC: US Green Building Council, 2013. Print.
Suggested Implementation in the Design Process:
In Predesign and early design, refer to Additional Resources section below for information on product-specific declarations, EPDs, and how to obtain them.
Use the databases listed in Tools & Resources to search for common building product categories with disclosed EPDs. Material categories that are likely to have EPDs are wood products and interior finishes.
If, at this stage, a particular manufacturer and/or product is intended as a partner, contact manufacturer and learn about their current product life-cycle assessments. Refer to Tools and Resources section of M.1B for information on how to create a product-specific declaration or an Environmental Product Declaration.
Establish an initial list of products or building materials for the project. Review and update this list at each stage of the project. This will be useful for the Design phase in order to research compliant products. Also track whether the products or product categories identified are anticipated to meet option 1 (product-specific declaration) or option 2 (EPD).
Through the design process, refine selection of products and/or materials and establish a list of potential manufacturers. Review online resources for available product-specific declarations or EPDs that match the specified products or building materials for the project. Contact manufacturers and inquire about their current product life-cycle assessments. If needed, provide information on how to create a product-specific declaration and/or an EPD. Create specifications ensuring that this guideline can be met. Some additional information on specifying compliant products can be found under Additional Resources below.
Begin collecting documentation on compliant products by compiling product-specific declarations and/or EPDs and upload to the B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool. Declarations are typically in the form of a PDF document. If a product-specific declaration or EPD is in the process of being created for a particular product or building material, a PCR may be submitted in the Design phase and replaced by the completed documentation at the Final Design phase in the B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool.
In the construction documents phase of the project, establish final selection of compliant products and/or materials, ensuring that at least five meet the criteria here. It is recommended that the design team have researched and specified more than five products anticipating that some may not be eventually installed in the product due to requested changes or product availability. In the Tracking Tool submit at least five final product-specific declarations or EPDs. If necessary, make appropriate updates to products where only a PCR was submitted in the previous phase. Keep all documentation pertaining to specified products or materials.
During construction check in periodically with team members (contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers) to verify progress toward guideline achievement and address any gaps in credit compliance.
Continually track substitutions and change orders to ensure replacement products comply with the guidelines. Any product and/or building material substitutions or submittals should be carefully reviewed by the design team for compliance with the guidelines. Compile documentation to verify environmental claims for each product. Retain product data for all materials that contribute to guideline compliance.
Documentation of Product-Specific Declarations:
Declarations based on a life-cycle assessment of a product but not constituting a full EPD: To document this claim, the project team must provide the following information:
- Name (declaration holder or producer, typically the manufacturer)
- Contact information
- Product type
- Product name
- Product description
- Summary of impact categories measured and overall values
- Functional unit
- Standards met
- Independent review body name, including a review statement.
Documentation of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
Documentation of an EPD (this includes Industry-wide or “generic” declarations, and product-specific Type III declarations). The project team must provide the following:
- Declaration holder (the company, usually the manufacturer, that the EPD is attributed to).
- EPD program operator (the entity that creates and registers the EPD).
- LCA verifier (the third-party entity that verifies the life cycle assessment).
- PCR reviewer (the third-party entity that has reviewed the product category rules).
- During the selection of products with EPDs, identify two items about the document: the type of EPD, and the summary that will be uploaded for guideline compliance.
Note that similar products from the same manufacturer can be counted as separate products if they have distinct formulations, but not if they are just aesthetic variations or reconfigurations. For example: Paints of different gloss levels are separate products, but different colors of the same paint, or different colorways of the same carpet, are not. During collection of EPDs ensure that EPD documentation includes a summary sheet of measured impacts.