VaproShield’s Self-Adhered System Obtains a Declare Label

VaproShield announces the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System has completed the process of obtaining a Declare label. The Declare program was launched in 2014 by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founder of the Living Building Challenge, to promote greater transparency in the building products industry. Referred to as a “nutrition label” for building products, Declare labels list all of the materials found in a given product, as well as its assembly site, life expectancy, and other key details to facilitate informed decisions toward positive human and environmental health. The Declare program aims to give people and businesses greater power when deciding what products to surround themselves with in their home or office.

“While VaproShield products undergo numerous internal and external audits to ensure overall healthfulness and sustainability, finally the Declare label makes it easy to present this information in a tangible way,” says Phil Johnson, managing partner. “We are excited to give our business partners the power to know exactly what goes into the product that is held within the walls of their structure.”

WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System is the first water-resistive barrier (WRB)/air barrier self-adhered sheet good membrane system to earn a Declare label placing the system at the forefront of the transparency movement. In order to qualify for a Declare label, a building product must either be free of, or declare any harmful Red List chemicals, and meet all Appropriate Sourcing Imperatives as determined by the ILFI. WrapShield SA Self-Adhered required no changes to its formulation or material components, because it was designed to be free of harmful ingredients.

“We are excited to participate in such an innovative program,” says Johnson. “It embodies our own sustainability philosophy in that [VaproShield] believes sustainability is as much about creating positive environmental impacts as it is about reducing negative ones.”

Domestically produced in the Midwest, the WrapShield SA Self-Adhered System creates a breathable, energy-efficient, continuous air barrier system that helps prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the building envelope. This can reduce instances of mold, mildew and rot, while helping maintain better indoor air quality and a more enduring building structure. An entirely self-adhering product, WrapShield SA Self-Adhered allows for quick installation that never requires the use of chemical primers.

Green-building Consortium Addresses Product Transparency, LCAs, EPDs and Effective PCRs

A first-of-its-kind consortium in the green-building industry convened 15 manufacturers and industry representatives from around the world to hear their needs for enhancing product transparency and stewardship through effective product category rules (PCRs), life cycle assessment reports (LCAs), environmental product declarations (EPDs), and next-generation product transparency solutions, including Sustainable Minds Transparency Reports.

The manufacturer’s roundtable was held in conjunction with an ASTM International conference attended by top technical experts in sustainability, building performance and several other industries.

“What we heard today was that as the demand for environmental stewardship across the green building industry increases, the need for consistent, standardized and scalable solutions grows in tandem,” says Tim Brooke, vice president, ASTM International. “That’s exactly what our four organizations are aiming to address as we communicate and deliver the value of voluntary product stewardship.”

In addition to ASTM, the Program Operator Consortium includes NSF International, ICC Evaluation Service and Sustainable Minds. The group launched in 2015 to serve as an expert resource and advocate for creating PCRs, for reviewing LCAs, and for verifying and publishing environmental declarations.

During the roundtable, the consortium announced that its four members have aligned how they develop PCRs and declarations, giving greater flexibility and visibility for manufacturers and decision-makers who are tasked with finding, comparing, and selecting products for projects.

Reduce Cost of Managing Subcontractor Reports While Increasing Transparency

NoteVault's program, One Team. One Report., enables construction companies to invite subcontractors to contribute project documentation to any project within their account at no cost to either the contractor or the subcontractor.

NoteVault’s program, One Team. One Report., enables construction companies to invite subcontractors to contribute project documentation to any project within their account at no cost to either the contractor or the subcontractor.

NoteVault, a provider of mobile reporting solutions, launched a program designed to increase transparency, while reducing administration costs of managing subcontractor reports on large, complicated building or engineering projects. The program One Team. One Report. enables construction companies to invite subcontractors to contribute project documentation to any project within their account at no cost to either the contractor or the subcontractor.

The One Team. One Report. program enables subcontractors to post notes, photos and labor to any project at no cost, no matter how many subcontractor companies are working on the project. Each subcontractor is allocated an individual NoteVault account. NoteVault links the subcontractor project to the construction company project report. This results in a professional daily report, including all subcontractor notes collated for easy reference, delivered every day or on demand. Plus, subcontractors receive their own reports for their work.

A NoteVault Account includes:

  • NoteVault Daily Reporting Platform.
  • Notes! app for Android or iOS.
  • Activities Labor, Materials and Equipment app for Android or iOS.
  • Immediate notification of incidents/accidents through keyword notification.
  • Collaboration with colleagues using the comment feature.
  • Professional­­ human transcription (available for an additional charge).

EPDs Provide a New Level of Environmental Transparency to Building Products

The sustainability movement has impacted the building industry in many ways. Today’s architects, owners and occupants have much greater expectations for the environmental performance of the buildings they design, operate and dwell in. Part of this expectation is focused on the components that make up the building. For example, did the wood come from responsibly harvested forests? Is the metal made of recycled material? Do the paint and interior finishes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

An Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is developed by applying a Product Category Rule, or PCR. PCRs are developed, maintained and warehoused by program operators. Examples of program operators include ASTM, CSA, ICC-ES, Environdec and UL Environment. Program operators also verify that an EPD and its associated life-cycle assessment conform with ISO 14025 and the ISO 14040 series. PCR development is commonly a collaborative effort between industry associations, manufacturers, and/or others.

An EPD is developed by applying a Product Category Rule. PCRs are developed, maintained and warehoused by program operators. Examples of program operators include ASTM, CSA, ICC-ES, Environdec and UL Environment. Program operators also verify that an EPD and its associated life-cycle assessment conform with ISO 14025 and the ISO 14040 series. PCR development is commonly a collaborative effort between industry associations, manufacturers, and/or others. IMAGE: Quantis US

Information technology has encouraged and facilitated this increased demand for in-depth data about building components and systems. People have become accustomed to being able to gather exhaustive information about the products they buy through extensive labeling or online research.

In response to the growing demand for environmental product information, building component manufacturers have begun rolling out environmental product declarations, or EPDs.

It’s a term now commonly heard, but what are they? EPDs are often spoken in the same breath as things like LCA (life-cycle assessment), PCRs (product category rules) and many other TLAs (three-letter acronyms). The fact is they are all related and are part of an ongoing effort to provide as much transparency as possible about what goes into the products that go in and on a building.

“An EPD is a specific document that informs the reader about the environmental performance of a product,” explains Sarah Mandlebaum, life-cycle analyst with Quantis US, the Boston-based branch of the global sustainability consulting firm Quantis. “It balances the need for credible and thorough information with the need to make such information reasonably understandable. The information provided in the document is based on a life-cycle assessment, or LCA, of the product, which documents the environmental impacts of that product from ‘cradle to grave.’ This includes impacts from material production, manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal of the product. An EPD is simply a standardized way of communicating the outcomes of such an assessment.”

The concept of product LCAs has been around for some time and has often been looked at as a way of determining the sustainability of a particular product by establishing the full scope of its environmental footprint. The basic idea is to closely catalog everything that goes into a product throughout its entire life. That means the energy, raw materials, and emissions associated with sourcing its materials, manufacturing it, transporting it, installing it and, ultimately, removing and disposing of it. In the end, an LCA results in a dizzying amount of data that can be difficult to translate or put in any context. EPDs are one way to help provide context and help put LCA data to use.

“The summary of environmental impact data in the form of an EPD can be analogous to a nutrition label on food,” says Scott Kriner, LEED AP, technical director of the Metal Construction Association (MCA), Chicago. “There is plenty of information on the label, but the information itself is meaningless unless one is focused on one area. An LCA determines the water, energy and waste involved in the extraction of raw materials, the manufacturing process, the transportation to a job site and the reclamation of waste at the end of the useful life of a product. With that data in hand, the various environmental impact categories can be determined and an EPD can be developed to summarize the environmental impact information.”

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