California now requesting Environmental Product Declarations for flat glass
By Patrick Flannery
The California Department of General Services announced California will be requesting Environmental Product Declarations from contractors on public works products starting Jan. 1 of this year. Flat glass is one of the building materials listed as a product eligible for an EPD. EPDs are third-party-verified documents quantifying the environmental impact of a product’s materials and manufacturing process, including raw material extraction, energy use, chemical emissions and waste. The announcement constitutes the first inclusion of EPDs in official state procurement policy in North America, and will likely be watched closely by environmental regulators in other jurisdictions, including Canada.
The long-term goal is to use EPDs to generate a metric called Global Warming Potential for each construction material used on a project. Products exceeding allowable GWP will be disallowed.
The DSG announcment includes a schedule for implementation of these rules:
Jan. 2020 – EPDs required for California public works bids
Jan. 2021 – DGS to publish maximum allowable GWP for eligible materials
July 2021 – EPDs required and used to gauge GWP compliance of eligible materials
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance is working to develop a common industry EPD for flat glass. Fabricators participating in the process could be spared the need to develop EPDs for their individual products.