The Gypsum Association (GA), which represents the North American manufacturers of gypsum wallboard, has released an industry-wide environmental product declaration (EPD) for glass mat gypsum panels. The EPD provides vital environmental performance information addressing energy consumption, water consumption, global warming, waste, air emissions and other metrics related to production.
The international standards organization, ASTM, served as program operator for both the EPD and the product category rules (PCR) on which it is based. "ASTM International is excited to work with the Gypsum Association and its member companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability," said Timothy S. Brooke, vice president, laboratory services.
Glass mat gypsum panels are specialized performance products consisting of a noncombustible moisture resistant core encased in fiberglass facers on front and back surfaces and long edges. Also known as "exterior gypsum sheathing," this product provides extended weather protection, mold and moisture resistance, and fire resistance when specified as a component of a building's exterior envelope. Glass mat gypsum panels are compatible with a wide variety of exterior claddings including wood, masonry, metal, vinyl and stucco. Already, a standard product in commercial construction, glass mat panels are increasingly used in the rapidly expanding multifamily residential sector.
Stephen Meima, APR, LEED Green Assoc., executive director of the Gypsum Association, noted, "The development and release of this ISO 14025 conformance, Type III, cradle-to-shipping gate EPD, demonstrates that our member companies are committed to transparency as a means of improving the environment and increasing the sustainability of building products."
The GA commissioned the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (ASMI) to perform the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) that informs the EPD and to produce the EPD Project Report. Noting the GA's long standing engagement in environmental reporting, which includes LCA work on regular gypsum wallboard, an EPD for 5/8-inch type X gypsum wallboard, as well as the new EPD for glass mat gypsum panels, ASMI's Research Principle Jamie Meil said, "The Association's member companies keep stepping up to push environmental labeling and product transparency reporting. Gypsum based product use is so ubiquitous in today's buildings we expect that these EPDs will be constantly cited and used to support EPD credits available in green building rating systems."
The full suite of GA Life-Cycle Assessment Tools, including the latest EPD and LCA Report, are available for free download at www.gypsum.org.