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Angelus Block publishes first Environmental Product Declaration for domestically molded units

Sources: Angelus Block Co., Sun Valley, Calif.; CP staff

Prepared with an eye toward new green building rating system requirements, the Angelus Block Environmental Product Declaration spans a substantial set of 69 individual mix designs for products from each seven southern California concrete masonry operations, serving Central Coast to San Diego markets.

“We were looking to provide more than a single-product report [and] knew we needed to cover multiple materials, unit sizes and configurations to have our core products fully represented,” says Angelus Block President Edward Antonini. “Our market includes many high-profile design firms dedicated to green leadership, so we felt the standard should be higher and greater detail would be appropriate."

Angelus Block is the first U.S. concrete masonry producer to publish an EPD, which is prepared according to International Organisation for Standardization guidelines and communicates products’ environmental impacts in a scientifically recognized and compact format. EPDs are currently receiving significant attention as an important first step to achieving product transparency “labels” akin to the nutrition information found on food products.

Sustainable design, as a movement—and in some cases a mandate—to construct buildings that minimize impacts to environmental and human health, continues to grow and evolve. EPD and life cycle assessments have contributing roles in green rating systems such as LEED, Green Globes, and The Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and by state and local codes such as California’s CALGreen. The U.S. Green Building Council’s just-released LEED v4, Angelus Block notes, is already moving the needle with several new credit requirements tied to EPD; new credit provisions introduce several options and reporting requirements for demonstrating transparency in materials.

“A design firm’s skill in creating buildings, and harnessing all the tools available to deliver green value for its clients, ultimately gets translated into physical materials,” says Rick Martin, director of sustainability, Perkowitz+Ruth Architects. “Angelus Block represents an essential building product, and we appreciate them taking a lead role in the new material disclosure paths. We design with masonry on many projects, so it’s great to know producers like Angelus are already supporting some of the new requirements.”

The Angelus Block EPD developer is Berkeley, Calif.-based Climate Earth, a sustainability-minded information technology services provider. Climate Earth served in the same capacity for Central Concrete Supply, San Jose, which in April issued the first EPD covering any North American concrete mix or product.

Angelus Block’s EPD is available for download here. The initial release is an internally verified report. A Type III, third-party verified report is planned and pending the adoption of a concrete masonry unit-specific Product Category Rule currently in development. A PCR provides instructions for data and reporting in the creation of an EPD.