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Vulcan Western mines premier Environmental Product Declaration for aggregates

32 EPD 300

The EPD is posted at www.vulcanmaterials.com under Construction Materials/Product Declaration. It was prepared California software specialist Climate Earth, which assisted Central Concrete Supply in publishing the first EPD for concrete in North America.

Vulcan Materials has published North America’s first self-declared Environmental Product Declaration for aggregates. The document provides data for four primarily concrete-grade fine and coarse aggregates, plus eight other grades best suited to base, drainage and asphalt from the producer’s Pleasanton, Calif., quarry.

The operation serves the San Francisco Bay Area market, where design professionals and facility owners seek supplier or manufacturer EPDs to satisfy new green building rating requirements or incentives, especially those in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 and American Institute of Architects’ Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products. With heavy certified project and building square footage contributions from the Bay Area, California ranks among USGBC’s Top 10 States for LEED 2015.

The Pleasanton EPD provides aggregates’ cradle-to-gate impacts using a 1 metric ton declared unit, and reflects a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) per International EPD System: Product Category Rule 2012:01 Construction products and Construction services, Version 2.0. Berkeley, Calif.-based Climate Earth Inc. conducted the LCA and developed the EPD for Vulcan Materials, which joins a client roster that includes two other California operators, Central Concrete Supply, San Jose and Angelus Block Co., Sun Valley.

An LCA system boundary for the Pleasanton operation captures principal cradle-to-gate life cycle product stages shown on the accompanying chart:

  • A1—Extraction and processing of raw materials as well as the fuels used in the production of aggregate and maintenance of plant equipment;
  • A2—Transportation of all input materials and fuels from the supplier to the gate of the sand & gravel plant;
  • A3—Manufacturing including mining, transportation, crushing, screening, grading, washing, blending and loading concrete aggregate as well as the transport and processing of wastes.

The study does not encompass a) production, manufacture, and construction of manufacturing capital goods and infrastructure; b) production and manufacture of production equipment, delivery vehicles, and laboratory equipment; c) personnel-related activities (travel, furniture, office supplies); d) fuel used to transport personnel around the mine and sand & gravel facility; and, e) energy and water use related to company management and sales activities.

32 Boundary 600

The Life Cycle Assessment anchoring the declaration charts cradle-to-gate stages: Product, Construction Process, Use and End of Life. The EPD presents the Product Stage within a “System Boundary,” where A1, A2 and A3 represent Raw Material Supply, Transport and Manufacturing at the Vulcan Pleasanton operation.