Data Specificity of Concrete Mixture Environmental Product Declarations

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The objective of this research is to determine the data specificity needed to develop concrete mixture environmental product declarations (EPDs) that estimate global warming potential (GWP) with appropriate precision and accuracy. Several agencies in the United States are integrating construction materials EPDs into Green Public Procurement processes. These agencies, however, are struggling to determine how to balance the need for product-specific EPDs with incorporation of upstream industry average data, causing decision-makers to question the appropriate level of specificity to represent a “supply chain specific” EPD. Higher levels of specificity increase the burden of life cycle information development and associated cost. Therefore, the question centers on what level of specificity is adequate that beyond which the increased cost of specificity does not further aid discernment. This study addresses these knowledge gaps by investigating the data specificity needed for each component of a concrete mixture EPD (incorporating data for life cycle stages A1 through A3) to reach an acceptable level of certainty regarding the product GWP presented in the EPD. Using this data, agencies can identify for themselves what level of uncertainty is acceptable for their needs and set procurement thresholds that consider a specific amount of known uncertainty.

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RILEM Bookseries