Sustainability in Construction – What is an EPD?
Sustainability is a key focus for many sectors and the construction industry is no exception.
As legislation around sustainability in business begins to change, companies have a duty to adapt to ensure they’re fulfilling and exceeding their green responsibilities.
Here at Intelligent Membranes, those responsibilities are taken seriously, and all of our products have an EPD or an Environmental Product Declaration. But what is an EPD and how does it contribute to environmental sustainability?
Our CEO and Founder, Adam White gives the lowdown…
What is an EPD?
The homes we are building now and using our products on, will last for hundreds of years. Gone are the days of building houses that are fit to last for only two or three decades. In a world of sustainability, producing materials and builds that have a long lifecycle is key.
An EPD fits into this as it documents the lifecycle of a product and its environmental impact including carbon footprint and energy used by that product.
How is an EPD linked to Sustainability?
Architects now have a duty to make sure they’re building and designing in a sustainable way, so they will make an assessment of environmental impact for each product when it comes to the end of its life – in part by checking the EPD.
At Intelligent Membranes, our air and vapour control products stand out, because they will last for as long as the material they are adhered to. So, if a brick lasts for 200 years, so will our product and so will the air tightness on that product.
For example, if we protect a window with one of our protection products, that is also long lasting. It prevents damage that would normally require a replacement window which, in turn would mean manpower, more materials, more cars on the road all resulting in a larger carbon footprint.
Which Intelligent Membranes Products Have EPDs?
All of our Intelligent Membrane products have EPD’s including long-term, short-term and protection products. However, it’s not enough to just have an EPD. All of the products that we provide to builders and architects are eco-friendly materials specifically designed to promote sustainability. Passive Purple for example – which we created – is the world’s most airtight intelligent liquid vapour control membrane.
Does Having an EPD Mean You’re Environmentally Friendly?
In short, no. It’s important to note that, just because a product has an EPD, it doesn’t automatically mean that product is sustainable.
Don’t forget, an EPD is an assessment, and that assessment could show that your products’ lifecycle is short and its carbon footprint is large.
Our competitors may have an EPD, but their product will start to degrade ten, 15, 20 years’ time. This therefore means the carbon footprint and general impact on the environment is bad. Intelligent Membranes products will go way past that in terms of lifecycle and longevity.
If you’re an architect, don’t be complacent just because a product has an EPD. Dig under the surface and find out the detail of that EPD. For us, it isn’t a tick box exercise, Intelligent Membranes products last.