Industry Alliance Releases PCR for Processed Glass, Considering Generic EPD

Two industry associations have jointly released a Product Category Rule (PCR) for processed glass, and they are now determining whether to move forward with the development of an industry-wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) and the Glass Association of North America (GANA) announced they approved and published the new PCR, which establishes a rule for doing life cycle assessments (LCA) for the development of an EPD. The group previously published PCRs for flat glass and windows.

“From a glass perspective, we now have everything we need up through the supply chain,” says SageGlass’ Dr. Helen Sanders, who led the joint task group.

The task group worked with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to create the PCR. It is based on revisions made to the Institute of Construction and Environment (Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., or IBU) standard Part B PCR structure for Glass Wall and Ceiling Coverings, 2014. With the revisions, the document references the North American market and is consistent with the flat glass and window PCRs. According to the document, it is valid for five years ending in November 2020.

“We will be able to provide EPDs for processed glass to our architectural customers to meet the increasing requirement to use products from manufacturers who have provided full material transparency documentation,” says Sanders. “With LEEDv4 coming into full effect this October, the requests from architects designing to this standard to provide EPDs for products will continue to increase. Now we have the baseline rules in place by which we can do lifecycle assessments of our manufacturing process to provide these EPDs.”

Processes covered in the new PCR include coated, laminated, heat-treated, decorative and insulating glass.

“The scope of this PCR covers processed and coated glass used in building applications, such as doors, walls, partitions, elevators, surfaces, and in building envelope contexts,” the document reads. “While not specifically excluded, not all potential glass finishing processes are included in this PCR.”

It continues, “The system boundaries of EPDs created using this PCR are cradle-to-gate. Installation, use phase, and end of life modules … may not be reported in EPDs created using this PCR and are explicitly excluded. This PCR uses a declared unit on the basis of a cradle-to-gate system boundary instead of a functional unit. Processed glass may be installed and utilized in a variety of applications which are beyond the scope of consideration in this PCR.”

Urmilla Sowell, GANA’s technical director, says GANA membership will discuss the possibility of moving forward with IGMA to create an industry-wide EPD at its fall conference in Kansas City this week. The groups will also focus on the idea of a generic EPD at IGMA’s winter conference in January and at GANA’s annual conference in March.

The PCR for processed glass is available for download on the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) website.

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