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Environmental Product Declaration and Life Cycle Assessment

An essential part of green building, life cycle assessment (LCA) offers an objective and consistent way to measure the environmental impact of all types of constructions and the materials from which they are made. See Role of LCA in Green Building and APA’s Green Topics.

To ensure quality and comparability of LCAs, the construction industry has adopted a common format  – Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).  This is designed to create a low carbon, more resource efficient, sustainable built global environment. An EPD provides information on a product’s environmental impact and covers resources, energy use and efficiency, global warming potential, emissions to air, soil and water, and waste generation.

The American Wood Council (of which APA is a member), with the Canadian Wood Council, released Environmental Product Declarations for softwood_Plywood_EPD, OSB_EPD, I_Joists_EPD and LVL_EPD.

EPD is based on international standard  ISO 14025:2006 which establishes the principles and specifies the procedures for developing Type III environmental declaration programmes and Type III environmental declarations.  ISO 14025:2006 was also the basis for the new environmental standard, recently updated – EN 15804:2012 +A1:2013.   See also main environmental standards.

Within the  Construction Products Regulation (CPR), an EPD is used to assess the impact of a product on sustainable construction. Decision-making at design stage can be improved by combining environmental impact data and whole life cost data and linking them to ‘building information modelling’ (BIM) data.

The ECO Platform is made up of is European organisations wishing to harmonise various environmental profiling schemes across Europe with the European standard EN 15804 – Sustainability of construction works: Environmental product declarations. Core rules for the product category of construction products. This would lead to mutual EPD recognition across regional borders.

APA in Europe Wizard

All Questions OSBPlywood

What is a ‘life cycle stage’ and how do these link to the environmental assessment of whole buildings?

How do core category rules link with environmental product declarations?

Whose responsibility is it to check that wood products being imported into the EU do not originate from illegally sourced timber supplies?

Does the EUTR require mills to provide any extra documentation for customs entry into the European Union?

Must all plywood and OSB panels carry a CE marking?

What is the definition of a construction product under the CPR?

What is a Declaration of Performance referred to under the Construction Products Regulation?

What is the difference between Structural 1 and Exposure 1?

Does structural panel siding have shear values?

What are mould and mildew, and do they compromise the integrity of engineered wood?

The CE-mark on an APA plywood panel means it conforms to European Standards – but which ones?

I want to use a Rated Sheathing panel for flooring/ roofing application, what info do I need to know?

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What extra strength benefits do Structural 1 OSB panels provide over standard Rated Sheathing panels?

Do APA panels give off formaldehyde?

Plywood: Formaldehyde
OSB: Formaldehyde

What is the difference between a touch-sanded panel and sanded panel?

I’d like to know how APA veneer grades match those given in the European standards

How do I correctly gauge the face appearance a plywood Siding panel?

I want to specify an APA panel for concrete formwork – what do I need to know?

Are APA panels tongue and grooved on all four edges?

I am not familiar with the term ‘Sized for Spacing’ – what is its significance?

How are Performance Category and thickness related?

I’d like to know more about a panel’s Span Rating and how it links to thickness.

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What is Span Rating on the APA trademark and why is it important?

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What is the difference between Exposure 1 and Exterior plywood panels? What are their appropriate uses?

What are the main OSB panels likely to be available in Europe?

What are the main plywood panels likely to be available in Europe?

What are the main European standards that I would need to be aware of for OSB panels?

The main standards are: EN 13986 and EN 300

What are the main European standards that I would need to be aware of for plywood panels?

The main standards are: EN 13986, EN 636, EN 314, EN 635-3