Updated Product Category Rule for Manufactured Concrete Products Published
The updated Product Category Rule (PCR) that covers concrete masonry units, segmental retaining wall units, segmental concrete paving units, manufactured stone veneer units and other related manufactured concrete products was recently published by UL Environmental. This PCR enables manufacturers of these products to develop Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for their products.
An EPD is a declaration by a product manufacturer about the environmental impacts of their products – like an environmental nutrition label. To ensure that EPDs are developed according to established methodology, a PCR is used, which provides the requirements for how the EPD is prepared, including requirements for the underlying Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).
Every PCR must be reviewed and updated at five year intervals. The recently published PCR was the result of this review, and consolidates requirements for a variety of units into one document. Key updates to the PCR as include:
- Updating references to more recent ISO standards relative to life cycle reporting. These more recent ISO standards have more detailed transparency requirements relative to data sources and reporting.
- Expanding information and reporting requirements for EPDs that go beyond the ‘gate’. The ‘gate’ is a system boundary that only considers environmental impacts for products until they leave the production location. The new PCR includes the optional ability for manufacturers to factor in the use, operation, and end-of-life phases of a product for more complete reporting.
- New options that allow for reporting of carbon sequestration of concrete products when determining environmental impacts.
The PCR covers products such as:
- Concrete masonry products, including CMU, concrete brick, prefaced concrete masonry units, and concrete roof pavers;
- Segmental concrete paving products, including interlocking concrete pavers, concrete grid pavers, and concrete paving slabs;
- Segmental retaining wall units;
- Articulating concrete block;
- Adhered manufactured stone veneer units; and
- Cast stone units.
The development of the updated PCR was facilitated by UL Environmental. An industry stakeholder group consisting of representatives of the National Concrete Masonry Association, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, and Climate Earth. Manufactured concrete product companies that participated included Jandris Block, Taylor Concrete Products, Arcosa, and Brampton Brick.