News Brief

First Few EBDs Take Impact Declarations to the Building Scale

Following the trend of product declarations, Lafarge Canada has published one of the first environmental building declarations for its new research facility.

Lafarge, a concrete and cement company based in Canada, has published one of the first EBDs for its new research and development facility.

Source: Lafarge Canada
The Lafarge Innovation Hub in Edmonton, Alberta, recently became one of the first buildings in North America to undertake and disclose an environmental building declaration (EBD). Similar to an environmental product declaration (EPD) but for a whole building, an EBD reports lifetime environmental impacts gleaned from conducting a whole-building life-cycle assessment (LCA—see Whole-Building Life-Cycle Assessment: Taking the Measure of a Green Building).

The EBD takes into account embodied impacts of all major building materials for core, shell, and interior partitions but excludes finishes, landscaping materials, furnishings, and mechanical or electrical equipment as well as the building’s projected operating energy and water consumption. Given this scope, the Lafarge building shows a total embodied global warming potential of 1,150,000 kg of CO2-equivalent over a 75-year service life (around the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 242 passenger vehicles).

Since precast concrete made up a significant part of the building, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to test what influence a greater percentage of fly ash content would have had on the LCA data; results of an increase of 10 kg/m3 of fly ash content was estimated to reduce global warming potential minimally (about 0.5%).

Lafarge will display a summary of its EBD onsite in the building’s lobby, which the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute—the organization commissioned to publish the EBD in compliance with the standard EN 15978—is calling “the future of how we talk about and validate green buildings.” Athena also published what is considered to be the first EBD in North America in June 2013 for Enermodal Engineering. 

For more information:

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

Published November 3, 2014

Pearson, C. (2014, November 3). First Few EBDs Take Impact Declarations to the Building Scale. Retrieved from

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a BuildingGreen Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.