Trade Group Releases EPD for Light-Gauge Steel Framing
The Steel Recycling Institute has released the first industry-wide environmental product declaration (EPD) for U.S and Canadian structural steel building products. The EPD is for Cold-Formed Steel Studs and Track, also known as light steel framing or light-gauge steel framing. This EPD will allow individual companies to compare their EPDs against industry averages, helping them improve environmental practices while also allowing these steel components to potentially qualify for LEED v4 credits.
Used primarily for wall studs and tracks, cold-formed steel studs are made from sheet steel that has been rolled or pressed, galvanized to protect against corrosion, and then formed. This EPD does not cover heavy, hot-rolled structural steel.
The declaration is based on a “cradle-to-gate” life-cycle assessment (meaning it accounts for impacts of extraction and manufacturing but not use and disposal) using the North American Product Category Rule (PCR) for Designated Steel Construction Products. This EPD is unusual in that it accounts for future benefits of recycling even though the scope is mostly cradle to gate.
The PCR used for the Cold-Formed Steel Studs and Track EPD was adapted from a European PCR, according to the steel industry, to better reflect the complexities of U.S. and Canadian steel production. The industry says North American producers have different manufacturing facilities and regulations, and create different co-products during their process. The PCR was finally published in May 2015 after years of data collection and feedback.
Though this is the first industry-wide EPD for these products, in July 2015 ClarkDietrich was the first to release individual EPDs for its ProStud and ProStud with DiamondPlus steel framing systems. These are based on the same steel industry PCR.
For more information:
Steel Recycling Organization
Published April 4, 2016