Category Archives: Global


Founded in 1975, Nutec is a fully integrated and trusted supplier of insulation products for fire protection and thermal management applications across a wide variety of industries. Nutec is headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, with four manufacturing facilities nearby and additional manufacturing locations around the world: Charlotte, North Carolina and Houston, Texas in the United States; as well as in Spain and Brazil. Globally, Nutec has direct sales and/or distribution representation in over 50 countries. More than just a material supplier, Nutec is a fire protection and thermal management solution provider. For Nutec customers in each of these respective segments, a variety of product features and incremental services are offered at no additional charge.

Fire Protection

Nutec Protective Concepts (NPC) focuses on passive fire protection, industrial insulation, and electric heat tracing. NPC is a manufacturer of custom-produced, jacketed, high-temperature insulation systems that carry several fire protection certifications:

  • Jet fire up to 2 hours,
  • UL-1709 up to 2 hours,
  • Over pressure blast up to 1.4 bar, and
  • Approvals from Lloyds, DNV, and ABS.

These approvals and test documentation are provided free of charge with the
purchase of NPC products.

Other free services NPC offers to its customers are:

  • Thermal analysis for fire scenarios,
  • 3D design and modeling,
  • Equipment surveying,
  • Installation supervision,
  • Heat loss analysis, and
  • Acoustic testing.

NPC’s experienced engineering team is available for site visits to ensure that the best recommendation and product fit is provided for each application.

Nutec’s insulating blankets are available in a wide variety of temperature ratings, chemistries, densities, and thicknesses. To service the fire protection and industrial markets, Nutec will provide documentation/certifications to the following standards at no additional charge:

  • ASTM E84–Surface Burning Characteristics,
  • ASTM E136–Combustibility of Materials,
  • ASTM C518–Thermal Transmission with Cycling,
  • ASTM C411–Hot Surface Performance of High Temperature Insulation, and
  • ASTM C892–Specification for High Temperature Fiber Blanket.

Thermal Management

Nutec is an active supplier to the industrial thermal management market, servicing industries such as ceramic and glass, ferrous, non-ferrous, power generation, and chemical processing. Available product forms for these markets are modules, blankets, boards, and custom-formed shapes. Nutec has an experienced Application Engineering Department, which is available to provide technical support and recommendations. The Application Engineering Group will review each application and design a lining system that best meets all considerations. System designs provided by the Application Engineering Department at no additional cost are:

  • Heat flow/thermal calculations,
  • Design recommendations and bill of materials generation,
  • Detailed installation drawings, and
  • Installation field supervision.


Nutec is approaching 50 years of successfully servicing industry to meet their fire protection and thermal management demands. Much more than just a material supplier, Nutec offers many value-added items and services at no incremental costs to our customers. Please contact Nutec for your next fire protection or thermal management project. We look forward to being your insulation partner and helping provide solutions.

Midwest Fasteners

Midwest Fasteners (Midwest), an industry leader in insulation fastening, offers many free services and resources to help users with insulation projects and products. Our website,, offers a wide range of reference, training, and product information—available at no charge and online at all times.

In the Brochure shelves of the Literature Library, the basic Guide to Insulation Fastening, is available for download and printing. It covers all general types and applications of insulation fastening—from glue-on pins to self-stick, lacing anchor applications, and even pin-welding.

In the Videos section of our website,, we have more detailed instruction on pin-welding and weld pin applications. There is a full set of how-to videos for pin-welding applications. These short-form, step-through demonstration videos range from setup to install and testing of various insulation welded fasteners. On welded fastener products, the videos cover everything from pin-welders to weld nails and cuphead weld pin insulation fasteners. Midwest also teamed up with NIA to create a 16-minute Guide to Insulation Fastening video that is available at

Found in the Equipment Manual section of the Literature Library are the complete range of equipment manuals for Midwest Fasteners’ branded equipment. SureShot, Talon, Eagle, and the full product array of Midwest pin and stud welders can be viewed or retrieved for online reference. Each manual features a step-by-step setup guide for using pin-welders with various fasteners, along with support graphics for all types of installation users. Parts lists, illustrations, electrical schematics, and troubleshooting guides complete each manual and assist pin-welding jobs and applications to the full degree.

Midwest is proud to continue to participate in apprenticeship training programs nationwide, as well as contractor and shop education classes throughout our markets. With scheduling through our Sales group, Midwest personnel can provide in-person, hands-on presentation of our full range of products, with special focus on pin-welding and the safety, use, and maintenance of pin-welding equipment.

At our plant in Ohio, home of manufacturing operations for our line of Midwest welding equipment, we provide equipment evaluation and repair to all kinds and brands of pin-welding equipment and components. While repairs are chargeable upon approval, we can often evaluate and recommend proper plans for older pin-welders, pin-guns, and fastener application equipment with free estimates. On-call technical assistance—by telephone (800-852-8352) or email (—is handled by our Repair and Assembly staff in our in-house Tech Service Department, also at no charge.

Our Sales personnel, including our Inside Sales/Customer Service staff, is available by phone or email to recommend products, evaluate applications, troubleshoot insulation fastening problems, and provide a full range of assistance surrounding our manufactured products and those like them. Manufacturing since 1987, with an outstanding level of staff experience, Midwest can consult on projects from design to installation.

Finally, the complete Midwest Fasteners Catalog (available for download at or in hard copy) features the Midwest Fasteners complete manufactured line part detail and specifications for sales, take-off, and submission needs. Each product page is available for download, print, or email use—all in user-friendly, easy-to-understand formats—at no charge to users.


Johns Manville

Assisting customers with professional development is a top priority for Johns Manville (JM). We offer a wide variety of free resources and services to help with everything from technical specification support to continuing education opportunities.

One of the best places to start is JM’s The Source, found on This free, innovative, online tool allows customers to stay up to date with the latest information in the industry.

The Source includes:

  • Frequently updated blogs, covering the latest industry trends and insights;
  • Educational webinars about a wide variety of industry topics;
  • Online training modules through Insulation Intel® University, focused on product application and installation;
  • Tools designed to make specifying insulation easier than ever; and
  • Instant access to all JM products and solutions, plus relevant information including product selection guides, data sheets, videos, installation instructions,
    and more.

We regularly update The Source with new content. Rather than just putting simple data sheets and technical information on our website, The Source is all-encompassing for industry info as well as JM specifics—perfect for contractors, distributors, facility owners, and engineers.

JM knows that specifying insulation is a big job, which is why we are glad to lend a hand. There are so many material options available, but through our technical specification support program, we help customers understand the strengths and limitations of the different options. We assist in tailoring their specifications to the requirements of each project.

The breadth of our product offerings sets JM apart. Because JM often has multiple products that can be considered for most applications, we can be very candid about not only the strengths of each product, but also their limitations. This allows us to offer our best product for every application. We have a full suite of hot, cold, and acoustic insulation products, as well as metal and PVC jacketing and accessories.

Another way that JM helps its customers is by actively listening and interacting. We have created customer-centric programming in the form of Product Information Workshops (PIWs), Engineering Advisory Councils (EACs) and Contractor Advisory Councils (CACs). These small-format opportunities allow JM to hear from customers, engineers, and contractors so we can learn more about what is desired, what challenges are being faced, and how JM can help. We take this feedback and act on it, developing new, innovative solutions that help push the industry forward.

Aspen Aerogels

Aspen Aerogels® has established a reputation for solving some of thermal insulation’s toughest challenges. With more than 20 years of providing superior thermal performance and defense against corrosion under insulation (CUI), our Pyrogel® and Cryogel® flexible blanket insulation shows how the right insulation can optimize process performance
and enhance asset integrity.

To best support our customers, we have assembled a team of engineers and installation professionals to provide complementary assistance at every stage of your project, from design to construction and active operations. Our Technical Services team combines a thorough knowledge of our aerogel insulation with years of hands-on experience in the field. They are available to work with you by phone, email, or on site at your facility to diagnose and resolve your challenges.

Diagnostic Insulation Audit

No matter where you are located, our Technical Services team can visit your facility to understand and address your challenges. In addition to performing a visual inspection during a unit walk-through, we can also assess system performance through direct measurement or thermographic analysis, if appropriate, to identify any failure points in your insulation system.

Specification Support

Writing specifications can be tedious, so we developed specification guidelines that contain detailed drawings and instructions for using and installing our aerogel insulation products. This includes support for all types of facilities, from simple to complex geometry, as well as guidance on accessories and metal jacketing. If you prefer editorial help, we will mark up or create the content in your existing documents. Let us help you get your project’s specifications finalized in a timely manner.

Customized Thickness Tables

There is truly no one-size-fits-all solution to insulation. That is why we do not provide generic thickness tables. If you are interested in using Pyrogel or Cryogel for your upcoming project, contact Aspen Aerogels Technical Services. We will work with you to create custom thickness tables for your application.

Passive Fire Protection and API 521/NFPA Guidance

Our Technical Services team can help you meet your safety and compliance goals by providing guidance on how to use our products to meet Pool Fire, Jet Fire, API 521, and NFPA requirements. From reviewing custom thickness tables to running simulations, our team can help you protect your assets and personnel.

Contractor Training

With more than 50 years of combined installation experience, our team of insulation trainers will travel wherever you need them to get your installation team up and running fast. We have developed short, 2-hour training sessions that cover best practices for installing Pyrogel and Cryogel aerogel insulation, hands-on exercises, and a rigorous Q&A session. Virtual training courses are also available by request.

Technical Services Resource Library

Aspen Aerogels’ resource library covers years of testing and research distilled into easy-to-use technical tools and guides. For assistance with your application, browse through our resource library for our product and safety data sheets, technical tools, and product install manuals. Or, contact our Technical Services team at for answers to any additional questions you may have.

Global Technical Services

Aspen Aerogels Technical Services team is ready to help support your projects. Based in key locations around the globe, we are committed to supporting the needs of your facility.


From Innovator to Educator

As the inventor of flexible foam for equipment insulation, Armacell develops innovative and safe thermal, acoustic, and mechanical solutions that create sustainable value for our customers. Armacell’s product portfolio continues to offer new solutions that conserve resources, reduce energy usage, and contribute to environmental protection. Armacell’s technical expertise can provide support, help elevate your skills, and make your next project easier. For decades, we have worked with companies providing resource tools, expert advice, and training support. We provide owners, specifiers, installers, fabricators, distributors, and anyone interested in insulation with the information and guidance they need to drive a successful project.

Simplify the Specification Process

Armacell can help with specifications development, and our technical experts can assist with thermal and acoustical calculations. Our team provides insight into the basics of insulation and its benefits, what to look for when specifying, proper installation methods, and how code compliance fits into a sustainable building model. We are happy to answer any questions to ensure that you have the most up-to-date specification for your next project. If you need help writing your specs, or need answers to technical questions about applications where our insulation should be used, our team is here to help.

AQIP Training

Armacell understands that proper installation is critical to the performance of an insulation system. That is why we developed the Armacell Qualified Installer Program (AQIP) to provide free, expert, real-world instruction in the installation of closed-cell foam. The training program provides a combination of online and hands-on installer training tailored to your project’s requirements. Have your company AQIP-certified to ensure system performance and experience fewer callbacks. Learn more about AQIP on our website at

Armacell Academy E-Learning

Armacell’s free e-learning platform offers courses with product tutorials, technical information, safety practices, and valuable application training. It is mobile-friendly and can be accessed 24/7. Examples of training courses include an Introduction to Armacell, Solutions Portfolios: General Overview and Insights, Armacell product overviews, Mechanical Insulation: The Basics of How and Why, and the Armacell Qualified Installer training course, just to name a few. Interested? Visit the Armacell Academy website at

Lunch & Learns

Armacell offers informative, free Lunch & Learn events for engineering firms, with interactive presentations that are eligible for PDH credits. Our Advanced Insulation team offers on-site or virtual presentations reviewing insulation product basics and current solutions, followed by a Q&A session on topics that impact our customers’ industries. We offer this service for as few or as many attendees as you like. To schedule one, visit the Engineer section on our website, at

Online Materials and Blog

Our website,, offers many resources. Simply click “Resources” or “Solutions Center” to go to our hub for downloadable documents. These online tools show you helpful videos, white papers, technical bulletins, data sheets, case studies,
and more. Our blog provides a variety of product information, industry insights, trends, and tips to give you the knowledge you need to be successful.

A Range of Support

Whether you are designing a system, managing a new installation, have questions, or are trying to source insulation, we are here to support you. When you have questions, Armacell answers. Ready to get started? Visit and send us a message!

Aeroflex USA

Aeroflex USA manufactures the AEROFLEX® brand of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) closed-cell elastomeric insulation in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

Offering product and technical support to facility owners and consulting engineers is not optional. Aeroflex USA delivers the following technical services and support at no cost (and with no virtual assistants).

  • Professional technical support by phone, email, or virtual meeting
  • Specification writing and review
  • Insulation thickness calculations
  • Custom product submittals
  • Educational and informative lunch and learns
  • Key industry compliance support (ASHRAE 90.1, IECC®, Buy American, LEED®, EPDs, HPDs, low-VOC)
  • Comprehensive installation guides
  • Technical bulletins

For prompt technical support, please contact Mark Sylvester, LEED AP BD+C Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser™, at 866-237-6235 (option 3) or (response within 24 hours).

Do you have insulation specification, material, or project questions? These companies want to solve it for you!

NIA members are true advocates for insulation because they know how it protects workers, extends equipment life, reduces noise pollution, enhances fire and life safety, and helps cut energy use and carbon emissions. NIA member companies were asked to share all the services they offer for contractors, project managers, engineers, specifiers, owners, and other insulation users. Insulation Outlook staff encourages you to save this issue and use the magazine’s website,, to help find the correct resources to answer your insulation and project questions. Together, we can make your plant, facility, or building—and the planet—a greener space.

All NIA members were invited to participate through our communications and during NIA’s 2023 Annual Convention. The respondents are listed alphabetically and will be posted to our website. Any additional member companies are welcome to submit a 500-word column describing their services for insulation users, and it will be posted online for the benefit of Insulation Outlook readers.

The Foundation for Mechanical Insulation Education, Training, and Industry Advancement (Foundation) was just established as a 501(c)(3) in July 2021, but it has already improved the future of the industry with its activities and educational investments. For an update on the current activities, turn to page 22. For a longer perspective, Foundation President David J. Cox, Owens Corning, and Foundation Treasurer John Lamberton, Irex Contracting Group, were kind enough to share what the Foundation Board hopes to accomplish during 2023 and how you can be a part of it.

Q: A large part of the Foundation’s mission is to develop educational materials for the mechanical insulation industry. What is in development for the rest of 2023?

John: Developing content specific to our industry is what we want to accomplish. There is no other place where someone in the mechanical insulation business can go to get courses that are specific and unique to our business. Prior to now, it just didn’t exist.

A bunch of new classes were just announced for January and February, but there will be courses posting all throughout the year. All the topics are specific to our industry and how we do things. They will cover a lot, including safety sessions, business management and technology, and learning about insulation materials.

Creating this content, however, takes a great deal of time and money, and it will be through the generosity of our members to make this all possible.

Dave: Another part of our mission is to advance and expand the commercial and industrial insulation industry.  A good way of doing that is to track industry progress and trends. To meet that need, the Foundation funds an industry measurement survey every 2 years (which began in 1997) to gain data about the size and growth of our industry.  Most people I know like solid market data, and there is no other survey this comprehensive in our business—that I know of —that gives us these kinds of insights. This year, we are even looking at specific category groups. (See page 22 for more on this year’s survey.)

Q: Now that the Foundation has become a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, what are you most excited to accomplish?

John: Becoming a 501(c)(3) opens a lot of doors that we didn’t have access to in the past. I’m hoping that this status encourages more companies to donate to the Foundation, as their contributions will now be tax deductible. I’m also hopeful that our new status may allow us to seek federal grants to help us develop educational content beyond what we have already done.

Dave: I echo John’s comments. He is known for saying the main function of the Foundation is to be the education resource incubator for our association. The organization has done a great job with the new Education Center as the go-to national source for education on mechanical insulation. It is our hope that the new tax-exempt status can help us further our training and education mission.

Q: What are the Foundation’s goals for 2023?

John: We hope, with the contributions from our industry, to give back and focus on:

  • The continued content development for NIA’s Education Center, as previously mentioned.
  • Marketing the inclusion of insulation inspection requirements in specifications and working with manufacturers to include inspections in the specifications.
  • Providing presentations to various industry groups and government agencies on the value of mechanical insulation, the need for improved specifications, and the need for insulation inspections.
  • Conducting two very informative studies, the biennial Industry Measurement Survey and the Mechanical Insulation Energy and Carbon Reduction Study.
  • Working to promote mechanical insulation with the U.S. DOE and its numerous affiliates, such as the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Better Buildings, and Industrial Assessment Centers.
  • Partnering with groups and organizations that can positively impact the use and awareness of mechanical insulation, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Insulation Industry Association Council, Process Industry Practices, the Association of Energy Engineers, Association for Facilities Engineering, Energy Management Association, Inspectioneering, Association for Materials Protection and Performance (formerly NACE), and others.
  • Finding external industry funding, possibly through the government, that would positively impact mechanical insulation.

Q: How can people get involved?

Dave: They can talk to us, visit, or email

The Foundation is looking forward to a productive 2023, which will be made possible by the generous contributions of our supporters. We have a multitude of initiatives we can get behind when it comes to educating and creating awareness of the value and power of mechanical insulation, and here is what we are focusing on with our current level of financial support.

Developing Industry Data

Mechanical Insulation Energy and Carbon Reduction Survey

The mechanical insulation industry has long emphasized the impact mechanical insulation can have on energy savings and the reduction of carbon emissions. Given the current focus on both of those topics, our industry has never been in a better position to demonstrate that environmental impact.

Many governmental agencies, engineering firms, and facility owners are evaluating a host of initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints while lowering energy demands. Our industry understands the positive impact mechanical insulation can have on the environment, but we need facts and figures to demonstrate the results of our proven technology.

The next generation entering the workforce will continue to increase the focus on sustainability efforts, and they want information on the past, present, and future impact mechanical insulation can deliver.

Subject matter experts have developed a new methodology that, with the help of select manufacturers, will allow us to estimate the total energy savings and emission reductions in higher service temperature ranges (150°F–1,200°F).

Our objective is to determine the energy savings and carbon reduction impact of mechanical insulation based upon:

  1. Current mechanical insulation usage levels,
  2. Past usage (5-year estimate),
  3. Estimated impact for the next 5 years, and
  4. Estimated missing and/or damaged insulation for the last 5 years and forecast of the next 5 years.

Responses are expected in late Q1 2023, and we hope to have survey results available in early Q2.

Industry Measurement Survey

Every 2 years, the Foundation works with Industry Insights, an independent third-party company, to conduct a survey to gauge the size of the insulation industry. This survey began in 1997 and seeks to gain data about the size of the insulation industry and growth rates for the U.S. commercial and industrial mechanical insulation market. The latest survey was conducted in early 2023. (To access the 2021 survey results, see

As the mechanical insulation industry has evolved, and as the need for additional industry data has surfaced, the recent survey collected a wider range of information than has been collected in previous years.

It became apparent during the survey data collection for the 2021 report that with industry consolidations, the increased use of flexible removable/reusable covers, changing mechanical insulation systems, and other similar changes that we needed to explore a different approach for the 2023 survey.

In past surveys, we have asked NIA member companies to report one overarching number for mechanical insulation industry products. In January 2023, survey respondents were asked to report separate numbers in various product groups for the products they represent in the United States mechanical insulation market. There are multiple reasons for this change in reporting. It will:

  1. Allow us to provide Industry Insights with the necessary formulas to account for the cost of fabrication.
  2. Allow us to report an estimated national market share by the overarching product group.
  3. Potentially lead to a general separation in determining the size of the commercial and industrial markets.

We look forward to sharing the results of the survey in an upcoming issue of Insulation Outlook magazine.

Continued Contributions to Educational Content Creation

The Foundation continues to support the creation of new content for NIA’s Education Center, including nine courses that were added in January and five that were added in February. The Foundation’s goal is to support the addition of 20 to 30 courses each year.

Ready to Contribute?

With so many projects underway and on the horizon, the Foundation is excited about the future but can only do as much as our resources dictate. We are so grateful to our legacy contributors and hope to grow this list steadily in the next few years.

If you are interested in contributing, please contact Contribution levels are available to fit any budget. And, because the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, your contribution is fully tax deductible.


An Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is a third party–verified document about a product’s environmental impacts at different points in its life cycle. The creation of an EPD requires the manufacturer and those involved in the production and distribution of the product to determine and disclose detailed information about the materials, power, water, and other resources used at each part of the creation, use, and disposal of the product. For those manufacturers that complete the EPD journey for their products, the benefits are strong—both for them and for the specifiers and designers looking to use the products in their building designs.

Numerous benefits can be found in the use of EPDs for companies in the value chain for a building project, depending on the subject or level of information necessary to perform their work. This article focuses on three of the broad benefits of EPDs: 1) the information contained within an EPD is trustworthy, 2) an EPD provides environmental impact details that help increase sustainability for both manufacturers and specifiers, and 3) achievement of whole-building calculations and certifications are made easier by
using EPDs.

Trustworthy Information

After a manufacturer has compiled the necessary information for an EPD, a third-party certification body reviews the information and verifies the results are complete and accurate. This ensures that the environmental impacts of the product were calculated appropriately and helps to publish a report indicative of the life cycle of the manufacturer’s product. As such, specifiers and designers can trust that the information contained is accurate for their use because multiple parties, including one outside the actual product manufacturer, are involved in its development. EPDs reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of the product’s life cycle and do not allow for any information to be hidden or downplayed, giving the specifier or designer an honest look at that product’s environmental impact throughout the life cycle.

Going through the formation process of an EPD, the product manufacturer shows that it is willing to publicly report on the level of environmental impact during the life cycle of its product. An EPD provides supporting promotional material for the manufacturer’s sustainability message and gives the specifier an inside look into the product’s life cycle that may be difficult to gain otherwise. Conversations by the manufacturer and its representatives around sustainable practices with the specifier can be supported using the data published from the EPD and substantiated with the third-party verification of the information. With an increase in designs incorporating the sustainability of the systems and products from the beginning, it is to their advantage that these companies can provide this information in an EPD and knowledgeably discuss their own sustainability impacts with specifiers and designers.

Environmental Impact

An EPD contains a wealth of information about the product’s impact on the environment throughout part or all of its life cycle, depending on the type of EPD completed. The document outlines the function and production process of the product and walks the reader through what was, and what was not, considered throughout the different points in the product’s life through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). With the results of the LCA included in the document, readers can learn about the product’s contributions toward many different environmental considerations, including global warming, ozone depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, human toxicity, and water pollution throughout the different points of its life.

For companies involved in the manufacture of the product, an LCA and EPD give them knowledge of areas of possible improvement in decreasing the environmental impact during their portion of the life cycle. As companies focus on how to reduce the environmental impacts they make during their portions, more informed conversations between the manufacturer of the product and its suppliers can be had on how to minimize these impacts. Environmental stewardship is becoming a more frequent dimension of discussion, and companies will need to be aware of and be able to speak to their environmental impacts or risk being left out of the conversation entirely.

For specifiers and designers, the EPD gives them knowledge of the impacts their product choices make not only during their portion of the building development but before the product is delivered to the job site and after the building’s use as well. Specifications can be written with sustainability in mind, and with the understanding that the products selected not only meet the required technical attributes and standards required but also will minimize the hazards to the environment, both at the building site and far from it. Specifiers and designers can promote the sustainability of their designs to their clients and use the information gained from EPDs to have stronger conversations about the environmental impacts of their clients’ projects. This, in turn, makes calculation of the whole building’s sustainability easier and can lead to more sustainable design choices for each part of the project much earlier in the process, especially if that project is looking to achieve certification in a green building scheme.

Usable in Green Building Schemes and Evaluation of Building Sustainability

The information provided by an EPD does not stop at the product level, and it is a vital tool in the assessment of a building’s overall sustainability. As more and more jurisdictions implement sustainability initiatives and mandates, understanding the whole building’s impact on the environment is crucial to meeting the requirements, and products with EPDs will be sought out to supply this information. With many different products and systems running throughout the building, calculation of a building’s sustainability is a difficult task, but one that can be made easier with the information provided by EPDs.

Numerous calculators have been created to help designers with this task, with many certification bodies and environmental interest groups providing their own tools to determine the overall sustainability of a building. Common across each of these calculators is the need for precise input data so that the information calculated is as accurate as possible and can be used with confidence as part of the project’s design. As such, products with EPDs are sought out by the organizations behind the development of these calculators, because using EPD data, rather than generic product data, allows the calculators to arrive at an estimation much closer to the actual sustainability attributes of the building. Manufacturers who can provide this EPD data have the inside track on being promoted by these groups through their calculators and are more easily specified on the associated projects because their products are being used in the design calculations for the building’s overall sustainability.

Not surprisingly, material transparency is a focal point in green building, and the project designs that use products with EPDs are rewarded as they move toward certification. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4.1 program, in the Building Design and Construction certification type, offers the Materials and Resources Credit “Environmental Product Declarations,” awarding up to two points when project teams select products with verified information on their environmental life-cycle impact.1 The Green Building Initiative rewards up to 39 points in the Product Life Cycle section of its Green Globes for New Construction system for using products with third-party verification/certification of the impacts throughout the product’s life cycle, such as EPDs.2 With the amount of environmental information EPDs provide, using products with EPDs is one of the most straightforward ways for a project team to help meet the requirements to achieve credits in a green building program for their building. Therefore, companies that can provide products that have an associated EPD are considered first for green building projects and are placed in an advantaged position within the design of these buildings.


EPDs provide numerous benefits for all members of the project chain. For specifiers and designers, an EPD represents a trustworthy, third party–verified collection of the environmental impacts the product makes before, during, and after its use as part of their project, giving a full-picture view of how their product choices affect the environment. Using an EPD makes whole-building sustainability calculations easier and more accurate than a generic counterpart and helps the project team meet the requirements for credit in green building project designs. For product manufacturers and the associated supply chain, EPDs provide the information necessary to lower their environmental impact throughout the chain and signal a commitment to a higher sustainability mission. These companies can add an environmental focus to their conversations with their suppliers, armed with the information gained by completing the EPD process for their product. On the marketability side, companies that can provide EPDs and the associated material transparency are able to provide the additional information on the project that specifiers and designers are looking for, giving them an edge in the project design.

As building owners continue to demand increases in the sustainability of building designs, the importance of EPDs and the information on the product life cycle they provide will continue to grow for all participants.