Steel Industry Teams Up for Material Transparency

Hot-rolled structural steel sections complying with the definition of structural steel in AISC 303-10 produced in the United States and fabricated by an AISC member fabricator. 

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), has compiled a comprehensive list of industry-wide environmental product declarations (EPDs) for steel building products. These EPDs summarize the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) for specific steel products in the construction industry to describe their potential environmental impacts.

Construction professionals interested in viewing and using EPDs and other transparency resources in their building projects can visit for the list of steel product EPDs and updates on other sustainability resources. Currently, the site includes EPDs for 11 product categories, including Fabricated Hot-Rolled Structural Sections and Fabricated Steel Plate from AISC (which are available for free downloading at

“Similar to a nutrition label on food packaging, environmental product declarations present concise information to help building professionals make better-informed product decisions,” said Mark Thimons, vice president of sustainability for SMDI. “In an effort to be as transparent as possible, these steel industry EPDs are more comprehensive than those for many other building materials, creating a truly all-encompassing view of each product’s environmental impacts.”

Building professionals can use this list of EPDs to help earn credits in green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4, which offers opportunities for steel in a revamped materials section including credits for life cycle assessment, EPDs and transparency.

SMDI will update its list as the steel industry continues to develop EPDs to maintain an informative, up-to-date resource for building professionals interested in the sustainability of steel building products.