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Environmental Product Declarations for Fabricated Steel Now Available

Hot rolled structural steel sections (left) and steel plate (right) complying with the definition of structural steel in AISC 303-10 produced in the U.S. and fabricated by AISC member fabricators. (Photo at right courtesy of Burns & McDonnell)

AISC and NSBA have released Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for Fabricated Hot-Rolled Steel Sections and Fabricated Steel Plate. These EPDs satisfy the reporting requirements of Version 4 of the LEED® rating system, as well as other green codes and rating systems, and are available for free at www.aisc.org/epd. These are the first EPDs available that include full documentation of structural steel products from both the mill production and fabrication stages before delivery to the project site.

The EPDs document the environmental impacts associated with domestically produced and fabricated steel products used in the construction of structural steel framing systems for buildings and bridges from the production stage (cradle) through the fabrication facility (gate). Determination of the life cycle environmental impacts was based on industry average production data from AISC member steel mills and survey data from nearly 300 AISC member fabricators.  

Structural steel has long been considered the premier green construction material. The structural steel industry remains the world leader in the use of recycled material and end-of-life recycling, with the recycled content of the structural steel beams and columns produced at U.S. mills averaging 90%. Currently 98% of structural steel is recovered at the end of the life of a building or bridge for reuse or recycling into new steel products.

The structural steel industry continues to improve its environmental performance through a history of continuing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The results of steel industry efforts are evident in recent findings on greenhouse gasses, which show that on a per ton basis the iron and steel industry reduced carbon emissions by 37% and energy intensity by 32% between 1990 and 2014.  

The EPDs are available on an informational basis to architects and engineers involved in the design of buildings and bridges. In addition, they can be used by AISC full members to fulfill the documentation requirements for attaining credits under the LEED and other green building rating systems. To learn more, visit www.aisc.org/epd.


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