Steel Recycling Institute releases industrywide Environmental Product Declaration

Steel Recycling Institute releases industrywide Environmental Product Declaration

The EPD quantifies the “cradle-to-gate” life cycle environmental impacts of cold-formed steel studs and track.

February 9, 2016

The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), Pittsburgh, has released the first industrywide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for cold-formed steel studs and track manufactured in the United States and Canada. The EPD quantifies the “cradle-to-gate” life cycle environmental impacts of these products, and can be used by architects and engineers to document these impacts.

The SRI is a trade association that promotes and sustains the recycling of all steel products, and is a division of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Washington.

The EPD, based on a peer-reviewed life cycle assessment, also can help designers achieve the credits required for building certification within Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other green building rating programs, the SRI says.

This is the first industrywide assessment of the life cycle environmental impacts of these commercial building products in North America, according to the association. Roll-formed from galvanized steel sheet into a variety of shapes, cold-formed steel studs and track are being used as the primary structural system for buildings up to nine stories in height and have been used for curtain walls and interior partitions for decades.

“Environmental impacts of materials are critical decision factors for architects, engineers and builders,” says Lawrence W. Kavanagh, president of SMDI. “With the construction industry moving to comprehensive assessments of a product’s entire life cycle, it’s important this EPD is now being added to the resources we and our partners have developed for our customers in the construction industry.”

While a core component of steel’s sustainability is its continuous recyclability, says SRI, environmental implications of steel reuse, recovery and recycling are reported in a separate module in the EPD to give users the ability to factor in their own end-of-life assumptions.

This process began with development of the “North American Product Category Rule (PCR) for Designated Steel Construction Products” published in May 2015, which covers fabricated structural steel, cold-formed steel sections and concrete reinforcing steel used and/or sold in North America. In addition to SMDI members, PCR development stakeholders included the American Institute for Steel Construction, the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, the Metal Building Manufacturers Association and the Steel Framing Alliance. It is based on the EN 15804 European standard for construction products and conforms to ISO 21930:2007 - “Sustainability in building construction – Environmental declaration of building products.”

The EPD is available for download at

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

SMDI says it increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI investors include: AK Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal Dofasco, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor Corp. and SSAB Americas.