GLENVIEW, Ill. — A new Life Cycle Assessment report from the Metal Construction Association (MCA) calculates the average environmental impact of the processes and the building envelope products manufactured by MCA member companies. The report is ideal for architects, designers, MCA member companies and the buildings and construction community at large to use for environmental benchmarking and decision-making. MCA, in cooperation with the National Coil Coating Association, commissioned PE International, Boulder, Colo. to conduct the assessment. Life Cycle Assessment of Metal Construction Association (MCA) Production Processes, Metal Roof and Wall Panel Products is available as a pdf at no charge on the MCA website.
For this report, primary data were collected on five manufacturing processes used in manufacturing three key products: Insulated Metal Panels (IMP), Metal Composite Material (MCM) Panels and roll-formed claddings. Using the environmental profiles of the respective gate-to-gate processes and cradle-to-gate products, professionals in the building and construction industry will find it a helpful reference in gauging environmental impact of building materials.
“It was important for the metal construction industry to establish a benchmark for the environmental impact of our processes and products,” said Scott Kriner, MCA’s technical director. “The completion of this LCA gives us the information necessary to communicate to the design professionals about the industry average burdens captured in several environmental impact categories. The results of the LCA will also allow manufacturers in the metal construction industry to compare the environmental impact of their own processes to the industry average, and use that information as a tool for process improvement” said Kriner.
“This LCA went into much more depth than I expected,” said Bill Croucher, director of engineering for Fabral, Lancaster, PA. “I thought we would be looking at just metal input, and energy use in the form of electricity and gas. Instead it assessed everything that came in the door and everything that went out the door. The result is a more realistic analysis of the total impact of our product on the environment. Hopefully, the entire industry will benefit from the information developed by the companies that volunteered their time and information,” he said.
The 64-page report contains numerous charts and illustrations examining the environmental profile of the MCA’s primary products and the relative contribution of MCA processes. The study will help MCA integrate sustainability into its support for members and drive continuous improvement in the industry. MCA will be developing Environmental Product Declarations next to provide a summary of the LCA information for the design community.
A complete list and description of MCA’s highly respected technical materials, including this report, are available at www.metalconstruction.org/pubs/.