Environmental Product Declarations: Use in the Architectural and Engineering Design Process to Support Sustainable Construction

Rebekah D. Burke, Kristen Parrish, Mounir El Asmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


High-performing and sustainable building certification bodies continue to update their requirements, leading to modifications in the scope of certifications and increasing the number of viable sources of environmental information for building materials. In conjunction, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is seeing increasing demand for such environmental product information. The authors conducted a survey of 119 U.S.-based AEC practitioners experienced in certified sustainable building projects to understand the sources for environmental information and how this information is used in the building design process. The analysis of survey responses forms the basis of this paper, which provides three contributions to the body of knowledge: (1) identifying the AEC professionals' varying experiences with sustainable building certifications and environmental performance information for building materials [the results show a correlation between use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems and the exposure of members of the AEC industry to new environmental information sources]; (2) identifying the differing levels of knowledge and use of the environmental product declaration (EPD), a new environmental information source (most of the survey respondents who had used any environmental information sources were familiar with EPDs); and (3) providing insight into EPD use and guidance from early adopters for effective future use. These findings can help the AEC industry efficiently implement EPDs into its design and construction processes and better understand the environmental impacts of building materials used in construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04018026
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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