General Description

Pollution prevention initiatives are required to be considered in all plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions.

Summary of Federal Requirements

The following are required to be considered in plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions, as appropriate:

  • elimination of virgin material requirements
  • use of biobased products
  • use of recovered materials
  • reuse of product
  • life cycle cost
  • recyclability
  • use of environmentally preferable products
  • waste prevention (including toxicity reduction or elimination)
  • ultimate disposal.

Government agencies are required to increase their purchases of products containing recovered materials.

To identify those items, EPA has listed Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) designated items. For each CPG item there is a Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN), which establishes the recommended recycle content level for a given product. The CPGs in the construction products classification are:

  • building insulation products, including the following items:
    • loose-fill insulation, including but not limited to cellulose fiber, mineral fibers (fiberglass and rock wool), vermiculite, and perlite
    • blanket and batt insulation, including but not limited to mineral fibers (fiberglass and rock wool)
    • board (sheathing, roof decking, wall panel) insulation, including but not limited to structural fiberboard and laminated paperboard products, perlite composite board, polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, polystyrene, phenolics, and composites
    • spray-in-place insulation, including but not limited to foam-in-place polyurethane and polyisocyanurate, and spray-on cellulose
  • structural fiberboard and laminated paperboard products for applications other than building insulation, including building board, sheathing, shingle backer, sound deadening board, roof insulating board, insulating wallboard, acoustical and non-acoustical ceiling tile, acoustical and non-acoustical lay-in panels, floor underlayments, and roof overlay (coverboard)
  • cement and concrete, including concrete products such as pipe and block, containing coal fly ash or ground granulated blast furnace (GGBF) slag
  • carpet made of polyester fiber for moderate end uses
  • floor tiles and patio blocks containing recovered rubber or plastic
  • shower and restroom dividers/partitions containing recovered plastic or steel
  • consolidated latex paint used for covering graffiti
  • reprocessed latex paint used for interior and exterior architectural applications such as wallboard, ceilings, and trim; gutter boards; and concrete, stucco, masonry, wood, and metal surfaces
  • modular threshold ramps
  • nonpressure pipe
  • roofing materials.
The following is an example of an RMAN for building insulation.

    Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
    Rock Wool Slag -- 75
    Fiberglass Glass Cullet -- 20-25
    Cellulose Loose-Fill and Spray-On Postconsumer Paper 75 75
    Perlite Composite Board Postconsumer Paper 23 23
    Plastic Rigid Foam, Polyisocyanurate/Polyurethane:
    Rigid Foam -- -- 9
    Foam-in-Place -- -- 5
    Glass Fiber Reinforced -- -- 6
    Phenolic Rigid Foam -- -- 5
    Plastic, Non-Woven Batt Recovered and/or Postconsumer Plastics -- 100

    ¹The recommended recovered materials content levels are based on the weight (not volume) of materials in the insulating core only.

    Product Specifications:

    In 1993, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a standard for the composition of cullet used in the manufacture of fiberglass insulation, D 5359, "Glass Cullet Recovered from Waste for Use in Manufacture of Glass Fiber." EPA recommends that procuring agencies reference this specification in Invitations for Bid and Requests for Proposals.

    As a part of the construction activities, contracts for procurement by federal facilities are required to contain specific clauses relating to hazardous materials identification, recovered materials certification, pollution prevention, and Right-to-Know information. The required clauses can be found in FAR 52.223-3 through 52.223-5.

    Summary of State Requirements

    State-by-state guidance concerning high performance/green buildings can be found at ENVCAP's Green Building Resource Locator.

    Laws and Statutes

    Clean Water Act

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