Part 1: An Overview of the New Asphalt Roofing PCRs

The Basics

For the past 150 years, asphalt has been the most popular roofing material in North America. Over the past decade, its popularity and production has declined as a result of growing eco-consciousness among consumers and rapid developments in roofing technology; however, asphalt roofing manufacturers recently proved that they’re not only ready, but also eager to step up their game.

Together with ASTM International, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has developed the industry’s first ever Product Category Rules (PCRs) for asphalt roofing. The ultimate goal of any PCR document is globally consistent documentation. In the context of the roofing industry, this means that asphalt roofing manufacturers will be given a universal yardstick by which they can measure and report their products’ environmental impact.

Goal & Scope

The document, titled “Asphalt Shingles, Built-up Asphalt Membrane Roofing and Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing” and released July 2014, covers:

  • asphalt shingles installed over underlayment
  • low-slope asphalt roofing assemblies:

o    factory-produced asphalt-saturated or coated base sheets, ply sheets and cap sheets
o    field-applied viscous asphalt coatings, adhesives and surfacings

The new PCRs provide a baseline for developing asphalt roofing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). An EPD is a document that will report qualitative data on the environmental impact of certain products over their life span. All of the phases of an asphalt shingle’s life cycle will be under assessment, including:

  •  acquisition of raw materials
  •  manufacturing
  •  transportation and distribution
  •  installation
  •  use and maintenance
  •  disposal/reuse/recycling

Once an EPD is created, its validity will be verified and established in accordance with the requirements outlined in:

  • ISO 14025:2006 (Environmental Labels and Declarations — Type III Environmental Declarations — Principles and     Procedures)
  • ISO 21930:2007 (Sustainability in Building Construction — Environmental Declaration of Building Products)

Both business-to-business and business-to-consumer aspects of the asphalt roofing industry fall under the scope of the PCRs.

Period of Validity

The new asphalt roofing PCRs will be valid until June 2019, or the standard five years from the latest date of publication. A five-year validity period from the date of issue will also apply to any EPD created under these PCRs.

What will the development of asphalt roofing PCRs and EPDs mean for the roofing industry? In Part Two of this blog series, we’ll discuss their repercussions on manufacturers, distributors, roofers, and other asphalt roofing industry stakeholders.