LCA & material health results & interpretation CAFCO® 400 & 400 AC

Scope and summary

  • Cradle to gate
  • Cradle to gate with options
  • Cradle to grave


CAFCO 400 Series are wet mix, medium density Spray-Applied Fire Resistive Materials (SFRM) designed to provide fire protection for structural steel in commercial and high rise construction.Its durable surface and Portland cement based formulation make CAFCO 400 well suited for applications in either unconditioned or conditioned areas.

Declared unit

1,000 kg of spray-applied fire resistive material, packaging included. 

Manufacturing data

Reporting period: January 2017 – December 2017

Location: Stanhope, NJ; Houston, TX; San Bernardino, CA

The amount of water required to be added during the mixing and application of 1,000 kg of dry product is 386 gallons. This water consumption will cause additional environmental impacts in the use phase, which is out of the scope of this assessment.

Default manufacturing scenarios

Production for the product series includes a Kraft paper bag for packaging. At the end of production, approximately 10% of vermiculite is sent to land fill when it does not “pop” in the manufacturing process. Vermiculite is used as a bulking agent in the production process.

What’s causing the greatest impacts

All life cycle stages

The raw material acquisition stage dominates the results for all impact categories except for ecotoxicity, ozone depletion, and non-carcinogenics where the transportation stage dominates. Following these two stages, the lowest impacts come from the manufacturing stage. 

Raw materials acquisition stage

The impact of the raw material acquisition stage is mostly due to the calcium sulfate and vermiculite. This is because of the high material weights used in manufacturing. 

Sensitivity analysis

There are different raw material weights required for each product in the series.The different material weight directly affect the transportation, production, and end of life impacts.

Multi-product weighted average

Results represent the weighted average using production volumes for the products covered. Variations of specific products for differences of 10–20% against the average are indicated in purple; differences greater than 20% are indicated in red. A difference greater than 10% is considered significant.

Isolatek minimizes our waste portfolio by employing a variety of efforts, including the reuse of recycling of spent materials where feasible.

Isolatek offers the most thermally efficient materials on the market, meaning less material is needed to complete a project.

See how we make it greener

LCA results

Life cycle stage Raw material acquisition Transportation Manufacturing Total

Information modules: Included | Excluded

A1 Raw Materials A2 Transportation A3 Manufacturing A1-A3 Total
Impacts per declared unit 2.36E-02 mPts 2.20E-02 mPts 3.23E-03 mPts 4.88E-02 mPts
Materials or processes contributing >20% to total impacts in each life cycle stage CAFCO® 400 Series raw material production. Truck and rail transportation used to transport raw materials to manufacturing site. Energy and ancillary materials required to make the passive fire protection product. Sum of the single point scores.

TRACI v2.1 results per declared unit

  • A variation of 10 to 20%
  • |
  • A variation greater than 20%
Life cycle stage Raw material acquisition Transportation Manufacturing Total

Ecological damage

Impact category Unit
Acidification kg SO2 eq Kilograms of Sulfur Dioxide equivalent
Acidification processes increase the acidity of water and soil systems and causes damage to lakes, streams, rivers and various plants and animals as well as building materials, paints and other human-built structures.
2.45E+00 9.19E-01 3.67E-01 3.74E+00
Eutrophication kg N eqKilograms of Nitrogen equivalent
Eutrophication is the enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem with nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) that accelerate biological productivity (growth of algae and weeds) and an undesirable accumulation of algal biomass which impacts industry, agriculture, drinking, fishing and recreation and causes death of fish and shellfish, toxicity to humans, marine mammals and livestock, and reduces biodiversity.
2.06E-01 1.27E-01 2.37E-02 3.57E-01
Global warming (Embodied carbon) kg CO2 eqKilograms of Carbon Dioxide equivalent
Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to change in global climate patterns and is caused by the increase of the sources of greenhouse gases and decrease of the sinks due to deforestation and land use. GW leads to problems in human health, agriculture, forest, water source and damage to species and biodiversity as well as coastal areas.
5.00E+02 2.33E+02 8.27E+01 8.16E+02
Ozone depletion kg CFC-11 eq Kilograms of Trichlorofluoromethane equivalent
Ozone depletion is the reduction of ozone in the stratosphere caused by the release of ozone depleting chemicals. Ozone depletion can increases ultraviolet B radiation to the earth which can adversely affect human health (skin cancer and cataracts and immune-system suppression) and other system (marine life, agricultural crops, and other vegetation) and causes damage to human-built materials.
3.78E-05 5.59E-05 1.02E-05 1.04E-04


LCA Background Report

Isolatek Products LCA (public version), Isolatek 2019. SimaPro Analyst, EoInvent 3.1, 2.2 database.


ASTM PCR for Spray-Applied Fire Resistive Materials; Version 1.0, February 2022. PCR review conducted by Thomas Gloria, PhD (chair, [email protected]); Jeffrey Gould; and Karl Houser.

ISO 14025, “Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works -- Core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and services".

Independent external verification of the declaration and data, according to ISO 14025.

blue-2pdf.png#asset:15427 Download PDF SM Transparency Report/Material Health Overview, which includes the additional EPD content required by the ASTM Environment PCR.

"Transparency Reports™ / environmental product declarations enable purchasers and users to compare the potential environmental performance of products on a life cycle basis. They are designed to present information transparently to make the limitations of comparability more understandable. TRs/EPDs of products that conform to the same PCR and include the same life cycle stages, but are made by different manufacturers, may not sufficiently align to support direct comparisons. They therefore, cannot be used as comparative assertions unless the conditions defined in ISO 14025 Section 6.7.2. ‘Requirements for Comparability’ are satisfied." EPDs from different programs (using different PCR) may not be comparable. TRs/EPDs cannot be compared if they do not have the same functional unit, reference service life, and building service life.

Rating systems

The intent is to reward project teams for selecting products from manufacturers who have verified improved life-cycle environmental performance.

LEED BD+C: New Construction | v4 - LEED v4

Building product disclosure and optimization 

Environmental product declarations

  • Industry-wide (generic) EPD ½ product

  • Product-specific Type III EPD 1 product

LEED BD+C: New Construction | v4.1 - LEED v4.1

Building product disclosure and optimization 

Environmental product declarations

  • Industry-wide (generic) EPD 1 product

  • Product-specific Type III EPD 1½ product

Collaborative for High Performance Schools National Criteria

MW 7.1 – Environmental Product Declarations

  • Third-party certified type III EPD 2 points

Green Globes for New Construction and Sustainable Interiors

Materials and resources

  • NC Path B: Prescriptive Path for Building Core and Shell

  • C and SI 4.1.2 Path B: Prescriptive Path for Interior Fit-outs

BREEAM New Construction 2018

Mat 02 - Environmental impacts from construction products

Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)

  • Industry average EPD .5 points

  • Multi-product specific EPD .75 points

  • Product specific EPD 1 point