Environmental product declaration (EPD)
Emission values, life cycle costs and energy efficiency – these are just a couple of demands which are put on sustainable constructions. The building materials and building products have a significant influence on the environment.
A relevant evaluation of the environmental performance of building products can only be achieved by looking at the building concept and occupancy. The points of interest are:
- Planning and design of the building,
- Conception of the building and facilities,
- Achieved quality of performance,
- Used building products.
Building products can not be classified as “good” or “bad”. Their technical, optical and also ecological performances have to be considered as a whole system. The most important factor is their suitable use in buildings.
Environmental declaration: Verified and reliable information in suitable format
Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) according to ISO 14025 serve as a basis of information for life cycle assessment and are therefore mandatory for Sustainability Certifications of buildings.
The European commission considers EPDs as an adequate instrument to communicate the environmental performance of building products and to promote sustainable construction. The CEN Technical Committee TC 350 developed the draft standard prEN 15804 which addresses the rules for product categorization and released it in 2008.
What is included in an EPD?
EPDs contain information about the life cycle of the building product, LCA indicator values and test results for detailed valuations, e.g. interior VOC-Emissions.
Environmental Product Declarations for building products
- have a mandatory, universal basis,
- are developed by experts and manufacturers,
- are verified independently,
- remain manufacturer’s responsibility,
- are basis for sustainable construction.
What’s the benefit of EPDs?
An EPD supplies reliable and comparable information about the environmental performance of products.
- Manufacturers of building products
provide information about their products, can use them for marketing purposes, design their management forward-looking and are able to install them internally as steering tool.
- Architects and Designers
use EPDs as a basis for the calculation of building LCAs, which are required for the certification of sustainability of buildings. The Criteria are environmental aspects, technical capability, costs, acceptance and aesthetics.
use EPDs for announcements. Thereby, they control and evaluate environmental requirements for the building planning.
- Real estate companies and building owners
Set a higher price for their investment and property. It is easier to market property when it is designed and certified as a sustainable building.
- Commerce and consumers
can find verified and environmentally relevant product information by using EPDs.
Share your information with EPDs and benefit from them as well!
Examples for EPDs can be found on: www.bau-umwelt.de. The German declaration-system for EPDs of building products is organized by “Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.” (IBU), which is an initiative of building product manufacturers who advocate sustainable construction.
How do I get more information?
Contact us. We shall gladly help you along with EPDs – from the concept to the life cycle assessment necessary for the EPD.