Environmental Product declarations

An Environmental Product Declaration is an internationally recognised document containing environmental information on a building product.

Environmental Product Declarations contain environmental information on building products and are internationally recognised. Environmental profiles measure the impacts of a construction material, product or building system throughout its life, not only during its manufacture, but also its use in a building over a 100 year period. This includes its extraction, processing, use and maintenance and its eventual disposal.

Environmental Product Declaration

Complies with standardisation

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is drawn up in compliance with international standard ISO 14025 type III. It presents the results of a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted for a building product in compliance with the ISO 14040-44 series of standards.

An Environmental Product Declaration can also be drawn up in compliance with national standards while still respecting international standards. This is the case with:

  • BRE Environmental Profiles, Environmental Product Declarations which comply with the English BRE Global Scheme document SD028 and BRE Methodology for Environmental Profile of Construction Products SD 6050.
  • French Environmental and Health Declarations – FDES – which comply with French standard NF P01010 or French standard NF EN 15804 and its complementary standard XP P01-064 since 1 July 2014.
  • IBU Certifikat, the German Environmental Product Declarations which comply with the “Metals for building 2009-09” Product Category Rules document.

Despite efforts to harmonise standards with the development of European standard EN 15804, the scope of study and its content may vary between different types of Environmental Product Declaration complying with different national programmes.

For example, the French FDES concern all stages of the life cycle (production, transport, implementation, period of use and end of life) for a functional unit and a product lifespan (e.g. insure 1 m2 of roofing for one annuity) whereas the German IBU Certifikat concerns a product mass unit for the production and end-of-life stages without taking the period of use stage into account (example: 1 kg of rolled natural zinc). This is why the content of EPDs may vary.

Vital for calculating the Environmental quality of a building

An Environmental Product Declaration serves a dual purpose:

  • It presents the environmental assessment of building products in a reliable, transparent manner,
  • It provides the fundamental “Components and materials” sources of data necessary to assess the Environmental Quality of Buildings.

Assessment of the Environmental Quality of Buildings consists of calculating the environmental impact of a building according to the principle of a Life Cycle Analysis, i.e. using a multi-stage and multi-criteria approach.

Several tools can be used to assess the Environmental Quality of a Building:

  • Elodie (CSTB)
  • TEAM Building Industry (Ecobilan-PWC)
  • Simapro LCA Software
  • Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES)
  • Eco-calculator IE BEC (Athena)
  • GaBi 4 Software

These tools enable architects and clients wishing to design and construct buildings that respect the environment to eco-design their building and quantitatively assess its environmental profile.