Life-cycle environmental impact of products in the construction sector

Publié le 16/03/2018

On 13 March 2018, in the framework of its activities in Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) and more specifically in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) organised in its premises the information session « Environmental Product Declaration for the construction products »

About 30 professionals actively took part in this event aiming at presenting the content and various steps in the achievement of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), with a focus on the construction sector.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) 

LCA is the main recognized and standardized tool (ISO14040-44) for assessing potential environmental impacts over products life cycle. LCA can intervene in support of products development, and of environmental communication. In this context, EPDs are nowadays widespread for construction products, and recognized on the B2B market by the various actors from the construction sector. For instance, EPDs are systematically requested for environmental certifications of buildings. The overall objective of an EPD is to provide verifiable and accurate information on the environmental aspects of goods and services, based on a standardized environmental assessment protocol (ISO14025 and EN15804).

After the presentation of EPDs principles and content given by Mélanie Guiton, LIST R&T associate « Life cycle Sustainability and Risk Assessment », Carlo Spina, head of Construction and Innovation at Contern S.A., shared his feedback with the audience. He explained how important it is for Contern to be able to share the environmental performances of their products in order to remain competitive, also considering the recent incentives from the Luxembourgish government for the inclusion of sustainability criteria in call for tender

Focus on ECOPACT® for EPD, an environmental assessment tool

The participants of this EPDs’ information session had the opportunity to discover ECOPACT®, the LCA software tool developed by LIST. Given the global interest in EPDs and the specific demand expressed by several construction products manufacturing industries in Luxembourg, including Contern, LIST decided to develop an EPD version of ECOPACT®, enabling industrial SMEs that do not have the necessary skills, or the resources to invest for LCA studies for multiple product families, to easily produce EPDs based on LCA results, in compliance with the requirements of the European EPD standard for construction product (EN15804).

Moving from theory to practice, LIST and its dedicated research team intend to transfer ECOPACT to consultants with whom they will collaborate, aiming at training them in LCA methodology and ECOPACT® for EPD software, and thus better meet the needs and challenges of manufacturers willing to obtain EPD for their products.

>> For any further information on this topic, please contact Bianca Schmitt via email.

Picture: Mélanie Guiton (LIST) and Carlo Spina (Contern S.A.)

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