The Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) has intro­duced life cycle assess­ment rules for re-use prod­ucts in its Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tions (EPDs).

These apply to prod­ucts that are refur­bished after dis­man­tling and reused for the same purpose.

Until now, there were no reg­u­la­tions for the life cycle assess­ment of re-use prod­ucts. The IBU Advi­so­ry Board has now adopt­ed a new annex for re-use prod­ucts in PCR Part A of the IBU reg­u­la­tions. This annex con­tains new account­ing rules for the man­u­fac­tur­ing and refur­bish­ment phase (mod­ules A1-A3). The rule is that re-use prod­ucts are includ­ed in the sys­tem free of charge and only the envi­ron­men­tal impacts from the new prod­uct sys­tem are includ­ed in the cal­cu­la­tion. This includes, among oth­er things, the costs of selec­tive dis­man­tling and all process­es that can be attrib­uted to repro­cess­ing. All oth­er mod­ules of the EPD are cal­cu­lat­ed as usu­al. The aim of the new rules is to bet­ter sup­port the cir­cu­lar economy.

“We are sens­ing a strong demand from the mar­ket to map the top­ic of reuse in EPDs. We are receiv­ing inquiries from all prod­uct and mate­r­i­al areas,’ explains Ste­fan Zwerenz, Head of the Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Body at IBU. “This demand has prompt­ed us to devel­op uni­form and bind­ing rules for this with our Advi­so­ry Board.

The rules that have now been pub­lished are there­fore an impor­tant step for politi­cians and the con­struc­tion indus­try to con­sid­er EPDs in the con­text of the cir­cu­lar econ­o­my. Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion in par­tic­u­lar, with ini­tia­tives such as the Green Deal, shows the need to focus more on the issue of waste pre­ven­tion in the con­struc­tion indus­try. For man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies that already apply re-use con­cepts for their prod­ucts, it is impor­tant to be able to present the re-use of their prod­ucts using nor­ma­tive, com­pa­ra­ble and trans­par­ent data. It is there­fore impor­tant for the IBU to offer a solu­tion on how ver­i­fi­able infor­ma­tion on the cir­cu­lar econ­o­my can best be inte­grat­ed into the Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tion (EPD) in order to obtain a com­pre­hen­sive and accu­rate pic­ture of the entire life cycle of a con­struc­tion product.

The IBU reg­u­la­tions focus specif­i­cal­ly on the life cycle assess­ment. The EPD rules do not con­sid­er whether and under which legal reg­u­la­tions re-use prod­ucts can be placed on the mar­ket and at what point they may be con­sid­ered waste, the IBU clarifies.

We will be hap­py to pro­vide you with the res­o­lu­tion of the Advi­so­ry Board on request.