Dig­i­ti­za­tion on the one hand and sus­tain­abil­i­ty on the oth­er are two com­pelling pre­req­ui­sites for sus­tain­able con­struc­tion. IBU will help the con­struc­tion sec­tor achieve a new stan­dard with a new dig­i­tal­iza­tion strat­e­gy for envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct data.

With the fur­ther devel­op­ment of BIM, new pos­si­bil­i­ties will be cre­at­ed for the opti­miza­tion of con­struc­tion projects up to object-spe­cif­ic life cycle assess­ment. To this end, it is imper­a­tive to ful­ly dig­i­tize envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct infor­ma­tion (EPDs) and make them avail­able in suit­able for­mats. In the future, all rel­e­vant data on the eco­log­i­cal pro­file of the respec­tive prod­ucts should be direct­ly avail­able in the dig­i­tal plan­ning process. Depend­ing on the plan­ning phase, this may only be aver­age val­ues for prod­uct groups in the ear­ly stages. In detailed plan­ning and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, on the oth­er hand, prod­uct-spe­cif­ic data sets will be required, which in spe­cial cas­es may even extend to project-spe­cif­ic EPDs, for exam­ple for spe­cial for­mu­la­tions or com­plex ele­ments con­sist­ing of sev­er­al build­ing prod­ucts. Dig­i­ti­za­tion sig­nif­i­cant­ly sim­pli­fies the cre­ation of EPDs for indi­vid­ual build­ing prod­ucts and the merg­ing of data into a dec­la­ra­tion for com­plex ele­ments, and in many cas­es even makes this pos­si­ble in the first place.

The fur­ther increas­ing require­ments for qual­i­ty and quan­ti­ty of EPDs make sus­tain­abil­i­ty assess­ment more and more data-inten­sive. As an inter­face between man­u­fac­tur­ers as dec­la­ra­tion hold­ers on the one hand and data users on the oth­er, the IBU con­sis­tent­ly thinks of dig­i­ti­za­tion in two direc­tions: Toward appli­ca­tion and toward cre­ation. In both cas­es, the Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) has already achieved impor­tant mile­stones in recent years, which are con­stant­ly being opti­mized and expand­ed to include relat­ed process­es and ser­vices. In addi­tion, IBU is work­ing with a num­ber of com­pa­nies, insti­tutes and ini­tia­tives such as build­ing smart to achieve a smooth inte­gra­tion of EPDs into the BIM world.


At BAU 2023, the IBU will present the new ver­sion of the EPD plat­form (www.epd-online.com), which enables a sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased degree of automa­tion in the trans­for­ma­tion of pre­vi­ous EPDs in pdf form into the more advanced EPD for­mat ILCD+EPD. Archi­tects, plan­ners and audi­tors in par­tic­u­lar should ben­e­fit from this. EPDs are avail­able to them as dig­i­tal data sets in XML for­mat. These can be import­ed via a cor­re­spond­ing inter­face into exter­nal plan­ning and cal­cu­la­tion soft­ware, for exam­ple, and used direct­ly. This is pos­si­ble both in build­ing life cycle assess­ment process­es and in inte­gral plan­ning. In the lat­ter, the eco­log­i­cal dimen­sion of sus­tain­abil­i­ty can be tak­en into account at an ear­ly stage, since var­i­ous build­ing com­po­nents can be mod­eled and com­par­a­tive cal­cu­la­tions per­formed. In accor­dance with the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of EN 15804 stan­dards, the entire service life can be tak­en into account — from the con­struc­tion of the build­ing to the dis­man­tling and recy­cling of the prod­ucts, includ­ing dis­pos­al if nec­es­sary. The advan­tage: eco­log­i­cal aspects can be ide­al­ly inte­grat­ed into the plan­ning and con­struc­tion process as ear­ly as the design phase.

Ibu.data, ÖKOBAUDAT and ECO Por­tal — Ver­i­fied life cycle assess­ment data of build­ing prod­ucts in a uni­form dig­i­tal format

Cur­rent­ly, the IBU pro­vides dig­i­tized data sets for a large num­ber of build­ing prod­ucts not only in its own data­base ibu.data, but also in the plat­form ÖKOBAUDAT and in the ECO Por­tal for use in con­struc­tion and plan­ning process­es. ÖKOBAUDAT is an essen­tial basis in par­tic­u­lar for the new Qual­i­ty Seal for Sus­tain­able Build­ings (QNG) as well as cer­ti­fi­ca­tions accord­ing to the Fed­er­al Government’s Sus­tain­able Build­ing Assess­ment Sys­tem (BNB). The ECO Por­tal is an impor­tant data node of the ECO Plat­form, the umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion of the var­i­ous nation­al EPD pro­gram hold­ers in Europe, which is com­mit­ted to the har­mo­niza­tion of nation­al EPDs based on the Euro­pean stan­dard EN 15804. The close­ly coor­di­nat­ed coop­er­a­tion of the major EPD pro­gram hold­ers at the Euro­pean lev­el as well as the full recog­ni­tion in Europe rep­re­sents an enor­mous added val­ue for all prod­ucts with ECO Plat­form EPDs.

The data for­mat for ÖKOBAUDAT and ECO Plat­form is based on the ILCD+EPD for­mat devel­oped by the Fed­er­al Insti­tute for Research on Build­ing, Urban Affairs and Spa­tial Devel­op­ment (BBSR). This is based on the ILCD for­mat defined by the Joint Research Cen­tre (JRC) of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. Thanks to a UUID (Uni­ver­sal­ly Unique Iden­ti­fi­er), the EPD data can also be eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into BIM data sets, for exam­ple, with­out inflat­ing the lat­ter by the com­plex­i­ty of the envi­ron­ment-relat­ed data, which should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed. With this solu­tion, IBU, as the lead­ing EPD pro­gram own­er, offers an easy way to inte­grate envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct dec­la­ra­tions into oth­er dig­i­tal applications.