FAQ — Fre­quent­ly Asked Questions

FAQ — Fre­quent­ly Asked Questions2018-01-24T18:12:54+01:00
What is IBU.data?2017–05-24T17:39:29+02:00

IBU.data is a data base, pro­vid­ed by Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., con­tain­ing the LCA-based data from the Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tions (EPDs) by man­u­fac­tur­ers of build­ing mate­ri­als, dig­i­talised in XML for­mat, and made avail­able to the pub­lic. This makes it pos­si­ble to apply it when cal­cu­lat­ing build­ing LCAs.

Why does IBU now have its own data base?2017–05-24T17:41:06+02:00

In the form of IBU.data, IBU offers sig­nif­i­cant­ly added val­ue for the users of EPDs: a data base of its own is asso­ci­at­ed with short pub­li­ca­tion cycles for new EPDs while in-house oper­a­tion means that all IBU EPDs gen­er­at­ed in the EPD online tool can now be made avail­able in dig­i­tal form for the first time. This reduces depen­dence on the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of exter­nal data base operators.

This also makes IBU.data a pio­neer of devel­op­ment in Europe among pro­gramme oper­a­tors of EPDs hop­ing to make their data avail­able to the pub­lic in dig­i­tal form. This is based on the con­cept of the Euro­pean InDa­ta team which entails pro­gramme own­ers devel­op­ing a net­work of dig­i­tal EPD data as XML files based on the ILCD for­mat (Inter­na­tion­al Life Cycle Dataset).

What is a PCR?2017–01-26T15:41:46+01:00

Accord­ing to DIN EN ISO 14025, prod­uct cat­e­go­ry rules are the com­bi­na­tion of spe­cif­ic rules, require­ments, or guide­lines used to cre­ate an Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tion for one or more prod­uct cat­e­gories. In the IBU’s EPD pro­gramme, the PCR is divid­ed into two parts: A and B. PCR Part A con­tains the uni­form life cycle assess­ment cal­cu­la­tion rules for all build­ing prod­ucts, as well as the require­ments for the back­ground report. Part B reg­u­lates the spe­cif­ic require­ments of each prod­uct sub­group for the con­tents of an EPD.

What EPD data can I find on IBU.data and how up to date is it?2017–05-24T17:42:21+02:00

IBU.data pub­lish­es all EPD data sets gen­er­at­ed and pub­lished at IBU using the EPD online tool. Thanks to its direct link to EPD-Online, IBU.data is always up to date.

What does the EN 15804 stan­dard mean?2017–01-31T09:31:29+01:00

DIN EN 15804 (often short­ened to EN 15804) “Build­ing Sus­tain­abil­i­ty — Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tions — Basic Rules for the Prod­uct Cat­e­go­ry of Build­ing Prod­ucts” ensures that all EPDs for build­ing prod­ucts, build­ing ser­vices, and build­ing process­es are derived, ver­i­fied, and rep­re­sent­ed in a uni­form man­ner. It stip­u­lates the fun­da­men­tal prod­uct cat­e­go­ry rules (PCR). Accord­ing to EN 15804, EPDs in the build­ing indus­try will form the basis for the descrip­tion and eval­u­a­tion of build­ings. They there­by spec­i­fy ISO 14025 for build­ing products.

What does it cost to use the data?2020–02-06T19:24:07+01:00

Use of the data offered on IBU.data is free of charge for end users for the pur­pose of infor­ma­tion and use for Build­ing LCAs. Click here for the terms of use. A sep­a­rate licence agree­ment is required for all oth­er types of use. Please con­tact info@ibu-epd.com for more information.

 

What does ISO 14025 con­tain?2017–01-31T09:38:21+01:00

DIN EN ISO 14025 (often short­ened to ISO 14025) “Envi­ron­men­tal Trade­marks and Dec­la­ra­tions — Type III Envi­ron­men­tal Dec­la­ra­tions — Prin­ci­ples and Pro­ce­dures” is the basis for envi­ron­men­tal trade­marks in com­pli­ance with Type III. ISO 14025 reg­u­lates, among oth­er things, how Type III Envi­ron­men­tal Dec­la­ra­tions and Type III Envi­ron­men­tal Dec­la­ra­tion Pro­grammes are cre­at­ed and in par­tic­u­lar, spec­i­fies the appli­ca­tion of the DIN EN ISO 14040 series of stan­dards for their cre­ation. This enables com­par­isons between prod­ucts that have the same func­tion — on the basis of quan­ti­fied envi­ron­men­tal infor­ma­tion from the life cycle of a product.

How can I access the data from my soft­ware tool?2020–02-06T19:24:24+01:00

The gen­er­al pub­lic does not cur­rent­ly have access to the web­site. If you are inter­est­ed in access­ing IBU.data from a build­ing LCA tool via the online inter­face, please con­tact info@ibu-epd.com for more information.

Where can I get IBU and EPD logos, and how am I allowed to use them?2017–01-31T09:42:34+01:00

The logos are avail­able for down­load by IBU mem­bers. When using them, please observe the trade­mark use statutes stip­u­lat­ed at the end of the statutes.

What is an EPD?2017–01-26T15:36:26+01:00

An EPD (Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tion) is a mul­ti­page doc­u­ment describ­ing the envi­ron­men­tal effects of build­ing prod­ucts based on a life cycle assess­ment with quan­ti­ta­tive data. It is cre­at­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er and reviewed at the IBU by inde­pen­dent ver­i­fiers on the basis of ISO 14025 and EN 15804 norms, and is sub­se­quent­ly published.

An EPD serves to pro­vide trans­paren­cy to the pub­lic regard­ing the envi­ron­men­tal influ­ences of build­ing prod­ucts. It is the basis for the eco­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of build­ings in build­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems such as the DGNB or BNB sys­tems, or LEED, BREEAM, and HQE. In addi­tion, EPDs clar­i­fy the opti­mi­sa­tion poten­tial over the life­time of their prod­ucts to man­u­fac­tur­ers, who, as a result, can estab­lish process­es that con­serve more resources, are more envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly and more economical.

How can I get my EPD data into the ÖKOBAUDAT build­ing mate­ri­als data­base?2017–01-31T10:06:35+01:00

To learn how to cre­ate a data record for the BMUB ÖKOBAUDAT build­ing mate­ri­als data­base, please view the instruc­tions in this video. Pre­req­ui­sites are that the EPD has been cre­at­ed in the online tool and that it has already been pub­lished. Please note that the data records must first under­go an ini­tial eval­u­a­tion at the Min­istry before they can be pub­lished in the data­base. ÖKOBAUDAT updates take place at reg­u­lar inter­vals, mean­ing that new EPDs will not be list­ed imme­di­ate­ly, but only with the next update. The trans­mis­sion of data records to ÖKOBAUDAT is free.

The auto­mat­ic trans­fer of EPDs to ÖKOBAUDAT via the IBU is not pos­si­ble, since the indi­vid­ual dec­la­ra­tion own­er is also the own­er of the EPD and must active­ly agree to pub­li­ca­tion in ÖKOBAUDAT.

Can I also cre­ate an EPD offline?2017–01-31T10:11:44+01:00

Yes, this is pos­si­ble. To do this, the IBU Edi­tor Client (also called the offline tool) must be down­loaded. With this tool, you can work on the EPD that you have cre­at­ed in the EPD online tool (this step is required), using few­er clicks. This has the ben­e­fit of faster load­ing times, or no load­ing time at all. In addi­tion, the lay­out process for the EPDs is sub­stan­tial­ly sim­pli­fied, since the changes entered are imme­di­ate­ly vis­i­ble in the EPD pre­view (the “what you see is what you get” principle).

Is the com­plete EPD cre­ation process dis­played dig­i­tal­ly?2017–01-31T10:18:00+01:00

Yes, it is the­o­ret­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble to dis­play the com­plete EPD process from the begin­ning up to the online pub­li­ca­tion of the EPD.

Who can use the tool?2017–01-31T10:24:04+01:00

The EPD online tool is avail­able fol­low­ing a two-stage reg­is­tra­tion: Stage 1: for view­ing pub­lished EPDs; Stage 2: for cre­at­ing EPDs, click on “Cre­ate My Own EPDs”. The sec­ond stage will be acti­vat­ed by the IBU office. The mul­ti-user func­tion­al­i­ty of the tool makes it pos­si­ble for any num­ber of peo­ple to work on a par­tic­u­lar EPD doc­u­ment with­in an EPD. Var­i­ous safe­guards ensure that two peo­ple can­not simul­ta­ne­ous­ly edit the same sec­tion of the EPD (this also applies to the offline tool).

Are IBU EPDs rec­og­nized in oth­er coun­tries?2017–01-31T09:51:03+01:00

The IBU strives for the mutu­al recog­ni­tion of DIN EN 15804 EPDs by oth­er EPD pro­gram meop­er­a­tors. If an agree­ment for mutu­al recog­ni­tion exists between two pro­gramme oper­a­tors, the dec­la­ra­tion own­er may also have EPDs pub­lished in the oth­er EPD pro­gramme with­out anoth­er review of the EPD or the cre­ation of a new EPD. The cur­rent mutu­al recog­ni­tions are list­ed here.

What func­tion­al­i­ties does the EPD online tool offer?2017–01-31T10:29:08+01:00
  • Mul­ti-user func­tion­al­i­ty with vary­ing lev­els of authorisation
  • Offline EPD pro­cess­ing made pos­si­ble by the EPD Edi­tor Client
  • Ful­ly dig­i­tal pro­cess­ing of EPD cre­ation, ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and publication
  • ÖKOBAUDAT inter­face avail­able free of charge
What is the EPD online tool?2017–01-31T10:33:03+01:00

The EPD-Online Tool is a data­base sys­tem that facil­i­tates the online pro­duc­tion of EPDs. The advan­tages of this tool are that every EPD main­tains the same lay­out and, dur­ing the cre­ation process, is always the most cur­rent ver­sion of an EPD. In addi­tion, all IBU EPDs are pub­lished there.

There is no suit­able PCR for my prod­uct. What should I do?2017–01-31T10:40:33+01:00

If there is no suit­able PCR Part B for your prod­uct at the IBU, please con­tact your branch office. We will begin the cre­ation process togeth­er with you. There is no charge for this service.

What is the dif­fer­ence between Core EPD and IBU EPD?2017–01-31T10:43:11+01:00

At Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., two dif­fer­ent EPDs are gen­er­al­ly offered: the IBU EPD and the “Core EPD”, in accor­dance with EN 15804. The pri­ma­ry dif­fer­ence between these two types of EPD is the extent of infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed. The Core EPD con­tains only nor­ma­tive manda­to­ry required con­tents. Specif­i­cal­ly, this means that a Core EPD, among oth­er things, con­tains no data regard­ing the pro­duc­tion, prod­uct pro­cess­ing, con­di­tions of use, dis­pos­al, or the behav­iour of the prod­uct in unusu­al cir­cum­stances. Fur­ther, nei­ther Chap­ter 6 (Life Cycle Assess­ment Inter­pre­ta­tion) nor Chap­ter 7 (Evi­dence) are includ­ed. These miss­ing chap­ters sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the use­ful­ness of the EPD in com­par­i­son to a com­plete IBU EPD, which is why, in order to sup­ply infor­ma­tion that is as con­cise and com­pre­hen­sive as pos­si­ble, the IBU nor­mal­ly rec­om­mends the cre­ation of an IBU EPD.

What does the dec­la­ra­tion num­ber tell me?2017–01-31T10:48:34+01:00

The num­ber­ing is struc­tured as follows:

  • EPD_KKK_JJJJLLLL-DSRV-SP
  • K = com­pa­ny iden­ti­fi­er (cap­i­tal let­ters only)
  •  J = year
  • L = ser­i­al num­ber begin­ning with 0001; this will be gen­er­at­ed by the sys­tem and is reset to 0001 at the begin­ning of each new year
  • D = type of dec­la­ra­tion: C = core EPD; I= IBU EPD
  • S = sys­tem bound­aries: A = cra­dle to gate; B = cra­dle to gate with options; C = cra­dle to grave
  • R = rep­re­sen­ta­tive status
  • A = dec­la­ra­tion of a spe­cif­ic prod­uct from a manufacturer’s fac­to­ry; to H = dec­la­ra­tion of an aver­age prod­uct aver­aged from sev­er­al fac­to­ries of sev­er­al man­u­fac­tur­ers, not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the association;
  • V =ver­sion; the cur­rent ver­sion begins with 1; changes to the EPD can be made using a ver­sion number.
  • SP = lan­guage abbreviation
What does the inde­pen­dent ver­i­fi­ca­tion through third par­ties mean and how does it work?2017–01-31T10:57:48+01:00

Inde­pen­dent ver­i­fi­ca­tion of EPDs is stip­u­lat­ed by ISO 14025 and EN 15804, and indi­cates that the EPD has been test­ed and approved by an inde­pen­dent expert (ver­i­fi­er) pri­or to pub­li­ca­tion. The review con­tains the fol­low­ing criteria:

  • Plau­si­bil­i­ty
  • Com­plete­ness
  • Con­sis­ten­cy

Using the EPD-Online Tool, the man­u­fac­tur­er sub­mits its EPD to the IBU to be ver­i­fied. The IBU selects a ver­i­fi­er from the ver­i­fi­er com­mit­tee and assigns the EPD, allow­ing the required doc­u­ments (EPD, back­ground report, or oth­er addi­tion­al ver­i­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments, if pos­si­ble) to be made avail­able to the ver­i­fi­er. In the event of ques­tions or dis­crep­an­cies, the ver­i­fi­er con­tacts the man­u­fac­tur­er so that the EPD can be revised. If all of the data is cor­rect, the ver­i­fi­er releas­es the EPD so that it can be pub­lished by the IBU. The inde­pen­dence of review­ers is very impor­tant to the IBU, and there­fore the IBU, rather than the man­u­fac­tur­er, selects the ver­i­fi­er. For this rea­son, the ver­i­fi­ca­tion costs are not paid from the man­u­fac­tur­er to the ver­i­fi­er, but rather, the IBU charges a lump sum and pays the man­u­fac­tur­er for the verification.

Who selects the ver­i­fi­er for the EPD review and who pays for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion?2017–01-31T11:12:06+01:00

The assign­ment of the ver­i­fi­er to the indi­vid­ual EPD projects is done by the employ­ees of the IBU branch office, in accor­dance with the expe­ri­ence and area of activ­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual ver­i­fi­er, as well as their avail­abil­i­ty. The ver­i­fi­ca­tion costs are charged to the dec­la­ra­tion own­er by the IBU in a lump sum of € 2.000 per EPD. Any addi­tion­al costs are borne by the IBU. This process of man­u­­fac­­tur­er-neu­­tral assign­ment and pay­ment of review­ers ensures the inde­pen­dence and qual­i­ty of the IBU, and serves as a fun­da­men­tal ele­ment of our claim to credibility.

What does it say in an EPD?2017–01-31T10:37:35+01:00

Prod­uct life cycle description

  1. Chap­ter: Gen­er­al statements

These con­tain, among oth­er things, basic infor­ma­tion about the man­u­fac­tur­er, the prod­uct declared, the range of the valid­i­ty of the EPD, and the date until which the EPD is valid.

  1. Chap­ter: Product

This con­tains, among oth­er things, a detailed prod­uct descrip­tion, the spe­cif­ic intend­ed pur­pose of the declared prod­uct, a descrip­tion of the most sig­nif­i­cant (build­ing) tech­ni­cal data for the prod­uct, infor­ma­tion regard­ing place­ment on the mar­ket and appli­ca­tion rules, spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the raw and aux­il­iary mate­ri­als of which the prod­uct is com­posed, a descrip­tion of the pro­duc­tion process, as well as the behav­iour of the prod­uct under unusu­al influ­ences. Fur­ther­more, it con­tains infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing the instal­la­tion, use and dis­pos­al of the product.

  1. Chap­ter: Life cycle assess­ment algorithms

These describe, among oth­er things, the unit declared, the sys­tem lim­i­ta­tions, cut­t­ing-off rules, back­ground data, data qual­i­ty and applied allo­ca­tion process­es with life cycle assessments.

  1. Chap­ter: Life cycle assess­ment sce­nar­ios and addi­tion­al tech­ni­cal information

These doc­u­ment the life cycle assess­ment on the build­ing lev­el and nec­es­sary sce­nario infor­ma­tion, e.g., ref­er­ence ser­vice life, or expen­di­tures for clean­ing dur­ing use.

Life cycle assess­ment data

  1. Chap­ter: Life cycle assess­ment results

This con­tains the life cycle assess­ment results in accor­dance with EN 15804 and ISO 14040ff.

Addi­tion­al data

  1. Chap­ter: Life cycle assess­ment interpretation

This con­tains a dom­i­nance analy­sis as well as a descrip­tion of the gap or vari­ance of the results in order to make pos­si­ble a com­pre­hen­sive under­stand­ing of the life cycle assess­ment values.

  1. Chap­ter: Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and test results

This con­tains addi­tion­al envi­ron­men­tal or health-rel­e­­vant state­ments, e.g., regard­ing the emis­sions behav­iour of the prod­uct (key­word VOC emissions).

  1. Chap­ter: Ref­er­ence works

This is a list­ing of all norms, stan­dards and key doc­u­ments used that apply to the declaration.

Sup­ple­ment to the core EPD:

At Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., two dif­fer­ent EPDs are gen­er­al­ly offered: the IBU EPD and the “Core EPD”, in accor­dance with EN 15804. The pri­ma­ry dif­fer­ence between these two types of EPD is the extent of the infor­ma­tion provided.

Where can I find pub­lished EPDs?2017–01-31T11:17:33+01:00

All cur­rent­ly valid IBU EPDs can be found on the IBU web­site and in the EPD-Online Tool (fol­low­ing free registration).

What is the EPD data used for?2017–01-31T11:21:19+01:00

EPDs are the fun­da­men­tal data used for the eco­log­i­cal pil­lars of sus­tain­abil­i­ty assess­ment in build­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tems: In the DGNB sys­tem and in the BNB, EPDs are applic­a­ble for indi­vid­ual build­ing prod­ucts, in order to cal­cu­late the building’s life cycle assess­ment. With LEED, cred­it points may be earned through the exis­tence of EPDs, which is sim­i­lar in func­tion to BREEAM.

Fur­ther, through the data col­lec­tion and eval­u­a­tion that takes place in the process of cre­at­ing an EPD, man­u­fac­tur­ers are able to gain insights into their own process­es. Through the life cycle analy­sis, the build­ing prod­uct can be checked for eco­log­i­cal and eco­nom­ic hotspots, and can be sub­se­quent­ly opti­mised, not only con­serv­ing resources and reduc­ing the envi­ron­men­tal effects of the prod­uct, but also bring­ing finan­cial sav­ings through increased effi­cien­cy in the process.

The EPD is thus not only an infor­ma­tion­al doc­u­ment for plan­ners, archi­tects and audi­tors, but also a valu­able instru­ment for the man­u­fac­tur­er in opti­mis­ing his/her own prod­ucts and processes.

What do I have to do in order to take advan­tage of the mutu­al recog­ni­tion?2017–01-31T11:33:17+01:00

To the extent that you would like place­ment of EPDs in for­eign mar­kets where the IBU has mutu­al recog­ni­tion with an EPD pro­gram, the IBU branch office is avail­able to assist with imple­men­ta­tion. The IBU rec­om­mends mak­ing a deci­sion dur­ing the cre­ation of the life cycle assess­ment as to whether or not you will ulti­mate­ly make use of mutu­al recog­ni­tion, in order to per­form poten­tial addi­tion­al cal­cu­la­tions at that time, and thus reduce costs and time.

What is the ECO Plat­form?2017–01-31T11:44:01+01:00

The ECO Plat­form is the umbrel­la organ­i­sa­tion of the var­i­ous nation­al EPD pro­gram oper­a­tors in Europe, and sup­ports the cre­ation of a Euro­pean Core EPD sys­tem based on the EN 15804 Euro­pean stan­dard. The Euro­pean pro­gram oper­a­tors involved have agreed upon cer­tain min­i­mum stan­dards in rela­tion to qual­i­ty man­age­ment and the ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dure, whose obser­vance they have oblig­at­ed them­selves to. EPDs that car­ry the ECO Plat­form EPD logo and are list­ed on the ECO Plat­form stand for the best pos­si­ble com­pa­ra­bil­i­ty to date in terms of a coor­di­nat­ed Euro­pean solution.

The ECO Plat­form ini­tia­tive, which is the basis for the cre­ation of inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion, has been well-received in the indus­try. Along with IBU, as pro­gram oper­a­tor in Ger­many, the found­ing mem­bers of the ECO Plat­form also include the Euro­pean build­ing mate­ri­als asso­ci­a­tion Con­struc­tion Prod­ucts Europe.

In the future, all “ECO EPDs” from the var­i­ous pro­grams will be cen­tral­ly list­ed on the ECO Plat­form web­site (www.eco-platform.org). Man­u­fac­tur­ers who pub­lish EPDs with the IBU may also vol­un­tar­i­ly issue them with the ECO Plat­form EPD seal.

What kinds of mem­ber­ships are there?2017–01-31T11:59:45+01:00

Com­pa­nies have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to become full mem­bers of the IBU, or to place EPDs with the IBU through an asso­ci­a­tion in which it is a mem­ber, which is also a full mem­ber of the IBU, as long as the applic­a­ble prod­uct group falls under the activ­i­ties of the association.

As full IBU mem­bers, asso­ci­a­tions may for­ward their autho­ri­sa­tion for EPD cre­ation on to their mem­ber­ship organ­i­sa­tions. This option does not apply for asso­ciate mem­bers of the asso­ci­a­tion. In this case, the asso­ci­a­tion may decide to exclu­sive­ly cre­ate asso­ci­a­tion EPDs so that its mem­bers may not cre­ate indi­vid­u­al­ized EPDs or their own EPDs through the asso­ci­a­tion. To the extent that this is desired, the com­pa­ny itself must become a full IBU member.

In addi­tion, it is pos­si­ble to become a sup­port­ing mem­ber of the IBU.

You can find detailed infor­ma­tion in the Bylaws and Mem­ber­ship Fee Reg­u­la­tions.

How can I become an IBU mem­ber and what do I need to know?2017–01-31T12:02:59+01:00

For mem­ber­ship in the IBU, a writ­ten appli­ca­tion (Full/Asso­ci­at­ed) to the branch office must be sub­mit­ted, with a com­plet­ed appli­ca­tion form. The Board of Direc­tors makes the deci­sion on admis­sions. The rules for mem­ber­ship are reg­u­lat­ed in the Bylaws and Mem­ber­ship Fee Regulations.

In which coun­tries can I pub­lish my IBU EPDs via mutu­al recog­ni­tion?2017–01-31T13:58:06+01:00

At present, the IBU has agreed to mutu­al recog­ni­tion with the fol­low­ing countries:

  • USA
  • Swe­den
  • Nor­way
  • Den­mark
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Great Britain

Spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion on the pub­li­ca­tion process and result­ing costs for the indi­vid­ual pro­gram oper­a­tors can be found here.

Which gen­er­al doc­u­ments should be con­sid­ered when pub­lish­ing an EPD with the IBU?2017–01-31T12:08:12+01:00
Where can I find the prod­uct cat­e­go­ry rules or PCR Parts A and B?2017–01-31T12:15:04+01:00

The basic PCR doc­u­ment for all PCR Part A prod­uct groups may be viewed by those who are reg­is­tered in the EPD-Online Tool and have admin­is­tra­tor author­i­ty. If you are work­ing on an EPD project or have set up a new EPD, see the PCR Part A doc­u­ment in the Appen­dix. This may also be downloaded.

All cur­rent PCR Part B doc­u­ments are also locat­ed in the EPD-Online Tool and may be down­loaded. These may be accessed fol­low­ing reg­is­tra­tion in the EPD-Online Tool.

As a devel­op­er, which EPD prod­uct should I use for my build­ing? Can you give me a rec­om­men­da­tion?2017–01-31T12:20:35+01:00

IBU gen­er­al­ly does not pro­vide eval­u­a­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions con­cern­ing indi­vid­ual prod­ucts, since build­ing prod­ucts are nor­mal­ly semi-fin­ished prod­ucts. Their effi­cien­cy and envi­ron­men­tal effects unfold only in inter­ac­tion with oth­er prod­ucts in spe­cif­ic instal­la­tion sit­u­a­tions. For this rea­son, build­ing prod­ucts are nei­ther “good” nor “bad”, and the key num­bers of the life cycle analy­sis in EPDs are nor­mal­ly not direct­ly com­pa­ra­ble. Eval­u­a­tion and com­par­i­son is only mean­ing­ful on the com­plete build­ing lev­el, not with indi­vid­ual products!

How can I use the ECO Plat­form?2020–11-04T14:17:37+01:00

In order to dis­play the ECO Plat­form seal on your EPDs and be list­ed on the ECO Plat­form web­site, please con­tact the IBU branch office (con­tact: Nora Pankow). There is an annu­al fee of €100, which is invoiced from the ECO Plat­form over the IBU. For mul­ti­ple EPDs, a tiered dis­count rate applies.

I would like some back­ground infor­ma­tion on a prod­uct with an IBU EPD. Whom can I con­tact?2017–01-31T12:26:39+01:00

To be sent man­u­fac­tur­er data on spe­cif­ic con­tents of the EPD, please con­tact the dec­la­ra­tion own­er direct­ly. You can find gen­er­al con­tact infor­ma­tion for the dec­la­ra­tion own­er and those respon­si­ble for the con­tents of the EPD on the last page of the EPD doc­u­ment. In addi­tion, you will find spe­cif­ic mem­ber con­tacts on the IBU web­site in the indi­vid­ual profile.

Where does the dif­fer­ence lie between cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and why are EPDs not cer­tifi­cates?2017–01-31T12:34:35+01:00

Prod­uct seals‚ qual­i­ty labels or seals of qual­i­ty are des­ig­nat­ed as cer­tifi­cates for prod­ucts, pro­vid­ing graph­ic or writ­ten prod­uct iden­ti­fiers that cer­ti­fy the qual­i­ty of a prod­uct, for exam­ple, regard­ing safe­ty cri­te­ria adhered to, or prod­uct con­tents. Cer­tifi­cates are an eval­u­a­tion of a prod­uct. The EPD does not pro­vide these, because it pro­vides quan­ti­ta­tive infor­ma­tion about the char­ac­ter­is­tics and envi­ron­men­tal effects of a prod­uct and makes these trans­par­ent, with­out mak­ing eval­u­a­tive statements.

This dif­fer­ence, as com­pared to tra­di­tion­al envi­ron­men­tal labels and cer­tifi­cates or seals of qual­i­ty, is con­scious­ly nor­ma­tive­ly reg­u­lat­ed with EPDs, since, here, a life cycle assess­ment with a mul­ti­tude of indi­ca­tors is shown, which can­not be sum­marised in a sin­gle eval­u­a­tive state­ment. For instance, an EPD does not test the prod­uct for spe­cif­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as mate­r­i­al con­tent or emis­sions, as is the case in lab­o­ra­to­ries. On the con­trary, ver­i­fi­ca­tion exam­ines whether the data pro­vid­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er in its EPD are plau­si­ble and com­plete with regard to applic­a­ble stan­dards and rules.

How is an EPD cre­at­ed?2017–01-31T12:53:59+01:00

The EPD cre­ation process can be divid­ed into three steps:

Step 1: Devel­op­ment of Prod­uct Cat­e­go­ry Rules

The basis of an EPD is the guid­ance doc­u­ment (PCR — Prod­uct Cat­e­go­ry Rules), which con­sists of two parts. Part A, which is uni­form­ly valid for all prod­uct sub­groups, is writ­ten and main­tained by the Advi­so­ry Board (SVR). It con­tains the algo­rithm for the life cycle assess­ment and the require­ments of the under­ly­ing back­ground report.

Part B is writ­ten for spe­cif­ic prod­uct sub­groups and describes the require­ments for the con­tents of the respec­tive EPD. Work­ing groups mod­er­at­ed by the IBU define the respec­tive prod­uct sub­groups, which exhib­it sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics and func­tion­al­i­ties. They spec­i­fy the struc­tur­al data and the addi­tion­al envi­ron­men­tal and health-relat­ed evi­dence that is to be declared. IBU mem­bers, work­ing togeth­er with exter­nal experts, there­by com­pile a draft of the new PCR Part B guid­ance text.

The SVR exam­ines the draft for con­sis­ten­cy between the prod­uct groups and for com­plete­ness. Sub­se­quent­ly, inter­est­ed par­ties from the pub­lic have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss the draft in an online forum and to con­tribute sug­ges­tions for improve­ment, before the SVR releas­es the document.

Step 2: Draw­ing up the EPD

In the sec­ond step, the EPD is drawn up on the basis of the guide­lines of PCR guid­ance text Part B. In order for the results of the life cycle assess­ment to be checked, an addi­tion­al “back­ground report” based on PCR Part A must be drawn up. The under­ly­ing life cycle assess­ment mod­el comes from this report, as well as the accep­tance and allo­ca­tion meth­ods. For the writ­ing of the EPD doc­u­ment itself, an eas­i­ly oper­at­ed, web-based Online Tool, acces­si­ble to all par­tic­i­pants, is available.

Step 3: Inde­pen­dent review and confirmation

In the third step, the SVR and the back­ground report are reviewed by the ver­i­fi­er appoint­ed by the SVR as an inde­pen­dent third par­ty, in accor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of ISO 14025 and EN 15804. Fol­low­ing a review for com­plete­ness, plau­si­bil­i­ty and con­sis­ten­cy of the data and cal­cu­la­tions, a ver­i­fi­ca­tion report is completed.

Sub­se­quent­ly, the EPD is pub­lished by the IBU. An EPD is valid for 5 years.

I would like to pub­lish the EPD in anoth­er lan­guage. What do I have to do?2017–01-31T12:58:26+01:00

In order to avoid re-cal­cu­lat­ing and re-ver­i­­fy­ing the EPD again, it is pos­si­ble to pub­lish a trans­lat­ed ver­sion through the IBU. To do this, a cer­ti­fied trans­la­tion is required. Through the request for this authen­ti­ca­tion, the IBU ensures that the con­tents of the orig­i­nal EPD and the trans­la­tion are iden­ti­cal and are not mere­ly adver­tis­ing state­ments or mod­i­fied data.

The trans­la­tor may be freely select­ed, on the con­di­tion that he/she is cer­ti­fied by a notary pub­lic to issue cer­ti­fied trans­la­tions. The IBU branch office can, if nec­es­sary, pro­vide con­tact infor­ma­tion for agen­cies expe­ri­enced with EPD translations.

Aside from the choice of trans­la­tor, the trans­lat­ed Ger­­man-Eng­lish and Eng­lish-Ger­­man EPD con­tents must be trans­ferred to the EPD-Online Tool before the IBU pub­lish­es them. To aid in this, the branch office can set up a data record copy into or out of Eng­lish, so that the con­tents, and, in par­tic­u­lar, the tables, are already avail­able. At that point, the trans­lat­ed texts (and if nec­es­sary, the graph­ics) can be insert­ed. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is added as an appen­dix (the title page of the trans­la­tion, with the authen­ti­ca­tion stamp as a scan), with which it is cer­ti­fied that the trans­lat­ed con­tents from the orig­i­nal EPD have been accept­ed with­out changes.

How long does it take to cre­ate an EPD?2017–01-31T13:06:10+01:00

The cre­ation process for an EPD usu­al­ly takes sev­er­al months. In par­tic­u­lar, the data col­lec­tion and cal­cu­la­tion of the life cycle assess­ment are time-con­­sum­ing. The ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the EPD data by the IBU through the inde­pen­dent review­ers varies sig­nif­i­cant­ly for each case. Depend­ing on the qual­i­ty of the EPD, how quick­ly the EPD cre­ator makes nec­es­sary cor­rec­tions fol­low­ing the feed­back from the review­er, and how many EPDs cur­rent­ly need to be reviewed, under nor­mal con­di­tions, the process can last sev­er­al weeks. To this must be added an advance edi­to­r­i­al pre­lim­i­nary exam­i­na­tion, whose results are usu­al­ly avail­able with­in one week, as well as the Review & Release by the IBU pres­i­dent fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful ver­i­fi­ca­tion (approx. 2 weeks).

How do I receive up-to-date infor­ma­tion from the IBU?2017–01-31T12:47:52+01:00

In order to receive up-to-date infor­ma­tion about the IBU, sub­scribe to the IBU newslet­ter or fol­low us on Twit­ter.

What is the struc­ture of the IBU?2017–01-31T13:11:32+01:00

The IBU is an ini­tia­tive of build­ing prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers who oper­ate as a reg­is­tered asso­ci­a­tion. Club mem­bers include approx. 180 man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies and asso­ci­a­tions from the build­ing mate­ri­als indus­try inside and out­side of Ger­many, who are involved in sus­tain­able building.

An exec­u­tive com­mit­tee of 13 peo­ple is elect­ed at the gen­er­al meet­ing, with the chair of the board as its head. In addi­tion, an elect­ed pres­i­dent rep­re­sents the IBU in pub­lic and in strate­gic tasks.

The Advi­so­ry Board (SVR) rep­re­sents the high­est tech­ni­cal author­i­ty for the IBU’s work. Ten experts from sci­ence and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, build­ing and envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion author­i­ties, as well as nature con­ser­va­tion asso­ci­a­tions vol­un­tar­i­ly par­tic­i­pate in super­vis­ing con­for­mi­ty to norms and ensur­ing the qual­i­ty of the ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures in the IBU EPD programme.

The IBU uses inde­pen­dent third par­ties to review the EPDs. These include ver­i­fiers from SVR-appoint­ed experts from sci­ence and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, and from test­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion insti­tu­tions who have com­pre­hen­sive knowl­edge of prod­ucts, meth­ods and stan­dard­i­s­a­tion. Before they are cer­ti­fied by the SVR, they go through a super­vi­sion phase, in which they are guid­ed by expe­ri­enced ver­i­fiers dur­ing their prac­ti­cal train­ing. In addi­tion, they com­mit them­selves to con­tin­u­ous fur­ther train­ing with­in the con­text of the IBU programme.

What does an EPD cost?2017–08-07T10:52:07+02:00

The costs for the review and pub­li­ca­tion of the EPD, along with the accom­pa­ny­ing IBU mem­ber­ship, may be found in the Mem­ber­ship Fee Reg­u­la­tions.

The mem­ber­ship costs are tiered into sev­er­al con­tri­bu­tion class­es, based on the member’s total sales. The costs for an EPD, called dec­la­ra­tion fees, are divid­ed into two parts: The one-time ver­i­fi­ca­tion costs of 2.000 € for each EPD, and the annu­al trade mark use fee, tiered accord­ing to the num­ber of EPDs (€960 to €120).

Where can I get a life cycle assess­ment and data for the EPD?2018–04-30T10:11:09+02:00

Col­lect­ing the nec­es­sary data for the EPD, cal­cu­lat­ing the life cycle assess­ment and cre­at­ing an EPD that con­forms to the norms is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the man­u­fac­tur­er. Nor­mal­ly, if the appro­pri­ate know-how is unavail­able at his/her own com­pa­ny, the man­u­fac­tur­er will hire an expe­ri­enced life cycle assess­ment ser­vice provider for sup­port with the cre­ation of the EPD. A list of com­pa­nies and experts who have already suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en over these kinds of projects for EPDs with the IBU may be found in our list of coop­er­a­tions in sec­tion 2 — LCA Practitioners.