In June, the Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) invit­ed its inde­pen­dent ver­i­fiers to the 12th Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Com­mit­tee. This annu­al meet­ing ensures the qual­i­ty of envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct dec­la­ra­tions (EPDs) to strength­en con­fi­dence in sus­tain­able construction.

The ver­i­fiers play a key role. They guar­an­tee the objec­tiv­i­ty of the envi­ron­men­tal data in the EPDs through inde­pen­dent ver­i­fi­ca­tion and, as exter­nal third par­ties, pre­vent con­flicts of inter­est on the part of the man­u­fac­tur­ers. The IBU has stood for trans­par­ent and reli­able envi­ron­men­tal data for over 40 years. Its exper­tise and com­mit­ment help build­ing own­ers, archi­tects and plan­ners to make well-found­ed deci­sions in terms of sus­tain­able build­ing concepts.

At this year’s meet­ing, Ste­fan Zwerenz, Head of the Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Depart­ment, wel­comed 28 ver­i­fiers from all over the world, who elect­ed a new chair from among them­selves. After twelve years of out­stand­ing work and co-devel­op­ment of EN 15804, Dr. Eva Schminke is hand­ing over the chair­man­ship to Ms. Angela Schindler.

The com­mit­tee dis­cussed cur­rent inno­va­tions in PCR Part A, con­tin­u­ous improve­ments to har­mo­nize ver­i­fi­ca­tion prac­tices, the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of recy­cled con­struc­tion prod­ucts and the increas­ing demand for indi­vid­ual EPD and LCA tools. The dig­i­tal­ized work­flow, from the cre­ation to the pub­li­ca­tion of EPDs, is high­light­ed as a cen­tral com­po­nent for effi­cien­cy and trans­paren­cy in the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process.

High demand for more verifiers

Ste­fan Zwerenz empha­sized that with the increas­ing demand for EPDs, there is a great need for addi­tion­al inde­pen­dent ver­i­fiers at IBU. “IBU will increas­ing­ly focus on appoint­ing or hir­ing addi­tion­al ver­i­fiers with the rel­e­vant tech­ni­cal exper­tise. Their work is of cen­tral impor­tance for the EPD pro­gramme, sup­port­ed by the IBU’s Advi­so­ry Board and Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Body. Togeth­er, they help to ensure that envi­ron­men­tal infor­ma­tion is con­sis­tent, com­pa­ra­ble and trans­par­ent — a key con­tri­bu­tion to sus­tain­able devel­op­ment in the con­struc­tion industry.

In order to work as a ver­i­fi­er, exten­sive knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence in envi­ron­men­tal sci­ences, civ­il engi­neer­ing or relat­ed fields is required. They check the accu­ra­cy and com­plete­ness of the envi­ron­men­tal data in the EPDs and ensure that they meet the nor­ma­tive require­ments. Annu­al par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ver­i­fi­ca­tion com­mit­tee is manda­to­ry in order to keep up to date with the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy, sci­ence and EPD regulations.

Their involve­ment in the ver­i­fi­ca­tion process is cru­cial to shap­ing the future of sus­tain­able con­struc­tion. The IBU is look­ing for­ward to get­ting more com­mit­ted ver­i­fiers on board and work­ing togeth­er to fur­ther strength­en the trans­paren­cy and qual­i­ty of envi­ron­men­tal declarations.