The IBU (Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.) and the North Amer­i­can EPD pro­gram hold­er Smart EPD agreed to a mutu­al recog­ni­tion and open­ing the way for build­ing prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers to bring their EPDs to the Amer­i­can market. 

Smart EPD is a ful­ly dig­i­tal EPD pro­gram that oper­ates in the North Amer­i­can mar­ket. Through the mutu­al recog­ni­tion of EPDs between IBU and Smart EPD, build­ing prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers will be able to gain new mar­ket access in the future by list­ing their EPDs as PDFs par­al­lel with Smart EPD on the US mar­ket. In the next stage, the exchange of dig­i­tal for­mats is also being con­sid­ered. Mutu­al recog­ni­tion of ver­i­fied EPDs pub­lished by Smart EPD and IBU means that they are mutu­al­ly accept­ed with­out fur­ther ver­i­fi­ca­tion, even if the ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­grams are car­ried out independently.

Like the IBU, CEO Anna Las­so and her team of experts at Smart EPD focus on the con­tin­u­ous devel­op­ment of inno­v­a­tive ways to dis­close the envi­ron­men­tal impact of prod­ucts con­sis­tent­ly and cred­i­bly in a data-ori­ent­ed man­ner. Ste­fan Zwerenz, Head of the Ver­i­fi­ca­tion Body at IBU, in coop­er­a­tion with Matthias Schulz, the inde­pen­dent ver­i­fi­er appoint­ed by the Ger­man Coun­cil of Experts, has brought about the con­trac­tu­al agree­ment with Smart EPD regard­ing the respec­tive ver­i­fi­ca­tion prac­tice in addi­tion to the tech­ni­cal work. “We are the first EPD pro­gram to achieve mutu­al recog­ni­tion with this up-and-com­ing North Amer­i­can pro­gram hold­er,” empha­sizes Zwerenz. “Smart EPD and the IBU har­mo­nized the prin­ci­ples and func­tion­al­i­ty of their EPD pro­grams. We were able to achieve mutu­al recog­ni­tion based on ISO 21930 and EN 15804 — an absolute mile­stone for inter­na­tion­al ver­i­fi­ca­tion prac­tice!” con­tin­ues Ste­fan Zwerenz.

The dif­fer­ences between the stan­dard­ized core PCRs (EN15804+A2 and ISO21930) have been worked out by both par­ties and can now be direct­ly includ­ed and ver­i­fied in the back­ground report to be pre­pared for an EPD.

For IBU dec­la­ra­tion holders:

  • Mutu­al recog­ni­tion applies to new EPDs to be verified.
  • Some addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is required in the EPD due to the dif­fer­ences between EN 15804 and ISO 21930, but this can be eas­i­ly verified.
  • If you plan to use this recog­ni­tion, please con­tact the ver­i­fi­ca­tion body in time to find out the addi­tion­al requirements.
  • The doc­u­ments are cur­rent­ly only exchanged as PDF files.
  • An order form (Dec­la­ra­tion of Con­sent) for Smart EPD must be com­plet­ed for commissioning.
  • The cost is 540.00 $ and is payable to Smart EPD.
  • Mutu­al­ly rec­og­nized EPDs receive a new title page in the lay­out of the receiv­ing pro­gram and an addi­tion­al dec­la­ra­tion num­ber. In addi­tion, the respec­tive require­ments of the oth­er pro­gram must be integrated.
  • For the trans­fer of IBU EPDs to Smart EPDs, the require­ments from ISO 21930 and the results table using the TRACI2.1 method­ol­o­gy must be integrated.
  • This mutu­al recog­ni­tion applies exclu­sive­ly to prod­uct-spe­cif­ic EPDs, prod­uct-aver­age EPDs, sec­tor/in­dus­try-spe­cif­ic EPDs and sec­tor/in­dus­try-aver­age EPDs. EPDs cre­at­ed with a ver­i­fied tool are also rec­og­nized, pro­vid­ed that the require­ments are inte­grat­ed at the same time.
  • Mutu­al recog­ni­tion is expressed by a joint pub­li­ca­tion of the EPDs (accord­ing to EN 15804+A2:2019 and ISO 21930) on the web­site of the respec­tive scheme oper­a­tor at the request of the dec­la­ra­tion holder.
  • Any EPD to be trans­ferred must be in English.
  • Infor­ma­tion out­side an EPD (e.g. annex­es) is not part of the mutu­al recog­ni­tion process.

Through mutu­al recog­ni­tion, the part­ners agree to mutu­al con­for­mi­ty for both the EPDs and the PCRs. The so-called Mon­Pan (Mon­i­tor­ing Pan­el) checks the cal­cu­la­tion rules of IBU and Smart EPD once a year regard­ing dimen­sion­al changes. “Our two orga­ni­za­tions are col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly advanc­ing the under­stand­ing and us of EPDs, while devel­op­ing an offer that is high­ly rec­og­nized in the con­struc­tion indus­try. This ini­tia­tive extends sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket vis­i­bil­i­ty to both Smart EPD cus­tomers and IBU cus­tomers,” con­cludes Anna Las­so, CEO of Smart EPD.

Mutu­al recog­ni­tion has been in place at the IBU for almost 10 years. It is cur­rent­ly pos­si­ble to trans­fer EPDs to the fol­low­ing eight pro­grams:

  • Smart EPD (North America)
  • UL Solu­tions (USA)
  • BRE (UK)
  • ICMQ (Italy)
  • EPD Norge (Nor­way)
  • The Inter­na­tion­al EPD Sys­tem (Swe­den)
  • AENOR (Spain)
  • EPD Dan­mark (Den­mark)