EN 15804 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is an EN 15804 EPD?
  2. What does the PCR cover?
  3. How does the new PCR relate to the Green Guide, BREEAM and IMPACT?
  4. What do I do if I want an EN 15804 EPD for my product?
  5. What is Verification?

 

1. What is an EN 15804 EPD?

This type of EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) describes the product being assessed (its technical performance as well as its material content) and gives data on a standardised set of indicators for the product in specific life cycle stages.  For example, an EPD might just cover the stages up to the end of manufacture, or it might cover to the end of manufacture plus disposal in landfill or by incineration, or it might cover a complete life cycle and what might be expected if the material is recycled.

The information in different EPD from the same PCR (if the EPD cover the whole life cycle or provide information that allows a whole life cycle to be calculated) can be used to work out the impacts of a building made from them.

Knowing what product is being described and how impacts in each life cycle have been calculated will help users of the EPD to decide if the information relates to the product they are interested in and the way that they want to use it.

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2. What does the PCR cover?

The PCR describes how we will assess construction products and services – we have produced a single document to do this as a useful way to ensure all products are assessed on the same basis and that the EPD can be used in modelling at the building level. We have given explicit information on what we will do for aspects where EN 15804 has allowed for variation in approach (e.g. allocation) or has not provided requirements (e.g. carbon sequestration and carbonation).

As an EPD may need to be used in many different countries, we have allowed for the development of scenarios that meet the manufacturer’s needs as well as their customers’ needs.

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3. How does the new PCR relate to the Green Guide, BREEAM and IMPACT?

BRE Global is reviewing its range of LCA design tools and the ways in which they are integrated into building assessment schemes. BREEAM 2011 already recognises independently verified EPD from any EPD programme and is hopeful that other major European scheme operators will do the same soon.

The CEN TC350 approach to the assessment of environmental impacts of construction works focuses on using the information contained in EPD to conduct whole-building LCA1. As the application of these modelling techniques matures BRE Global will review how LCA is treated in its building assessment schemes and respond to the needs of the market to ensure that the building design community, and particularly those with little or no LCA expertise, can continue to use the information contained in EPD to make informed choices. Any such approach will be based on industry standards and any new version of the Green Guide will have its own consultation programme.

IMPACT2 currently contains LCA data calculated according to BRE’s existing Environmental Profiles Methodology in the life cycle stages set out in EN 15804. IMPACT allows the user to view Ecopoints data as well as data for individual environmental impact categories. When a suitable set of EN 15804 EPD become available, a new database will be made available for IMPACT.

1 EN 15643-1 (2010) Sustainability of construction works —Sustainability assessment of buildings — Part 1: General framework; EN 15643-2 (2011) Sustainability of construction works — Assessment of buildings — Part 2: Framework for the assessment of environmental performance; EN 15978 (2011) Sustainability of construction works — Assessment of environmental performance of buildings — Calculation method.

2 IMPACT is a specification and database for BIM software developers to enable the production of software tools that carry out consistent LCA and Life Cycle Costing (LCC).

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4. What do I do if I want an EN 15804 EPD for my product?

Please contact us at EnvProfiles15804@bre.co.uk and we will discuss your needs.

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5. What is Verification?

Verification is the confirmation that the specified requirements of the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) scheme in particular have been fulfilled.

In the BRE Global EN 15804 EPD Scheme, the verification of EPD is carried out by a BRE Global-appointed Verifier, and the verification process covers the following:

  1. Verification of the data from the Life Cycle Assessment study, the data used in the study, the information modules that have been included in the study, and any additional environmental information that has been declared in the study.
  2. Verification of the EPD to confirm conformance with the requirements of the relevant international standards and of the BRE Global EPD Scheme.

The BRE Global EPD verification is guided by a Verification Checklist as part of the verification procedure.

Why Verify?

The independent confirmation through verification of the EPD is a requirement for Type III Environmental Product Declarations (BS EN ISO 14025:2010, clause 8) and assures the credibility and validity of the EPD. It is the responsibility of the EPD programme operator (scheme) to ensure that the EPD is independently verified.

What do I get?

  1. Upon completion of the process, a report documenting the verification process is compiled by the Verifier and issued by BRE Global in line with the requirements of EN 15804:2012. This is known as a Verification Report.
  2. Where the outcome is a recommendation to issue the EPD, the EPD owner shall be issued with a verified BRE Global EN 15804 EPD which is valid for 5 years from the date of issue, after which it shall be reviewed and verified. BRE Global also asks that the EPD owner provides a confirmation in writing to BRE Global annually, confirming that there has been no changes that would alter the content and accuracy of the EPD during the validity period.

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