EPD users in Austria
Publishing EPDs is the first important step for building material manufacturers. But who can use it? Who evaluates the EPD results? At building level, this is done by certification bodies for buildings, experts in architecture, planning and the construction industry, as well as institutions that publish product benchmarks ("environmental labels"). From the moment that benchmarking begins, EPD results are set in relation to limit values or target values. Suddenly each and every gram of CO2becomes interesting, because achieving benchmarks means a lot for product manufacturers (can the product be sold at all? Do you get a subsidy if you buy it? Are legislative requirements such as the Construction Products Regulation, Taxonomy Regulation, EcoDesign Regulation fulfilled? Is the product more environmentally friendly than a competing product?)
The question is: Are the results of different EPDs comparable at all? In Austria: largely. At building level in the Austrian systems, the question can certainly be answered with YES, at product level the calculation rules must be continuously refined in order to ensure comparability and thus recognition. Therefore, several stakeholders in Austria have joined forces reference the Calculation Rules and PCR of Bau EPD GmbH.
EPDs created according to these rules and verified by a team of approved verifiers are published on the Bau EPD GmbH website without any restrictions. They find their way into the baubook database and are therefore available for all applications at building level. This applies to the Austrian building certificates (ÖGNB, klimaaktiv, Vorarlberger KGA and BIG Holistic Building Program) as well as to the housing subsidies in 6 federal states. In Salzburg, the Salzburg Construction Technology Regulation is thus fulfilled. The Baubook database accepts EPDs according to the baubook acceptance criteria. EPDs that have been verified by Bau EPD GmbH automatically meet these criteria. However, EPDs verified by other ECO platform program operators can undergoe a shorter procedure of recognition. Verification of only one expert from Bau EPD GmbH can be enough. When creating EPDs by ECO Platform program operators, we recommend that the respective LCA-practitioner/verification team should go through the Bau EPD rules before publication in the system abroad. A verification by Bau EPD GmbH takes place in any case for recognition in Austria, but can be kept short if all evidence can be transmitted.
This is how we keep the EPD scene in Austria consistent and comparable. The criteria have become more and more meaningful over the years through cooperation with all stakeholders and the rapid progress in research and development as well as digitalization. New ways of recycling management are also playing an increasingly important role - we hope that one day we will be able to map closed life cycles for all customers.
We look forward to your feedback and are happy to answer questions about the recognition of your EPD data.