The path to your EPD
There are several stages required to take you successfully to your EPD! We accompany construction product manufacturers through all of the stages. A description of the individual steps and a flow chart can be found here.
The preliminary discussion is to inform the potential EPD creator. The contact persons are the management of Bau EPD GmbH, supported by representatives of the committee of experts/PCR committee. Usually, the first questions on methods and technical aspects are dealt with in the preliminary discussion and a rough cost estimate is made. The core part of an EPD – the life cycle assessment – is not created by Bau EPD GmbH itself, we therefore recommend inviting life cycle assessment experts to the preliminary discussion.
When creating an EPD, there are basically two technical document parts that form the framework of the EPD programme.
General product category rules specify the contents of EN 15804 and describe the requirements for the project report and the calculation rules for the life cycle assessment when creating an EPD. The general product category rules apply to all products and must be observed.
In the specific PCR guidelines, product-specific specifications are made which, in a defined scope, are to be applied to all products. For example, this document lists technical features which must be declared and which documentation is required on aspects of environmental and health protection. Likewise, calculation rules for product categories can be used.
If the preliminary discussion shows that a specific PCR guideline for the product in question is still to be developed, this procedure is the next step. The PCR guideline specifies and supplements EN 15804, which applies to all construction products, in the product-specific areas and serves as a format template for creating EPDs.
The product-specific building material PCRs are usually drawn up by members of the committee of experts = PCR committee, in cooperation with the respective manufacturer and, if necessary, other experts. These groups are called “product group forums”.
Subsequently, interested parties – via an internet forum – will be involved in drafting the PCR guideline and will have the opportunity to comment on the draft.
Afterwards, the draft is sent one more time to the PCR committee to be verified and approved. After the PCR committee has verified and approved the draft, the PCR guideline can be used.
In almost all cases, an expert in LCA practice (LCA practitioner, LCA expert team) and testing institutes are involved in creating the EPD in addition to the manufacturer. Usually the development of the EPD can be started in a parallel process to the creation of the PCR guideline.
The manufacturer of a construction material must offer all information needed for the LCA (data collection). In many cases, the EPD texts are also drawn up by the manufacturer. The modelling of the LCA as well as the preparation of the project report on the LCA study are usually not carried out by the manufacturer because special software and also very specific and detailed knowledge about LCA are required.
The LCA practitioner creates the LCA model, interprets and describes the background data and produces the project report on the EPD. Often, the EPD texts are also created by the LCA practitioner and then submitted to Bau EPD GmbH for verification. Many LCA practitioners can draw on many years of experience in the field of EPDs. They are therefore also available for advice and support in all matters relating to EPD creation.
The verification by independent third parties (“independent verifiers”) is another essential quality assurance measure in addition to the activities of the PCR committee. This ensures the highest level of quality, transparency and credibility of the documents awaiting publication. All verifiers are LCA experts with in-depth knowledge of the standards and requirements for EPD development.