British, German built environment groups to mutually recognize EPDs to boost use

by Brianna Crandall — February 24, 2017 — U.K.-based building science authority BRE Global has signed a mutual recognition agreement with the Germany-based Institute of the Built Environment (IBU), an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program operator with customers across Europe. Both parties provide third-party-verified EPDs to EN 15804.

The agreement, announced at architecture trade fair BAU 2017 in Munich, means that companies who have BRE-verified EPDs and are listed on the GreenBookLive listing of environmental products and services can also be registered on IBU’s approved listing, and vice versa.

This collaborative move is expected to advance more widespread usage of EPDs for the advantage of the built environment. The benefits to product manufacturers include more exposure to larger markets, notes BRE.

An EPD is a standardized way of assessing the environmental impact of a product through its lifespan, from raw materials and manufacturing to application, use and disposal, explains BRE. Credible EPDs, such as those offered by BRE Global and IBU, are independently verified to strict standards to ensure the underlying data, data handling and the EPD itself are consistently reliable.

This credibility gives specifiers and architects peace of mind that they are specifying products in keeping with environmental standards such as BRE’s BREEAM sustainability assessment method.

BRE plans to announce further developments following this significant milestone over the coming months.