New Update from BRE Global on TC 350

I am pleased that BRE Global have updated their November position statement on CEN/TC 350 which I discussed in my blog earlier this month, and there is some positive news to report. The update can be downloaded here and but I have highlighted some key items, and also included information from an update given by BRE Global at the most recent Construction Products Association Sustainable Construction Committee.

  • BRE Global is working on a new PCR, to include the core rules from EN 15804, which will be circulated for Peer Review in the coming months.
  • BRE clients will be able to choose if they want a BRE Environmental Profile, a new EN 15804 compliant EPD or both.
  • The new EPD programme will not be a certification scheme, but will make use of independent verifiers as used by most of the other European EPD schemes.
  • BRE Global has confirmed that it will phase out the BRE Environmental Profiles Methodology in time, but that it will need to provide Environmental Profiles and Green Guide ratings to this methodology to support the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM 2011 and earlier versions which rely on these ratings.
  • BRE Global expect that IES will release the first version of IMPACT, the building level LCA and LCC tool integrated within their VE-ware suite, in Spring 2012. This version will still use LCA data from the existing BRE Environmental Profiles Methodology but future updates (no date provided) will use TC 350 compliant data when this becomes available though no date has been set.
  • BRE Global is actively collaborating in the “ECO platform”, the EeBGuide EU FP7 project, and the EOTA working party initiatives with other EPD programme operators and interested parties to try to ensure consistency in the introduction of EN 15804 EPD throughout Europe.

I have contacted BRE Global as in my view, they are not correct that weighting is not endorsed by ISO or CEN/TC 350 – both ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 include weighting as an option in LCA dependent on the goal and scope, and theTC 350 Sustainability Framework standard, EN 15643-1, covers the weighting of TC 350 indicators (as a type of valuation method) by stating that “Valuation methods, levels, classes or benchmarks may be prescribed in the requirements for environmental, social and economic performance in the client’s brief, building regulations, national standards, national codes of practice, certification schemes, etc.”

Additionally, EN 15804 only states that EPD using the core rules provided in the EN 15804 standard must contain a statement that “EPD of construction products may not be comparable if they do not comply with this standard”.  This is very different from stating that EPD produced to different EN 15804 compliant PCR documents may not be directly comparable.

About constructionlca

Co-author Green Guide to Specification, expert in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), EPDs and sustainability for the construction materials sector Researching Building LCA and how we can increase uptake at the Open University. Tweets as @constructionlca
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1 Response to New Update from BRE Global on TC 350

  1. A further comment on weighting: ISO 14044 4.4.5 states that weighting “shall not be used in LCA studies intended to be used in comparative assertions intended to be disclosed to the public”. (A comparative assertion is an “environmental claim regarding the superiority or equivalence of one product versus a competing product that performs the same function [ISO 14040:2006]).
    ISO 14025:2006 states that one of the objectives of an EPD is “to assist purchasers and users to make informed comparisons between products; these declarations are not comparative assertions”.
    The ISO standards do not preclude, therefore, the use of weighting as an additional step for the results shown in an EPD, as they are not comparative assertions.

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