Environmental documentation and environmental requirements concerning construction materials

Groups: 
  • Design-Build Contracts
Category: 
  • Materials

Basic

Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The choice of building materials has a major impact on the total environmental impact of the development over its service life. Some elements or materials are more important for the total environmental impact than others. Environmental impact that, among other things, results in climate effects arises in production, transport and disposal of materials and can vary significantly between different material types. Environmental impact can also vary greatly between the same type of materials/products that have, for example, been produced using different technologies.

It is important to set out requirements for areas in which we know there is major environmental impact. In order to assess and compare the environmental impact of various materials/products, it is necessary to have proper and comparable documentation of the environmental properties associated with the products.  An environmental product declaration (EPD) is a type III environmental product declaration in accordance with ISO 14025. An EPD contains standardised environmental information that provides a good basis for making environmentally sound choices. It also documents whether the material contains substances that are harmful to health or the environment.

Requirement Specification: 

Products and materials in Table 3: Products that are subject to requirements concerning environmental product declarations, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 (EPD) or equivalent, with an overview of emissions requirements where these have been set must be documented using EPDs or equivalent eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025.

Materials and products with maximum emissions as specified in Table 3 must be used. The emissions requirements apply to the total emissions for the product from raw material to factory gate (A1 – A3 in accordance with EN15804).

The submitted EPD or equivalent eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 for materials and products in table 3, with and without emissions requirements, must be used to assess and document the project emissions accounts. EPDs are also used as documentation of emissions and the absence of substances that are harmful to health and the environment, as well as other environmental data.

The supplied documentation must be approved by the design and build contractor’s environmental manager no later than two weeks before the product is due to be used, or supplied through a system that also verifies that the EPD has been prepared in accordance with ISO 14025, EN 15804 and that the documentation satisfies any requirement levels and is valid at the time at which the products are procured.

Table 3: Products that are subject to requirements concerning environmental product declarations, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 (EPD) or equivalent, with an overview of emissions requirements where these have been set.

Materials and products

Documentation and overview of emissions requirements where set (from raw material to factory gate, A1-A3 in accordance with EN15804)

Concrete

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III. Maximum requirements in accordance with the limits for low carbon B pursuant to NB37 (the version applicable at any time of the Norwegian Concrete Association’s publication no. 37)

Structural steel: Open profiles (e.g. H-profile)

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 2.1 kg CO2 equivalent/kg.
Must consist of at least 40% recycled steel

Structural steel: hollow profiles

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 3.6 kg CO2 equivalent/kg.
Must consist of at least 20% recycled steel

Reinforcing steel, non-tensioned reinforcement

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Maximum requirement 0.5 kg CO2 equivalent/kg reinforcing steel

Reinforcing steel, tension reinforcement

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Maximum requirement 3 kg CO2 equivalent/kg reinforcing steel

Structural steel: welded steel profiles (beams and columns)

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 2.1 kg CO2/tonne steel

Must consist of at least 20% recycled steel

Steel piles and steel sheet piles

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 1.1 kg CO2/kg steel

For complex structures and when combining different material types, there may be cases where certain products do not meet the product level emissions requirements specified in table 3. Contractors may waive emissions requirements if they are able to demonstrate that the total emissions for the construction project will be lower by using these products than by satisfying all requirements at product level.

Only wood from documented sustainable forestry is permitted and it must be certified in accordance with the PEFC or FSC standards. Tropical wood must not be used. This also applies to environmentally certified tropical timber.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

EPD or eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025, ISO 21930 and/or EN 15804.

Documentation of the use of certified sustainable wood and the absence of tropical wood.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

The emission of greenhouse gases for materials and products is documented using environmental product declarations (EPD) or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III. For more information about EPDs and descriptions, please see EPD Norway’s websites.

For products, the maximum requirement applies to the total emissions from raw material extraction until the product is finished at the factory gate, A1-A3 in accordance with EN 15804.

It is recommended that environmental criteria are not only described in a general chapter in the tender specifications but that the criteria and how they must be met are included together with quantities and other functional criteria for each specific product group/together with technical requirements for the various products and materials.

Instructions on how to interpret EPDs for the following product categories are available from EPD Norway.

We recommend entering into dialogue with the market if you wish to use high recycling ratios, as there could be variations in the extent to which recycled materials are available.

The emissions requirements in the tables will be updated in line with market developments.

Advanced

Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The choice of building materials has a major impact on the total environmental impact of the development over its service life. Some elements or materials are more important for the total environmental impact than others. Environmental impact that, among other things, results in climate effects arises in production, transport and disposal of materials and can vary significantly between different material types. Environmental impact can also vary greatly between the same type of materials/products that have, for example, been produced using different technologies.

It is important to set out requirements for areas in which we know there is major environmental impact. In order to assess and compare the environmental impact of various materials/products, it is necessary to have proper and comparable documentation of the environmental properties associated with the products.  An environmental product declaration (EPD) is a type III environmental product declaration in accordance with ISO 14025. An EPD contains standardised environmental information that provides a good basis for making environmentally sound choices. It also documents whether the material contains substances that are harmful to health or the environment.

Requirement Specification: 

Products and materials in Table 4 must be documented using EPDs or equivalent eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025.

Materials and products with maximum emissions as specified in Table 4 must be used. The emissions requirements apply to the total emissions for the product from raw material to factory gate (A1 – A3 in accordance with EN15804).

Additionally, emissions from transport from the factory gate to the construction site (A4) must be included for materials and products in the table. For A4, EPDs or equivalent eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 must be presented, or a detailed calculation based on the mode of transport and distance for verification purposes.

The submitted EPD or equivalent eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 for materials and products, Table 4, with and without emissions requirements, must be used to assess and document the project emissions accounts. EPDs are also used as documentation of emissions and the absence of substances that are harmful to health and the environment, as well as other environmental data.

The supplied documentation must be approved by the design and build contractor’s environmental manager no later than two weeks before the product is due to be used or supplied through a system that also verifies that the EPD has been prepared in accordance with ISO 14025, EN 15804 or equivalent and that the documentation satisfies any requirement levels and is valid at the time at which the products are procured. EPDs must be third-party verified and signed.

Table 4: Products that are subject to requirements concerning environmental product declarations, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025 (EPD) or equivalent, with an overview of emissions requirements where these have been set.

Materials and products

Documentation and overview of emissions requirements where set (from raw material to factory gate, A1-A3 in accordance with EN15804)

Concrete

EPD or equivalent environmental product declaration, type III. Maximum requirements in accordance with the limits for low carbon A pursuant to NB37 (the version applicable at any time of the Norwegian Concrete Association’s publication no. 37)

Prefabricated concrete elements (non-tensioned and pre-tensioned)

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Minimum requirement low carbon concrete class B in accordance with NB 37.

Structural steel: Open profiles (e.g. H-profile)

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Must consist of at least 80% recycled steel

Structural steel: hollow profiles

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 3.0 kg CO2 equivalent/kg.
Must consist of at least 20% recycled steel

Reinforcing steel, non-tensioned reinforcement

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Maximum requirement 0.4 kg CO2 equivalent/kg reinforcing steel.

Reinforcing steel, tension reinforcement

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.
Maximum requirement 3 kg CO2 equivalent/kg reinforcing steel

Structural steel: welded steel profiles (beams and columns)

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 2.1 kg CO2/tonne steel

Must consist of at least 20% recycled steel

Steel piles and steel sheet piles

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 1.1 kg CO2/kg steel

Insulation: XPS

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 5.0 kg CO2 equivalent/m2 insulation with R=1

Asphalt, materials without PMB

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 50 kg CO2 equivalent/tonne asphalt -

Asphalt, materials with PMB

EPD or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III.

Maximum requirement 65 kg CO2 equivalent/tonne asphalt

For complex structures and when combining different material types, there may be cases where certain products do not meet the product level emissions requirements specified in table 4. Contractors may waive emissions requirements if they are able to demonstrate that the total emissions for the construction project will be lower by using these products than by satisfying all requirements at product level.

Only wood from documented sustainable forestry is permitted and it must be certified in accordance with the PEFC or FSC standards. Tropical wood must not be used. This also applies to environmentally certified tropical timber.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

EPD or eco-labelling, type III, in accordance with ISO 14025, ISO 21930 and/or EN 15804.

Documentation of the use of certified sustainable wood and the absence of tropical wood.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

The emission of greenhouse gases for materials and products is documented using environmental product declarations (EPD) or equivalent environmental product declarations, type III. For more information about EPDs and descriptions, please see EPD Norway’s websites.

For products, the maximum requirement applies to the total emissions from raw material extraction until the product is finished at the factory gate, A1-A3 in accordance with EN 15804.

It is recommended that environmental criteria are not only described in a general chapter in the tender specifications but that the criteria and how they must be met are included together with quantities and other functional criteria for each specific product group/together with technical requirements for the various products and materials.

Instructions on how to interpret EPDs for the following product categories are available from EPD Norway.

We recommend entering into dialogue with the market if you wish to use high recycling ratios, as there could be variations in the extent to which recycled materials are available.

The emissions requirements in the tables will be updated in line with market developments.

Criteria Relations and Conflicts: 

Greenhouse gas calculations for the project

Konflikt kriterium

This requirement must not be used in conjunction with the contractual condition concerning Greenhouse gas calculations for the project.

Related links: 

Published: 24. Nov 2020, Last modified: 18. Jan 2021