TU.2.A || Mainstreaming Construction LCA – Based on an Open Data Network
This contribution focuses on the question where the data actually comes from that is used for modelling in construction LCA tools. A few years ago, the first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program operators had started to publish their EPDs in a machine readable format in addition to the traditional human readable declaration document in order for the EPD data to be used directly for calculations in building LCA tools. This development had gained momentum with the InData initiative, an informal working group of a few leading European program operators and research institutions, facilitating the use of a common data format for publishing digital environmental product information and demonstrating how this in turn can be used to form a data network. Instead of maintaining a single super database, the individual program operators’ databases form a loosely coupled network of independent data providers where each of them maintains the responsibility for their own data, while at the same time, all data is transparently accessible via an Application Programming Interface (API). Following this development, the ECO Platform organisation, a European association of EPD program operators and trade associations, has adopted this principle across its member base with the goal of making all its members’ EPDs available in digital form via its ECO Portal as a single access point. This is resulting in a growing pool of third party verified data provided by a significant number of entities, which enables users of construction LCA software tools to find relevant data and obtain it directly from the program operator as a trusted source, while at the same time providing a single entry point. This contribution will report about the findings and challenges resulting from the ECO Portal API pilot program, during which a number of different construction LCA tools and applications have been connected to that data pool.