TU.2.A || Mainstreaming Construction LCA – Based on an Open Data Network
Vlasopoulos, Nikolaos; Brun, Sandrine; Kessler, Benoit; Vogl, Christopher; McEwen, Laurel
Transition towards a decarbonised economy is accelerating as more and more stakeholders are making commitments to reduce their CO2 emissions. However, assessing the impact of new low carbon technologies on the building and infrastructure scale requires not only mainstreaming construction LCA but also improving the availability of product and location specific LCA data. This information is normally available in the form of environmental product declarations (EPDs) and is of high value to designers and developers that strive to reduce carbon emissions at all stages from early design, to materials procurement and building construction, up to its final operation, maintenance and end of life. Increasing the supply of EPDs is not an easy task. The traditional process requires several manual steps (data collection, LCA calculations, EPD drafting, verification and publication) that not only increase complexity and costs for the manufacturers but also take several months to complete. These EPDs are valid for 5 years but are more valuable if they are regularly updated. To solve this problem, LafargeHolcim has collaborated with Climate Earth in order to bring their existing digital EPD generation system from North America to Europe. This new approach is based on an upfront verification of the plant data which are then used to populate the EPD generation system. The upfront verification eliminates the need for an EPD verification step while the verified EPD templates facilitate the creation of product and plant specific EPDs on demand. The digital format of the data allows not only an automated EPD publication with the program operators but also an easy incorporation in LCA software. Finally, the annual maintenance of the plant data guarantees the continuous provision of accurate data to the construction professionals. The rollout of this novel EPD generation system is currently ongoing in France and Germany but aims to cover the full LafargeHolcim network in the future.