The life cycle assessment of a building is divided into four phases: production of building materials/construction, operation/maintenance, demolition and, if necessary, material recycling

The aim of EPDs is to achieve greater sustainability in construction, i.e., to reduce the consumption of resources, the release of pollutants and the release of greenhouse gases.

In our main article on this topic, we described the importance of recycling stone powder for the stone sector’s life cycle assessments. https://www.stone-ideas.com/103792/recycling-stone-powder-points-in-epds/

A life cycle assessment of a building according to the “cradle-to-crave“ principle is divided into four phases:
* A describes the production or extraction of the building materials as well as their transportation to the construction site and the construction process as such;
* B looks at the use of the building after completion. This also includes energy and water consumption as well as maintenance and repairs/replacement of components;
* C records all demolition data;
* D is dedicated to the possible reuse of materials.

Categories C and D can also be considered separately and are then called EoLD (End of Life Declaration). This can be important because material recycling as a goal can influence the production of building materials right from the start.

The life cycle assessment of a building is divided into four phases.

It is clear that individual aspects in in a life cycle assessment and an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) must be based on estimates, as they lie in the future.

It should also be noted that the service life of a building material may differ from the life cycle of a building.

The aim of EPDs is to achieve greater sustainability in construction, i.e., to reduce the consumption of resources, the release of pollutants and the release of greenhouse gases.

The way to achieve this is to be self-regulation with the consumer as the leading figure: by enabling fair competition between building materials through the collection of EPD data, architects and investors should be able to choose the best materials.

It is already clear that this principle works: investors advertise with certifications like LEED or BREEAM that their buildings achieve because they are easier to rent or sell.

The data for the EPDs comes from the manufacturers or suppliers of the building materials. Scientific institutes collect them and make them comparable.

There are such institutes in all countries. Of course, it makes sense to commission an institute from the respective target country.

For the stone sector, the Natural Stone Institute (NSI) has put a whole collection of materials on the subject online for free download.

The idea behind this free assistance is to strengthen the common position of stone companies worldwide against their ceramic or artificial stone competitors.

(14.12.2023, USA: 12.14.2023)