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TitleAssessment and communication of the environmental performance of construction products in Europe: comparison between PEF and EN 15804 compliant EPD schemes
Author(s)Durão, Vera
Silvestre, José Dinis
Mateus, Ricardo
Brito, Jorge de
KeywordsEnvironmental labelling
Environmental product declarations (EPD)
Life cycle assessment (LCA)
Product environmental footprint (PEF)
Issue dateJan-2020
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
CitationDurão V., Silvestre J. D., Mateus R., Brito J. Assessment and communication of the environmental performance of construction products in Europe: Comparison between PEF and EN 15804 compliant EPD schemes, Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Vol. 156, Issue May 2020, pp. 104703, doi:10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.104703, 2020
Abstract(s)The environmental performance of construction products and assemblies is a determinant factor for the environmental sustainability of buildings. Increasing willingness of stakeholders in the construction sector for green procurement, better-informed decisions and consideration of environmental aspects increase the need of transparent, objective and independent information on the environmental performance of construction products. Environmental product declarations (EPD) based on the European standard EN 15804 are used in the construction sector since 2012. In parallel, since 2011, the European Commission (EC) has developed a common method for the assessment of the environmental performance of products: the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). After a pilot phase, the PEF method has evolved, and some updates were published in early 2019. The EN 15804 standard has also been revised, and therefore it is the ideal time to seek the harmonization of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods. This paper presents a pioneer study applied to the construction sector that focus on the comparison between the PEF method (2019 updated) and the EPDs developed according to the Core rules for the product category of construction products presented in EN 15804 (EN 15804:2012+A1:2013, recently updated by EN 15804:2012+A1:2013 +A2:2019). The comparison was performed by listing and analysing key requirements of both methods and their updates. From the results, it was possible to conclude that the methods have very distinct requirements that make the comparison of results or the alternate use of PEFs and EPDs impossible, for instance, in the decision-making process. This highlights the need of harmonisation and therefore the discussion includes the presentation of a roadmap to update the PEF method and the EN 15804 standard so that results can be more coherent and comparable.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:C-TAC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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