EN 15804:2012+A1:2013 (now updated)

Sustainability of construction works – Environmental product declarations – Core rules for the product category of construction products.

Amendment 1 (A1):2013

  • Simplifies impact assessment by including ‘characterisation factors’ within the standard.
  • A  characterisation factor is derived from a characterisation model which is applied to convert as assigned life cycle inventory (LCI) analysis result to the common unit of the category indicator.
  • Clause 6.5 specifies that the impact assessment is to be carried out for a list of impact categories using characterisation factors.
  • Provides characterisation factors for:
    • Global warming potential
    • Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer
    • Acidification potential of soil and water
    • Eutrophication potential
    • Formation potential of tropospheric ozone and
    • Abiotic depletion potential.

Role of European standard EN 15804:2012+A1:2013

The publication of EN 15804 will make it possible for manufacturers to undertake a single Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) study for each of their products, which can then be used across Europe. In parallel with EN 15804 and the EPD, the calculation methods standard, EN 15978, also provides the rules for evaluating and reporting the whole life impact of a building over its lifetime.

The standard provides EPD with a framework by setting down ‘core product category rules’ (PCR).  These ensure that all EPD use the same environmental indicators.

Overall, the rules set performance against indicators for 17 life cycle modules. Individual declarations may look very different from each other.  Only the  ‘product’ stage rule is essential within an EPD as the impact of making a product will not vary.

For an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) to be effective, the information on which it is based has to be consistent, reproducible and comparable.  This is the role of the European standard EN 15804:2012+A1:2013. It also provides the means for developing a Type III environmental declaration of construction products and is part of a group of standards for assessing the sustainability of construction.