A better environment begins with steel

A better environment begins with steel

A better environment begins with steel

A better environment begins with steel

A better environment begins with steel

Determining the environmental performance of buildings

The aim of various environment regulations in the new Building decree 2012 is to limit the environmental impact of building materials during the construction, use and demolition of houses, other residential buildings and offices with a usable floor area of more than 100 m2. Establishing the environmental impact of materials is carried out on the basis of life cycle analyses (LCA). The Building decree 2012 specifies a quantitative method for this.

Method for determining environment performance

Article 5.9 of the Building decree 2012 specifies that the environmental performance of the building must be quantified using the Environmental Performance Determination Method for Buildings and Civil Engineering Works. The calculation method for determining the environmental performance of buildings and civil engineering works during their entire life span is based on the life cycle analysis method (LCA-CML2). The Foundation for Construction Quality (SBK) published this method on 1 July 2011. The current slightly revised publication dates from November 2011. Once the Building Decree 2012 comes into force the calculation of the material-related environmental performance of the building or structure will have to be submitted with the request for an environmental licence.

The method makes it possible to uniformly determine the extent of the emission of greenhouse gasses and the depletion of resources for various structural components of a building, i.e. from the structure and the structural cladding/finish, excluding furnishings and decor. The Building Decree 2012 makes this method compulsory for new housing construction, other residential buildings and new office buildings with more than 100 m2 usable floor area and with or without additional office-related functions such as a canteen and conference facilities.

For the performance calculation, the usable area of any additional function(s) is added to the usable floor area of the office function itself. This requirement does not apply if the building – in addition to an office function – also fulfils entirely different functions (not serving the office), such as shops or sports facilities.

The method aims to standardise the calculation of environmental performance. A calculation in GPR Gebouw, GreenCalc, DuboCalc, EcoQuantum or Eco-Install for example should always result in the same environmental scores and indicators.

The basis of the method of determination is covered in NEN 8006:2007. This standard focuses on building materials, products and elements. Therefore, additional building-related rules and formulas are included in the method. Incidentally, NEN 8006 will eventually be replaced by the European standards EN 15804 and EN 15798.

Up to now the Building Decree 2012 does not include environmental performance limits. This will give the building industry the opportunity to gain experience with environmental performance requirements and calculations.

  • You can download the environmental performance determination method (November 2011) here free of charge. The corresponding calculation rules and background information, drawn up by DGMR Consulting Engineers, are available here.

National Environmental Database

Whichever calculation tool is used, the calculation data must always be taken from the National Environmental Database of the Foundation for Construction Quality (SBK). The National Environmental Database includes product cards with information on composition and quantities, as well as environmentally relevant product information.

The database can include proprietary verified, independent verified and independent unverified data. You can download SBK documents containing information about the recording process, the verification protocol and the conditions for testing agencies.

All product cards for buildings have been integrated into the current version 1 of the National Environmental Database (published in November 2011). The cards for earth, road and water works will soon be added to the collection separately. The current overview of the database content can be found here.

Background information, fundamental documents, news and other useful information about the National Environment database can be found on the following site: www.milieudatabase.nl
The presentation given by Mr J.P. den Hollander during the seminar 'Duurzaam bouwen met staal' (Sustainable building with steel) gives a description of the National Environmental Database, the determination method and calculation rules.