One of the impressive features of laminate flooring is its good life cycle assessment results. Proof of this can be found in fact-based Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs for short, which are used mainly by architects and planners as vital basic documents for sustainable building. The generic EPDs for DPL (direct pressure laminate) flooring, which the EPLF e.V. – the Association for European Producers of Laminate Flooring based in Bielefeld – has had updated, have now been verified by the IBU-Institut (German Institute for Construction and the Environment). The confirmation document was officially presented at the Member’s Meeting of the IBU held in Berlin on 11 June. It is now true to say that laminate flooring is a green, high-tech product!
The laminate flooring industry was one of the first in the floor covering sector to bring in this environmental certificate for their products, thereby sending out a clear message for more sustainability in building and renovation. The IBU (German Institute for Construction and the Environment) published the first EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for laminate flooring back in 2009 on their website at www.bau-umwelt.de. Since then, there have been three EPD templates in accordance with ISO 14025, for the categories relating to the majority of products made by EPLF group members: DPL – direct pressure laminate floor covering, HPL – high pressure laminate floor covering and PDL – printed décor laminate floor covering.
The technical progress made in the field of laminate products brings the need to regularly update the relevant associated EPDs. This new declaration refers to the largest group: direct pressure laminate flooring (DPL). The existing EPDs for PDL and HPL will remain valid until 2016.
Laminate: excellent environmental credentials
The public and commercial building sector now currently favours the use of interior finishing products that can demonstrate an outstanding eco-balance through specific environmental declarations (EPDs). These are so significant that, to all intents and purposes, you could actually turn them into a Europe-wide environmental label targeted at the end consumer. Eberhard Herrmann, Chairman of the EPLF Technical Working Group, comments: “The EPD certifies that laminate flooring has a very good ecological balance sheet with extremely positive values for primary energy consumption and global warming potential. The strengths of this floor covering are also evident in the indoor air quality. By choosing a product backed by an EPD, anyone wishing to select new flooring with environmental impact and sustainability in mind – whether for private or public/commercial use – has the strongest reason to hand for choosing laminate.” And this applies not only to Germany because in France, for example, EPDs will become mandatory for all building products from 2017.
The European EPLF Association will continue to work together with its member companies to clearly highlight the positive characteristics of laminate flooring.
What does an EPD contain?
EPDs document the ecological characteristics of building products, thereby creating a reliable foundation for evidence with reference to the ecological evaluation of buildings according to DIN EN 15978 (Sustainability of construction work - Assessment of environmental performance of buildings - Calculation method).
Environmental Product Declarations include statements on the use of energy and resources as well as the extent to which a product contributes, under certain circumstances, to the greenhouse effect, acidification, overfertilisation, destruction of the ozone layer and smog formation. Also included is information about the technical properties that are required for assessing the performance of the construction product in the building, such as life span, thermal and sound insulation and the impact on the quality of the indoor air.
The new EPD templates for DPL laminate flooring are ready and available for download free of charge at http://eplf.com/en/laminate/infomaterial.html
or at the IBU e.V. website
http://bau-umwelt.de/hp3621/Bodenbelaege.htm (scroll down to EPLF)
elnd1507_b1: “The new EPD certifies that direct pressure laminate flooring (DPL) has very good environmental credentials – with extremely positive values for primary energy consumption and global warming potential. – Graphic: Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.
elnd1507_b2: The confirmation document for the new generic EPDs for DPL laminate flooring was officially presented at the Members’ Meeting of the IBU in Berlin (from left: Managing Director of the IBU Dr.-Ing. Burkhart Lehmann, Managing Director of the EPLF Peter H. Meyer). Photo: Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.
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