What is an EPD EN 15804?
The EN 15804 is the EPD standard for the sustainability of construction works and services. This standard harmonises the structure for EPDs in the construction sector, making the information transparent and comparable. The first version was published in 2012, known as EN 15804+A1 “Sustainability of construction works – Environmental product declarations – Core rules for the product category of construction products”. However, a second version of the standard called EN 15804+A2 was published in 2019, with the main goal to align the standard-based EPDs with the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) formats. Some of the changes include more requirements of the life cycle stages covered, additional environmental impact indicators, new content regarding biogenic content, and a more explicit description of the functional unit and declared unit. These changes from EN15804+A1 to EN15804+A2 are described in more detail in our news article. For the rest of this page, when EN15804 is used this refers to EN15804+A2.
The EN 15804 standard provides a pathway for developing type III declarations, by describing how to calculate the technical performance of a construction product. The rules are the same for different construction products, but the standard provides several options in methodological choices. Across the entire life-cycle, different modules are defined that involve specific life cycle stages of the product. For each of the different life cycle stages, calculation rules and data on a set of indicators are provided.
Overall, the EN 15804 standard provides the structure for making three different types of EPDs: Cradle-to-gate, Cradle-to-grave, and Cradle-to-gate with options. The former two types are described on our life cycle assessment page. Cradle-to-gate with options includes the raw material supply stage in the manufacturing stage, just as Cradle-to-gate without options, but may also include other selected life cycle stages, such as transport of the manufactured product, product use, product maintenance, refurbishment, waste processing, etc.
Since an EN 15804 EPD is a type III EPD (ISO 14025), stringent requirements for publication apply. Therefore, this type of EPD requires a verification process and is subject to the administration of a program operator.
The ISO 21930 is the standard for “Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works, or the core rules for environmental product declarations of construction products and services”. This standard had an update in 2017 making it more in line with the EN 15804. As a result, it provides more specifications for making an EPD of average products. Furthermore, it is more detailed in LCA and metrics than its predecessor. It is likely that, because this ISO 21930 standard is strongly similar to the EN 15804, there will be better cross-recognition between North American and European LCAs.
Ecomatters EPD Support
If you are looking for support in obtaining EPDs that follow the standards of EN 15804 and ISO 14025, Ecomatters can help. Our team is very familiar with the relevant standards for many categories of products on the market. We are experts in completing the required LCAs and delivering reviewed and certified EPDs in accordance with EN 15804 or other standards.
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