Delve into the latest company news, product information, technical advice and more

What is an EPD and an LCA?

In the quest for sustainable construction, a growing emphasis has been placed on understanding the environmental implications of materials used. Key tools that aid in this pursuit are the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Both of these methodologies provide stakeholders with a lens through which they can evaluate the environmental impact of products. This is available from inception to disposal.


The Life Cycle Assessment offers a comprehensive analysis, shedding light on the environmental effects of every stage of a product’s life. It starts with the raw material extraction, navigating through the manufacturing process, then dives into the product’s usage, and concludes with its end-of-life implications. LCA’s holistic approach is its core strength. When applying LCA to products like render and insulation materials, several factors come into focus. One begins by evaluating the environmental repercussions of extracting raw materials. The manufacturing phase, often energy-intensive, necessitates a review of energy consumption, waste produced, and emissions released. Equally critical is the assessment during the product’s active phase; for instance, the effectiveness of insulation in retaining heat can significantly influence a building’s long-term energy consumption. Lastly, a keen eye is turned to the end of the product’s lifecycle, examining the material’s recyclability and its potential environmental hazards upon disposal.


Meanwhile, the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) serves as a transparent report card of sorts, reflecting the findings from the LCA. An EPD is a standardised document that, after rigorous verification, provides detailed insights into the environmental performance of a product. Not only do EPDs furnish precise data, allowing for easy comparison between products, but they also offer companies a chance to stand out by showcasing the eco-friendliness of their products. Furthermore, in a world increasingly gravitating towards green building norms and certifications like LEED or BREEAM, having an EPD is becoming more of a requirement than a luxury. In the realm of rendering and insulation, an EPD will detail the environmental impact of the materials used. It also gives insights into its expected operational performance and lifespan, and offers guidelines on end-of-life processes, be it recycling or safe disposal.


In today’s era of environmental consciousness, the push towards sustainable infrastructure has gained considerable momentum. Two standards leading this movement in the realm of green building certification are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). These systems have become the benchmark for assessing a building’s environmental performance and sustainability.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was conceptualised by the U.S. Green Building Council in the late 1990s. Aimed at bolstering sustainable building practices, it offers a point-based system across categories like energy, water efficiency, and sustainable sites. Projects can achieve Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum ratings. Although it originated in the U.S., LEED’s principles have been embraced globally, applicable to myriad building types, from residences to corporate structures.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), on the other hand, was birthed in the UK in 1990 by the Building Research Establishment. It assesses buildings based on diverse areas like health, energy, transport, and ecology. Projects under BREEAM can secure ratings ranging from Pass to Outstanding. Despite its UK roots, it’s now a system adopted in over 80 countries. Both systems, while having similarities, differ in terms of regional adaptation and specific criteria. As the world gravitates more towards sustainable living, the influence of LEED and BREEAM is undeniably paramount.


While both LEED and BREEAM aim for sustainability and share many similarities, they differ in terms of their approach, specific criteria, regional adaptation, and popularity in various countries. For instance, while LEED has gained considerable traction in the U.S., BREEAM is more dominant in Europe. Moreover, the specific metrics and weights can differ, leading to potential variations in how a building might be rated under each system.

LEED and BREEAM are both integral parts of the green building movement, setting standards and benchmarks for sustainability. Builders, architects, and developers around the world refer to these frameworks to ensure their projects align with global environmental best practices. As sustainability becomes even more paramount in construction, the influence of such certifications is set to grow.

The synergy between LCA and EPD in the construction landscape, especially concerning render and insulation products, is paving the way for more informed and environmentally conscious decisions. As we aspire to build sustainably, these tools are invaluable in ensuring our architectural choices align with our environmental commitments.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *