Why a category 1 or 2 product card in the NMD?

The Dutch government is actively working to promote sustainability in construction. The interpretation of sustainable construction is strongly influenced by climate policy. The Netherlands is committed to several international agreements. In addition, sustainability is increasingly influenced by policies on circularity. This policy aims to make the Netherlands 100% circular by 2050. Sustainable building is a broad concept and at its core is about the basic principle of taking into account the effects on the environment. This should be done both at the design stage and during construction, use, conversion, renovation, demolition and reuse.

One way to make construction more sustainable is to calculate the environmental performance of newly constructed buildings. This environmental performance calculation provides insight into the sustainability of a structure. Calculating the environmental performance, the MPE, is mandatory under the Buildings Decree and the Ministry of BZK determines how high the requirement is. The requirement currently stands at 0.8 for new homes and must be increased to 0.5 by 2030. A study is currently under way to see whether this tightening can be accelerated and the requirement is expected to go to 0.5 by 2025.

The Dutch National Environmental Database (NMD) Foundation was established to manage and maintain, as an independent organisation, the Assessment Method and its database for determining the Environmental Performance for Construction Works.

What is needed to calculate environmental performance?

To calculate environmental performance we need environmental data of the construction products that are used. This environmental data can be found in the Dutch National Environmental Database. The data is collected by making a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the product. This LCA is made by an LCA performer. This includes looking at raw material extraction, transport, production, use and end-of-life disposal.

Once the LCA has been made, the LCA performer or the producer can submit the data to the NMD Foundation. After the data is put into the NMD, it is reviewed by an LCA expert recognised by NMD. After this, if the data is approved, it is published in the NMD. See image below.

There are three categories of product cards in the NMD


Category 1

Proprietary data from manufacturers and suppliers. Verification: verified by an independent, qualified third party in accordance with the NMD Verification protocol. Public access: the product card is public, environmental information has restricted access.

Category 2

Non-proprietary data from groups of manufacturers and/or suppliers and sectors. Verification: verified by an independent, qualified third party in accordance with the Verification protocol, stating how representative it is, for example, for the Dutch Market or a group of producers. Public access: the product card is public, environmental information has restricted access.

Category 3

Non-proprietary data from Stichting National Environmental Database. Verification: not verified according to the Verification protocol. Public access: product cards and basic profiles are public.

Categorie 3a

Proprietary data (unbranded) from National Environmental Database Foundation. Data from infrastructure for external energy supply, energy carriers and product maps of building elements/installations to be reused in their entirety in newly built structures. Review: not reviewed according to the Review Protocol. Publicity: product maps and basic profiles public. 30% uplift factor not applicable.

Om met data uit de NMD de milieuprestatie te kunnen berekenen is een rekeninstrument nodig. Verschillende bedrijven hebben hier software voor ontwikkeld die door de NMD gevalideerd is. Lees meer over rekeninstrumenten

Why have a category 1 or 2 product card made now?

There are several reasons to have a category 1 or 2 product card made now as a producer or industry.
To start with, an LCA gives good insight into the possibilities of making the production process more sustainable. The call for sustainability in construction is getting louder and louder. As the demand for more sustainable products increases, it is important to optimise this process.
In addition, we are currently looking at whether the requirement for new homes can be tightened earlier than 2025. If this requirement is tightened, it will of course become more difficult for designers to meet the requirement. They will then have to work more with products that have a category 1 or 2 product card. Creating a category 1 or 2 product card is not done overnight. The whole process from making an LCA to an approved category 1 map can take about a year. Therefore, it is wise to prepare now and start this process ahead of time so that when the requirement is tightened, your product will have a category 1 map in the NMD.

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