Environmental data

The National Environmental Database (NMD) contains environmental data of construction products and building installations – products supplied by industry – that are used in the calculation tools to calculate the environmental performance of construction works. The NMD’s environmental data contain environmental profiles: lists with environmental impacts expressed in various environmental impact categories in accordance with European standard (EN) 15804, such as the depletion of raw materials, global warming potential and ozone layer depletion.

An environmental profile is the outcome of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Below are the impact categories according to EN15804:2012 (left) and the impact categories according to EN15804:2012+A2:2019 (right).

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

An LCA is a quantitative method to assess the total environmental impact across the entire life cycle of the product; from raw material extraction and production to use and end-of-life processing (see image below). It gives companies the opportunity to gain insight into the environmental impact of their products and raw materials throughout the value chain. The life cycle of a product in a civil engineering structure is divided into four phases and one module (A to D, in which B6 and B7 are not considered in the Assessment Method). LCAs are conducted using software programs such as SimaPro. These programs use databases including the NMD process database and Ecoinvent, which contain detailed environmental data including on production processes and energy generation and transport, both nationally and internationally. In combination with EN 15804 and related ISO standards the Environmental Performance Assessment Method for Construction Works outlines the rules for drawing up an LCA using environmental data in the NMD.