NMD and circular construction

NMD and calculating circular construction works

Transparent and comparable circular performance of construction products and installations is required in order to create a level playing field in circular construction. The Environmental Performance Assessment Method for Construction Works and the National Environmental Database play an important role in this. With the new NMD structure (NL), the NMD has again taken important steps to increase the NMD’s use as a national transfer point and to facilitate its growing use.

As well as data on the environmental impact of construction products (environmental performance), from 1 January 2021 the NMD will also include data on the underlying parameters from a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report, such as material flows in kg (including secondary material input and output, material for recycling, material for reuse), the amount of renewable energy used and water consumption in the chain. It takes hardly any extra time to indicate these specifications when submitting data for inclusion in the NMD

and is in line with the ‘Measuring circularity – working agreements for circular construction’ Guide [CB’23 – 2 juli 2020]. This guide supports the first steps towards a broadly supported and harmonised core measurement method for circularity. This core measurement method does not assess circular strategies (such as service life extension, efficient reuse, ease of detaching, etc.) in isolation, but examines their impact. These circular strategies are compared by making the impact measurable on three circular objectives:

a) protecting the environment
b) protecting material stocks
c) protecting existing value

The environmental impact categories from the NMD’s Environmental Performance Assessment Method for Construction Works were adopted for environmental protection indicators. These categories are based on the European Life Cycle Assessment method (LCA method) for construction products, EN 15804. The industry supplies LCA environmental data to NMD for inclusion in the NMD. Validated calculation tools in turn facilitate environmental performance calculations using this LCA environmental data, resulting in a 1-point score; Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) for Civil and Utilities Construction (C&U) and Environmental Cost Indicator (ECI) for the civil engineering sector.

The indicators for protecting material stocks largely correspond with the material balance (in tested indicators) from environmental Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) as a basis for submitting data for inclusion in the NMD. These indicators can be further divided into impact on the environment and impact on the use of raw materials.

A value (retention) indicator is currently being developed by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. See also the ‘Raw materials for the circular economy’ report (NL)

This development also brings NMD in line with (European) developments such as ‘A new action plan for a circular economy – for a cleaner and more competitive Europe’ and the LEVEL(s) project: The European framework for sustainable buildings.

‘Parameters according to the Environmental Performance Assessment Method for Construction Works 1.0 (July 2020)’

See also:

End-of-Life scenarios