Buildings and the built environment use 50% of the materials taken from the Earth’s crust by humanity. During their life cycle, buildings consume much energy and produce waste which account for 25 % of all waste generated. Issues of indoor air quality are also crucial as Europeans spend almost 90 % of their time inside buildings.

The Technical Committee TC 350 in CEN is dealing with “Sustainability in construction works” and intends to set up generic methods to balance the adverse effects of a building on the environment versus its utilitarian functions. The TC aims at developing standardised methods for the assessment of the sustainability of new and existing construction works, as well as standards for the environmental declaration of construction products.

These standards should be available in 2010, including:

  • Framework for assessment of buildings sustainability,
  • Calculation methods for assessment of environmental impacts of buildings,
  • Use of environmental product declarations in construction,
    Product category rules for environmental declaration,
  • Communications format of environmental product declarations.

ECOS has been participating in the earlier work which elaborated the draft business plan for TC 350 and will keep on being represented in this committee.