The Sustainable Construction Area in AIDICO (Institute of Construction Technology) aims to encourage all agents that are involved in the production process to include criteria which respect the environment and to consider social and economic issues.
The objective is to study and transfer the knowledge about sustainability to the construction companies, generating solutions throughout the life cycle of a building or infrastructure in order to minimise the environmental impacts of the building work.
Today there are many tools and techniques for evaluating the environmental performance of products, one of the best known eco-labelling. This system allows distinguishing the products which demonstrate compliance with certain characteristics of environmental quality.
Environmental labelling is, according to ISO 14020, a set of voluntary tools aimed at stimulating demand for products and services with lower environmental burdens by providing relevant information about their life cycle to meet the demand for environmental information by the buyers. There are three types of environmental labels to ISO 14020: Ecolabel Type I, Type II Self-declaration and Type III environmental product declaration.
LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the most recognised and accepted tool to asses and demonstrate the environmental behaviour of products and is therefore used in declarations about the impacts associated to construction materials.
The raw materials and energy used in the construction works should be minimised, as well as the contamination and waste produced, which is one of the objectives in Sustainable Construction. Consequently, as an important part of Sustainable Construction, the construction materials sector must bear in mind all environmental conditioning factors that come into play as a key point in the design, manufacture and sale of their products, in other words, the environmental behaviour of the products throughout their life cycle.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE MINIMISATION AND ASSESSMENT
Construction and demolition waste (C&D waste) make up the greatest quantity of waste by weight in the European Union and as such it is an important issue in Sustainable Construction. Eliminating this type of waste is very complex, among other things due to the scarcity of authorised landfill sites. C&D waste is generated in building sites for new constructions, repair work, remodelling work, restoration and demolition work, including both building and civil works whether from the private or public sector, thereby covering all areas involving Sustainable Construction.
The aim is to reduce the global environmental impact of the construction and demolition of buildings and infrastructures. In this way, the Sustainable Construction Area provides the necessary advice for the minimisation and assessment of construction waste.
This area will not carry out any activity that could lead to a conflict of interests with the Institute’s work as a Control Body, with regard to the products assessed, in accordance with ENAC requirements laid out in PE-ENAC-OC/01.
Saturday, 18 May 2013, 18:09