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25, 2018

The International EPD® System launches a new database with digital EPD data

Examples of machine-readable EPDs

This Wednesday, the International EPD® System launches a new data base with digital, machine-readable EPD-information. Machine-readable EPD-information is stored in a file format that can be used for different applications and will open new ways to make use of the communication of the environmental performance of products.

All digitalized data is linked to the EPDs published in the International EPD® System and therefore enables communication of environmental impacts of products in a quantitative, credible, comparable and understandable way based on an established communication format.

The transformation of EPD-information into the machine-readable format will broaden the opportunities for the application of EPD information in areas, such as public procurement, building assessment tools and other environmental calculation tools.

"The rapid global development of systems for EPD is mainly a response to the increased market need for LCA-based product-related environmental information", says Sven-Olof Ryding, senior advisor at EPD International AB. "Interpreting and bench-marking of EPD-information is sometimes considered to be difficult as it covers all relevant environmental aspects of a product in a life-cycle perspective as they are presented in pdf-formats. The possibility to access digitalized EPD data from the International EPD® System is a giant leap forward for future use in several market-based applications demanding science-based, verified and comparable information about the environmental performance of products."

Following developments in the International Open Data Network for Sustainable Building (InData), the structure and format of the data is aligned with the format discussions in the InData network. The InData initiative is based on already existing instruments, and standards. It thus uses the so called ILCD+EPD data format. The ILCD data format, developed by the European Commission’s DG JRC, is widely used in the LCA context. Extensions had to be added to integrate EPD specific information (e.g. scenarios, modules, type of data). The chosen format offers a high flexibility, which allows for the adaption of related specific national requirements or changes in the underlying standards (e. g. amendments M350 of EN 15804) in future.

"In the national digitalizing project Smart Built Environment will combine the digital EPD with Q metadata that will be another potential add-on to increase the use of EPD and especially in public procurement", says Martin Erlandsson, LCA Business Development Manager and Senior Researcher at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. "To support the suggested mandatory Climate declaration for all new buildings in Sweden, we have designed a tool (BM1.0) that will make use of digital EPD that then can replace the default data used and to support environmental improvements."


More information about machine-readable EPDs