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The price and technical efficiency of building products are now no longer the sole criteria for their assessment: The ecological evaluation of building products is now also seen as an important selection criterion for decisions on the part of building contractors and policymakers.
The integral assessment of building products over their entire life cycle is a key subject of this research that extends both to ecological and economic aspects and to socioeconomic considerations. Not least in view of the Construction Products Regulation (EU Regulation No. 305/2011), which expressly recommends the use of EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for example as evidence of the use of natural resources, the integrated evaluation of building products will acquire further significance in future. EPDs for building products will be demanded to an increasing extent in calls for tender and as a basis of assessment for the sustainability certification of buildings. Building products have a considerable influence on the ecological profile of the buildings in which they are used and thus also on the granting of certification. At present, this influence cannot yet be adequately quantified. The research activities of the Working Group on Sustainable Construction are therefore geared toward establishing a systematic correlation between the sustainability characteristics of building products and their influence on the assessment results in building certification. These mechanisms are made available to product designers in the form of software tools that facilitate the specific optimization of products.