How Troldtekt works for health and well-being

The third UN Sustainable Development Goal, ‘Good Health and Well-being’, includes reducing deaths and illness caused by harmful substances.

Troldtekt works to achieve this goal through thoroughly documented material health and traceability.

Sixty per cent of acute respiratory infections in children are caused by ambient environmental factors. And, like adults, children spend most of their time indoors. This is highlighted by research conducted by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which specify that we spend as much as 90% of our lives indoors.

This makes it crucial to focus on the health of the built environment, and according to the World Health Organization, there is plenty of scope for improvement. In a 2006 study, the WHO found that we are primarily exposed to air pollution when we are inside. Children are particularly exposed, as they have a higher breathing volume, and thus breathe in larger volumes of air than adults.

Troldtekt wants to be included in buildings that are healthy for their occupants. That is why the company has now added the third UN Sustainable Development Goal, ‘Good Health and Well-being’, to the now four sustainable development goals that Troldtekt is actively working to support.

“We have already charted the substances contained in our products, so we know they are healthy for humans and the environment. Our panels have a long service life and to us it is imperative that we only put healthy materials into circulation in the buildings,” says Peer Leth, CEO, Troldtekt A/S.

Detailed knowledge of the ingredients

Troldtekt acoustic panels are made of the natural materials wood and cement. The acoustic panels are thoroughly analysed as part of the Cradle to Cradle certification. All substances are defined down to 100 ppm (parts per million) and assessed in terms of their impact on people. The analysis is done under the auspices of Vugge til Vugge Danmark, which is accredited by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

“In practice, this means our systematic Cradle to Cradle efforts provide us with detailed knowledge of all the substances contained in our products and enable us to document that they do not contain any hazardous substances. Cradle to Cradle calls for a more thorough approach than other certification schemes, which just use ‘does not contain’ lists. We see this as a prerequisite for supplying building materials that are healthy for people and the environment.

>> Read about Troldtekt’s Cradle to Cradle certification

Low degassing and release of particles

In order to highlight the way in which Troldtekt’s indoor climate benefits and how Troldtekt makes it easier for developers and consultants to choose healthy materials for building projects, the products have qualified for approvals and certifications under a number of schemes.

  • Troldtekt acoustic panels have been tested by Danish Indoor Climate Labelling (under the Danish Technological Institute), and indoor-climate certified in the best categories. To qualify, a product’s degassing must decline within the first 60 days after installation. Troldtekt panels meet this requirement when initially measured after only 10 days. Ceiling products are also tested for the quantity of fibres and particles they release. Here too, Troldtekt panels qualify for the best category (‘low particle release’) – i.e. less than 0.75 milligrams per square metre.
  • Troldtekt acoustic panels are classified in the M1 category by the Finnish Indoor Air Association and the Building Information Foundation RTS. The classification system categorises building materials based on emission classes – i.e. how many substances the materials release to the air. Emission class M1 corresponds to the best quality (lowest emission rate).
  • Troldtekt acoustic panels are classified as ‘low emission’, and thus benefit nature and health in Germany’s voluntary and independent Ecolabel scheme known as The Blue Angel.
  • Troldtekt acoustic panels have been environmentally assessed by the Swedish SundaHus Material Data system and categorised as class A, which comprises products with the smallest adverse impact on human health and the environment.
  • Troldtekt acoustic panels have earned the British organisation Allergy UK’s ‘Allergy Friendly Product Award’. The Allergy Friendly Product Award is only given to products which improve health and well-being for asthma and allergy sufferers. In connection with the award, Troldtekt was studied and assessed by UK Allergy’s panel of consultants and scientific experts.

>> Read about Troldtekt and the healthy indoor climate

Documented contribution

We have worked with Ramboll to chart how Troldtekt specifically contributes to leading sustainable building certifications, such as DGNB, LEED, BREEAM and WELL. A healthy indoor climate was one of the criteria studied.

The documentation of Troldtekt’s contribution to WELL certification is new and has brought particular focus to bear on improving human health and well-being through the built environment. In 2019, Ramboll surveyed how Troldtekt is able to contribute to 20% of the WELL criteria, among other reasons because its acoustic solutions are Cradle to Cradle-certified with documentation for material health.

Also in 2019, Rambøll documented Troldtekt’s contribution to Nordic Swan Ecolabelled construction, and Troldtekt has been included in the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s database of products that can be used for Nordic Swan Ecolabelled construction. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official ecolabel in the Nordic region, and prioritises, among other things, the importance of buildings having a healthy indoor climate.

>> Read about Troldtekt and its sustainable building certifications

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