New EPDs show environmental footprint across products
Consultants and clients can now download new environmental product declarations (EPDs) for the different Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool products. The EPDs state the carbon footprint associated with all stages in the life cycle of the acoustic panels.
The EPDs are verified by the German Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) – and several of them are also published by BRE in the UK.
The environmental product declarations (EPDs) now make it easier to get an overview of the total environmental footprint of Troldtekt’s acoustic panels. This is useful when, as a consultant or client, for example, you want to have your building certified as sustainable.
The environmental impact of raw materials, transport, production, use, disposal and the potential for recycling are reflected in the life cycle analysis on which the EPDs are based. Accordingly, the EPDs are a useful tool for consultants and clients when gathering and assessing documentation about building materials.
“Transparency and thoroughness have been keywords for us in working with our EPDs. The life cycle analyses of our products therefore contain data on more stages than are mandatory for EPDs. Furthermore, we have chosen to have separate EPDs for our various products rather than just working with average values,” says Vibeke Pedersen, technical manager at Troldtekt A/S.
The actual life cycle analyses have been prepared by Stefan E. Danielsson, MSc, who has been affiliated to the cement manufacturer Aalborg Portland. All 12 EPDs have subsequently been verified by Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V., which has a mutual recognition agreement with BRE in the UK.
Consequently, several of the EPDs have also been published by BRE UK.
New technology reduces carbon footprint
The current EPDs replaced Troldtekt’s previous version from 2014. Since then, Troldtekt has invested hundreds of millions of kroner in expanding and modernising its production facilities with more energy-efficient technology and the use of renewable energy. This has resulted in a significantly reduced carbon footprint overall (Global Warming Potential).
The raw materials in a Troldtekt acoustic panel are Danish wood and cement. Cement production emits considerable amounts of CO2, but the wood content pulls significantly in the opposite direction. This is because wood binds CO2 when the tree is growing. In addition, the cement means that an acoustic panel absorbs CO2 during its use stage as a result of the chemical process of carbonatisation.
“After now launching Troldtekt acoustic panels based on the carbon reduced cement type FUTURECEM™, the carbon footprint of these panels decreases further – and is actually below zero in phases A1 to A3, because the trees absorb more CO2 while growing than is emitted in cement production.
Circular initiatives hold huge potential
The CO2 which is stored in the wood is released if the Troldtekt panels are burned after the end of their useful life – typically after 50-70 years. This impacts stage C4 in the EPDs, which covers disposal.
“Some material manufacturers state landfill as the disposal method – i.e. the waste is buried. However, this is not a good solution environmentally, and one which we do not have a tradition for using in Denmark, but in an EPD context, landfill does not result in CO2 emissions. To be as credible and transparent as possible, we have stated incineration, even though it gives us a higher carbon footprint in the EPDs,” explains Vibeke Pedersen.
“We believe that within the next few years, it will be possible for end-of-life Troldtekt acoustic panels to add more value in the circular economy. We’re working on a pilot project together with several Danish municipalities which involves collecting cement-bonded wood wool waste for use, for example, as a raw material in new cement at Aalborg Portland. This will result in lower CO2 emissions,” says Vibeke Pedersen in conclusion.
Separate EPDs for 12 products
Environmental product declarations are a tool for professionals in the construction industry who need to know the environmental impact of various building materials. Troldtekt has had 12 product-specific EPDs prepared and third party-verified according to the European standard EN15804+A1.
The different EPDs take into account:
- the thickness of the acoustic panels (25 mm or 35 mm)
- which type of cement is in the panels (traditional or FUTURECEM)
- which colour cement has been used in the panels (white or grey)
- whether the panels are painted or unpainted
> Find Troldtekt’s EPDs at www.troldtekt.com
Troldtekt's EPDs cover phases A1-A3, A4-A5, B1, C1-C2, C4 and D. When comparing several products, it is important to conduct the assessment based on the same product stages.
The graphs show the carbon footprints of Troldtekt acoustic panels based on traditional grey cement and based on FUTURECEM in the various life cycle phases.
FUTURECEM ensures a negative carbon footprint in stages A1-A3, as the wood absorbs more CO2 while the trees are growing than is emitted during the production of the cement, during the transport of the raw materials and during the manufacture of the acoustic panels.
During use (stage B), the carbon footprint is negative for all Troldtekt acoustic panels, because the panels absorb CO2 via the chemical process of carbonatisation.
During disposal (C4), embodied carbon is released during incineration, and the carbon impact is therefore positive. As the incineration of Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool also generates energy that can replace energy from fossil fuels, a negative carbon footprint has also been registered under recycling potential (D).