How we assess and endorse green products

Assessment is conducted in 4 stages1:

 

1 Research

Involves collating technical information, including manufacturers' information such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health & Safety Data Sheets, Product brochures, CE declaration of performance, ISO standards from the 9000 and 14000 series, supply chain information, labels and endorsements, certificates eg BBA, and other product data. 

 

2 Evaluation

Technical information needs confirming and information gaps filled. The reviewer might need further information from the manufacturer such as certifications to sort out the strength of green claims. Evaluation and assessment is relatively simple when comparing similar types of building materials using the environmental criteria. For example, a recycled content assessment between various manufacturers of concrete blocks is a relatively straightforward "apples to apples" comparison. However, the evaluation process is more complex when comparing different products with the same function. Then it may become necessary to process both descriptive and quantitative forms of data.

 

3 Endorsement

Involves the setting of the evaluation of the product against the assessor's considered notional 'norm'. For example a concrete block using entirely Portland cement and virgin aggregate might be considered as the most used block type in current construction. An evaluated block containing cement substitute and recycled aggregate would be likely considered to have environmental attributes that would distinguish it from that 'norm' (all other things such as material performance being equal). 

More about the information used in the review process.....

More about eco-labels, LCAs and EPDs .....

 

4 Evidence rating

The degree of certainty associated with the selection of a product can vary according to the strength of the data submitted.

Providing the product specifier with an idea of the strength of the evidence supporting the selection is done by a star rating where *** 3 stars indicates that evidence is strong and * indicates that the evidence is weak and should be treated with caution.1

In part as first used by the Government of California and based on 'Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials,' The Construction Specifier, October 1999

More about the importance and standards of evidence ...

 

The endorsement process   

 

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