Registration of building materials in the National Environmental Database makes it easier for architects, consultants and project developers to make environmentally sound choices. This makes it easy to calculate a building’s environmental performance, and a building’s environmental impact can be effectively reduced. This now also applies to nine Kooltherm insulation products.
According to the Dutch building decree, an environmental performance building calculation (MPG) is required for the construction of new homes and offices. MPG is the sum of the individual environmental cost indicators (ECIs) for all materials used in the building, expressed in an amount per2 BVO per year. MKI is a fictitious value that represents the social costs necessary to negate the environmental impacts of the materials used. According to current legislation, an MPG requirement of 0.8 applies to homes. The goal is to gradually tighten the requirement to 0.5 by 2030 at the latest.
National Environmental Database
The data with which an MPG calculation is made can be found in the National Environmental Database (NMD). A life cycle analysis (LCA) is carried out for the registration of a product in the NMD. An LCA maps all the environmental effects of a product over its entire life cycle. From the extraction and transport of the raw materials and energy required for production and transport to the construction site, to the processing of the material at the end of its useful life. But the performance of the products also plays a role here. The result is expressed in a specific set of environmental indicators, which are weighted in the Netherlands and combined into a one-point score: the product’s MKI. This LCA calculation has been verified by an expert from NMD.
Impact of MPG
“This means that in the design phase of a new construction project, you can influence the MPG of the overall building at the product level by choosing products with a low MKI score,” says Frank Postma, owner of the independent engineering and consulting firm Bouwvisie. Materials such as concrete, steel and glass weigh heavily on buildings’ MPG, as do technical installations, including solar panels. “The MKI score is much less high for insulation material, and the influence on the overall MKI score is also limited, with a maximum of 15%. However, it can certainly have a positive impact on the MPG of new homes and offices,” says Postma.
In NMD, the products are registered in three different categories: ‘manufacturer specific’, ‘sector average’ and ‘generic material profiles’. Products in the latter group are made available by NMD as a safety net in the event that there are no registrations from producers and sectors.
In MPG calculations, an increase factor of 30% applies to these products. It therefore makes sense to register products as a company or as an industry. Kingspan Insulation, together with the NVPU industry, have added PIR registrations in NMD which apply to the Therma portfolio. And recently, the MKI scores for the Kooltherm insulation boards have also been recorded.
Architects, engineers and consultants can quickly and easily make an MPG calculation using a number of calculation tools recognized by NMD. Postma: “We use the calculation program GPR-Materiaal for this. This contains all products included and categorized in NMD. MKI score per life phase is described for each product. These are the production phase, the construction phase, the use phase, the disposal phase and the phase outside the life cycle of the building.”
Within each ‘element group’ you can then select the products to be used in the building. “You can already in the design focus on the lowest possible MPG and compare the effect of different products on that score,” says Postma.
The Kooltherm range’s low MKI score is due in part to Kingspan Insulation’s Planet Passionate programme. In this, the manufacturer works closely with the suppliers to limit emissions throughout the chain and looks internally at how to make the most possible use of green energy sources.
According to Postma, this ambition is in line with the further development and tightening of MPG. “While the MPG mainly focuses on better insulation values, thinner insulation materials on the facade and the environmental performance of materials, additional and stricter requirements will be added in the future. That’s how it goes cradle2cradlerecycling and the amount of environmentally harmful materials in products play a greater role.”
The Planet Passionate program already focuses on sustainability thanks to energy saving measures, on-site energy generation and procurement continuously energy. As a result, the production facilities have been completely energy neutral since 2020. Kingspan Insulation also collects its own product waste from the construction site. This is recycled as fuel for new energy and raw material for new products.