Enhancing environmental performance of products and equipment

To make sure that environmental claims about construction products and equipment are unambiguous, accurate and not misleading, stakeholders are required to make specific declarations before any communication. Information is shared with all professionals through a reference database in France: INIES. In 2014, the database continued to grow: 30% more declarations. At the CSTB, four auditors are authorized to check and verify content to ensure data reliability.

At the end of 2014, INIES, which belongs to the HQE association, contained 1,544 environmental and sanitary product declarations (FDES); 30% more than in 2013. It is expected to expand with 1,500 additional declarations relating to construction electrical, electronic and climate control equipment when the INIES and PEP ecopassport® databases merge in February 2015.

Software interoperability

As a reference database, INIES offers the advantage of interfacing with many of the industry's simulation resources, including the Elodie program for environmental performance analysis of a structure, and eveBIM-ELODIE, which connects INIES to data on buildings' digital modeling. This degree of software interoperability makes industry stakeholders' work easier by avoiding the need for duplicated entry of building component data.

INIES data reliability

The content of every environmental performance declaration must be checked by one of France’s 15 accredited auditors, four of whom work at the CSTB. They have specific responsibility for checking Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and FDES datasheets before their online publication in INIES. Their mission will grow starting on July 1, 2017, when EPD and FDES verification by an independent third party becomes a legal requirement. The accredited auditors of the CSTB will then conduct critical reviews of declarations to ensure increased INIES data reliability.

Learn more:

PEP ecopasseport®: The international reference program for environmental declarations concerning electrical, electronic and climate control products.