Helping companies to gain and maintain a competitive edge with sustainability

Saying that you manufacture environmentally friendly building materials is one thing. Proving it is something else. This is why the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) was incorporated in a Royal Decree in 2014. It lays down the rules regarding environmental claims on building products. VITO/EnergyVille helps organisations in their transition to a sustainable performance of our built environment.
In it, life cycle thinking and circularity strategies play a central role.

The approach consists of several pillars:

  • Calculation of ecological life cycle impacts - Life Cycle Assessment - LCA
  • Calculation of economic life cycle costs - Life Cycle Costing - LCC
  • Integrated evaluation of technological performance and economic feasibility - Techno-economic Analysis - TEA
  • Calculation of social life cycle impacts - Social LCA - S-LCA (in development)
  • Calculation of circularity indicators - circularity scan

VITO/EnergyVille has developed tools to conduct your analyses for a number of these pillars

  • TOTEM can be used to assess the environmental performance of buildings by means of LCA. 
  • LCA Quadrant tool for eco-design  Offers smart & simple environmental footprint calculations for manufacturing businesses.

In this way, VITO/EnergyVille supports organizations during optimization processes in the area of sustainability during design, production, transport, installation/construction, use, dismantling and recycling.

Assessing the environmental performance

The environmental performance can be assessed by applying a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This is a global analysis of the environmental footprint, caused by a product or system, over its entire life cycle.

Assessing the economic feasibility

Both economic performance or the Total Cost of Ownership and economic feasibility or total life cycle cost can be evaluated with a Life Cycle Cost analysis (LCC) or a Techno-Economic assessment (TEA). 
LCC is a method of economic analysis that focuses on all costs associated with the design, production, construction, operation and maintenance, and end-of-life phases of products and systems. A TEA also considers revenues.

Circularity as a strategy

Indicators to measure the degree of circularity of different building solutions based on different strategies (e.g. design for disassembly) and different scales (e.g. elements, components, materials) play an important role in the transition to a sustainable built environment.

TOTEM improves the environmental performance of buildings

The TOTEM (Tool to Optimise the Total Environmental impact of Materials) web tool makes it possible to analyse the environmental impact at building level. The transparent and objective tool was developed within a collaboration between the three Belgian regions and can be used by building designers and other building professionals. It is a methodology based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and expert model MMG (Environmental Material Performance of Building (elements)) developed by VITO/EnergyVille, KU Leuven and WTCB. It enables architects and actors in the building sector to improve the environmental performance of their building design. Building professionals can use TOTEM to compare various design options and choose the most environmentally friendly solutions.

LCA Quadrant tool for eco-design – navigate with data yourself

Since the increase in the importance of sustainability assessments to meet the growing demand for life cycle analyses, Enperas was founded in June 2021 as a spin-off of VITO/EnergyVille. 

The LCA QUADRANT tool developed by Enperas can be used to perform LCA analyses yourself in the context of ecodesign or as preparation towards an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is an information sheet produced by the manufacturer that provides neutral, detailed and quantitative information about the environmental performance of a product throughout its life cycle.  

How environmentally friendly are the building materials that you work with?

You are looking for simple ways to calculate the ecological footprint of your products? Or you want to improve the environmental performance of your building design?