Environmental and health reference data for building

Construction products (FDES)

A 'construction product' means any manufactured and marketed product which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and for which the performance of the product alters the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works." (see Art. 2 (1) of the Construction Products Regulation).

· What is a FDES?

A FDES is a standardised document that shows the results of a product’s life cycle analysis as well as health information, used to calculate the environmental and health performance of an eco-design building.

Since 2004 FDES documents have been regulated by the AFNOR NF P 01-010 standard and, since 2014, by the NF EN 15804+A1 standard and its national supplement NF EN 15804/CN. They take the product’s entire life cycle into account, from extracting the raw materials to the end of its life, no forgetting the inclusion of transport, implementation, and even the product’s usage. FDES sheets thus constitute a major multi-criteria tool that helps professionals make choices that will make their building more sustainable, with limited impact on the environment, all while creating a healthy atmosphere for future users.

· What is the purpose of a FDES?

A FDES provides objective, multi-criteria quantitative and qualitative information about a product’s function or lifespan in a project.

The main role of the FDES is to provide useful, necessary information to those who want to add unbiased environmental and health criteria to their usual criteria (technical, economic and aesthetic choices).

They are an irreplaceable tool for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings.

· What types of FDES are there?

The Collective FDES is for products that are produced by several manufacturers. The Individual FDES is for a product made by one manufacturer. Lastly, there is also the configurator-generated “Custom” FDES that makes it possible to create a FDES that is adapted to the product being implemented in the project being evaluated.

FDES sheets can be audited by an independent third party (make link to audit program subtopic).

· What information does a FDES provide?

Each FDES features:

  • product specifications: components (raw materials, possible dangerous substances, etc.), complementary products for implementation, packaging, etc.);
  • the product’s functional unit and lifetime;
  • its environmental profile: a set of environmental indicators calculated over the product’s entire life cycle;
  • information on health and comfort of use: contribution of the product to the health quality of interior spaces and water, contribution to quality of life in the building (hygrothermal, acoustic, visual, and olfactory comfort);
  • as well as the identity of the party that issued the FDES.

· How is a FDES made?

Collecting environmental and health data on the product is the most important phase in the creation of a FDES. These data make up the life cycle analysis (LCA) and, consequently, the FDES.

Some data is directly linked to the manufacturing stage, others are from upstream stages (energy suppliers, raw materials, components, etc.) and downstream (transport, implementation, etc.).

The LCA software chosen by the manufacturer processes all this data to calculate the product’s environmental indicators according to standard NF P 01-010 or European standard NF EN 15804 and its national supplement (XP P 01 064/CN). In parallel, the manufacturer performs laboratory tests in order to provide the information required by the standard for acquiring health and comfort data.

A FDES can be created either on the initiative of a manufacturer, or on the initiative of a professional organisation for an industry that has chosen the Collective FDES.

Since July, 1st 2017, every FDES must be verified by an independent third party (cf. standard ISO 14025) recognised by a program operator under state agreement, such as INIES program.

A FDES is valid for 5 years.