The construction sector accounts for 40% of emissions, energy use and waste generated worldwide, in addition to significant use of land, transport, resources and chemicals. As a key community actor, the construction sector has great potential and opportunities to contribute to achieving the sustainability goals by 2030.

Public actors are setting climate and environmental requirements for procurement regarding buildings and other civil engineering works. Stricter guidelines are laid for fossil and emission-free construction sites, as well as greenhouse gas calculations of buildings. Design and material selection will play a major role in reducing emissions and minimizing construction waste by influencing the maintenance and replacement needs of building parts and components. NORSUS is particularly concerned with comprehensive environmental assessments during the service life of new buildings and maintenance and upgrading of existing building stock.

Standardization is a prerequisite for sustainability and a circular economy in the construction industry. NORSUS participates with experts in international and national standardization of methodology for sustainability assessments of buildings, infrastructure and construction products, as well as in circular economics and sustainable renovation of buildings.

Through assessments and evaluations, input is given to policy formulation within building and business policy. At NORSUS, we contribute to sustainable strategies within the green shift and the circular economy for the construction sector.

A large part of the environmental and resource challenges for the construction industry are related to the production of construction products. These are manufactured industrially and require resources in the form of energy and raw materials. In addition, transport contributes significantly to the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The use of more sustainable construction materials and construction products will play a major role in reducing emissions and minimizing waste from the construction sector throughout the lifetime of buildings and other civil engineering works.

Manufacturers have been continuously working on improving the environmental and resource profile of their products and have since the beginning of the 1990s, worked closely with NORSUS, applying life cycle thinking for strategy and product development.

Today, many actors require documentation of the environmental and resource properties of construction materials and products over their life cycle. Manufacturers have, together with NORSUS, been driving the development of environmental declarations (EPD). It is central to our research that environmental declarations form part of holistic models for environmental assessment of construction works.

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