LCA of EPDM roofing membranes

Contec AG

Contec AG is the market leader in the field of waterproofing with EPDM roofing membranes in Switzerland. Using up-to-date data on the manufacturing process, checks were performed to find out whether their product was ecologically better than the generic data set in the list "LCA data in the construction sector". Based on the available data, INTEP calculated the life cycle assessment, made suggestions for improvement and prepared a brochure with an ecological comparison to other waterproofing systems.

Longer service life - deeper environmental impact over the entire life cycle


Project Period



Contec AG

Contec AG obtains the majority of the EPDM roofing membranes from a manufacturer in Germany (Saargummi/Duraproof), which has an advantage over its competitors in manufacturing technology. However, in the ecological assessment according to ecoDevis, EPDM performs worse than the competing products FPO membranes and polymer bitumen membranes. The same assessment can be found in the current ecoBKP (leaflets on ecological and healthy building). The data bases for EPDM come from the ecoinvent database, which contains a generic data set for EPDM.


To be able to define the environmental impact, intep investigated whether Contec’s EPDM roofing membranes are better than the generic data set in the ecoinvent database or the list “LCA data in the construction sector”. To this end, the manufacturing and processing processes were investigated, the input and output flows were determined, and the environmental impact was calculated. The results showed that the environmental impacts of the specific EPDM roofing membranes are in some cases smaller than those of the existing Ecoinvent/KBOB data set, but perform worse in the area of greenhouse gas emissions. However, according to the manufacturer of the EPDM polymer used, there is still a great potential for optimization in the preparation of this polymer.


In a further step, the EPDM roofing membranes were compared with the competing products FPO membranes and polymer bitumen membranes. Since EPDM has a longer lifespan than competing products, the environmental impact is greater over the entire life cycle. In addition, the sensitivity of the roof seals on the entire building with regard to non-renewable primary energy and greenhouse gas emissions was investigated. The result showed that the impact on the life cycle balance of a building is less than 1%. This was presented in a brochure for Contec .


Material ecology

Ecological, energy and CO2 balance sheets

Sustainability and environmental management

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