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 .
Ecological, energy and CO2 balance sheets
Sustainability and environmental management