You are on page 1of 5

The Ecophon acoustic solutions as part of the Green Building Certification Systems

- our contribution to the HQE certification system -

What are the Green Building Certification Systems?

Buildings account for up to 40% of the energy use in society with equivalent levels of greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of raw materials use and waste generation and 20% of water consumption. The volume of construction activities (new construction as well as refurbishment of existing buildings) is steadily increasing all over the world. In parallel, a rapid increase in the number of building environmental assessment methods, tools, labels and certificates has also taken place. Currently there are dozens of green building certification programs in operation for a wide range of building types and sizes.

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB Box 500 SE-265 03 Hyllinge, Sweden Tel : +46 (42) 17 99 00 Fax : + 46 (42) 22 55 55

In 1999, the national Green Building Councils around the world have united their efforts and created the World Green Building Council, which is working to facilitate the global transformation of the building industry towards sustainability through market driven mechanisms. The Green Building Certification Systems (GBCS) are tools developed with the purpose to respond to the global climate change and dependence on unsustainable sources of energy, by encouraging sustainable design as well as local materials usage in the construction, operation and maintenance of the building. Furthermore, specific requirements have been developed in order to protect the health and well-being of the building occupants. The GBCSs are thus becoming important tools to encourage and reward social and environmental responsibility. Most of them have been initially developed by the corresponding national Green Building Councils to meet the local needs for each country. The main difference between the various national assessment systems is the weight they give to different environmental categories. These naturally follow the main environmental and social issues for that region, which results in rating systems tailored to account for climate and local culture. Some systems also give credits for compliance with building regulations. Today, as the assessment criteria and rating are specific and can differ from one system to another, it is often the case that several GBCSs co-exist in the same country. Here is a brief overview of the some of the most known rating tools that have been developed around the world:


Year established 1990

Country of origin United Kingdom

Certification level Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Outstanding




Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum




Basic, Performing, Very Performing




Bronze, Silver, Gold

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB Box 500 SE-265 03 Hyllinge, Sweden Tel : +46 (42) 17 99 00 Fax : + 46 (42) 22 55 55

The HQE approach (

The HQE (Haute Qualit Environnementale) is a voluntary approach aiming to limit the short and longterm environmental impact of a new build or refurbishment, while guaranteeing healthy and comfortable living conditions for the occupants. It is the most frequently applied certification scheme in France. The HQE association was founded in 1995 and recognized as a non-profit organisation in 2004. The HQE certification system was developed by the subsidiaries of QUALITEL (for residential: CERQUAL, CEQUAMI) and CSTB (for non-residential: Certiva) and has been operating since 2005. The HQE parameters cover a broad range of site, construction process, operational, user comfort and user health sub-issues, but does not extend to socio-economic issues. Considerable emphasis is placed on the quality of the, process and inclusion of relevant local issues. The HQE system expresses the buildings Environmental Profile. The Building is rated according to 14 targets, each one achieving one of the following levels: 1) BASIC, 2) PERFORMING, 3) HIGH PERFORMING. The 14 specific targets of the HQE certification have been defined to cover all the links between the building and its environment, and are divided into four categories as follows:

Eco-construction harmonious relationship of the building with its immediate environment integrated choice of construction processes and products low-nuisance construction sites Comfort hygrothermal comfort acoustic comfort visual comfort olfactory comfort

Eco-management energy management water management process waste management management of maintenance Health cleanliness of the internal environment air quality water quality

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB Box 500 SE-265 03 Hyllinge, Sweden Tel : +46 (42) 17 99 00 Fax : + 46 (42) 22 55 55

The 14 targets are not independent from the point of view of the products: the choice (target n of a 2) construction product (e.g. a suspended ceiling with insulation) might have an impact on the Energy Management of the building (target n4) and on the Visual and Acoustic Comfort (target s n 9 and 10). Certification projects of the application of the HQE Practice exist aiming at bringing more credibility and demonstrating the environmental quality approach that has been followed. These certification projects cover all kinds of operations, from individual houses to Tertiary buildings A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in June 2009 between BRE Global, its French equivalent CSTB and the French certification body Certiva to align HQE and BREEAM certification schemes. The recently developed International passport (for non-residential buildings) also rates the buildings performance in four fields: energy, environment, health, and comfort. Stars are awarded in each category (between 1 and 4 stars) and then added up to obtain a final score: Rating HQE Good HQE Very Good HQE Excellent HQE outstanding Number of stars 1-4 5-8 9-11 12+

HQE at product level

At product level, there is a perfect match between the HQE certification system requirements and the French EPDs, called Fiches de Dclaration Environnementale et Sanitaire (FDES). The FDES are done according to NF P 01 010, which is consistent with ISO 14025 requirements, and the on-going work at ISO TC59, and are complying with the HQE practice by providing information to cover target n and additional information to cover targets n 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. 2 AIMCC, the Association of the French construction products manufacturers, communicates the list of FDES that have already been done for various construction families of products ( A public database, called INIES, is available with the public information relative to FDES (

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB Box 500 SE-265 03 Hyllinge, Sweden Tel : +46 (42) 17 99 00 Fax : + 46 (42) 22 55 55

Ecophon products contribution

Here is a brief overview on how our products can contribute to a good assessment of your building project in the framework of the HQE tertiary building certification scheme (including offices, schools, healthcare facilities, commercial interiors etc.):

HQE target Target 2 Integrated choice of construction products, systems and process

Relevant target sub-categories 2.1 Building durability and evolution adaptability in time 2.2 Easy access for cleaning and maintenance 2.3 Limited building environmental impact 2.4 Limited health impact of construction products 3.1. Waste management during construction


Ecophon products contribution 1. Data available in the Ecophon French Environmental Product Declarations FDES and downloadable (in French) at the INIES database 2. Supplementary relevant information not included in the FDES: - Ecophon Thermally Activated Building Systems (TABS) - knowledge guide, downloadable at: Solutions/Concrete-CoreActivation/ - Ecophon Environmental Statement, downloadable at vironment/

Target 3 Low-nuisance construction sites Target 4 Energy management

(good) 4.1.Reduced energy consumption by architectural or conception 4.2.Primary energy consumption P (performing) reduction 4.3.Reduction of air pollutants or release 7.1.Simplified facility management and maintenance 8.1.Optimised hygrothermal comfort by architectural conception 9.1.Optimised acoustic quality by architectural conception 9.2. Creation of an acoustic environment adapted to the usage of different types of rooms 10.1.Optimisation of daylight use 10.2.Comfortable artificial lighting 11.2. Management of internal and external odour sources 12.2. Creation of specific hygiene conditions 13.2. Management of indoor air pollution sources TP (very performing)

Target 7 Management of maintenance Target 8 Hygrothermal comfort Target 9 Acoustic comfort

Target 10 Visual comfort

Target 11 Olfactory comfort Target 12 Cleanliness of the internal environment Target 13 Air quality

* all sub-categories included

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB Box 500 SE-265 03 Hyllinge, Sweden Tel : +46 (42) 17 99 00 Fax : + 46 (42) 22 55 55