KE Fibertec introduces EPDs for textile based ventilation


With the launch of our new third-party verified EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) for our textile based ventilation solutions, we have reached another important milestone. KE Fibertec wants to take full responsibility as a global manufacturing company when it comes to responsible use of the planet's resources. The solutions are continuously developed so that they contribute to minimising the impact on the environment, even though these products make up a small part of the construction industry.

The whole process of creating our EPDs goes back a few years, when KE Fibertec was looking for a partner who could help not only verify a specific product, but also create an EPD for our customised products. It was a difficult start, and very quickly it became clear that it was not easy to find someone who could understand the complexity and find a method to reach the goal and fulfil the new building requirements. The entire EPD system is built to handle standard products and materials, not dynamically composed products.

"We are very pleased that we have succeeded in obtaining a third-party verified EPD that can be used to its full extent. We have seen examples of EPDs where, for example, only 1 m2 of textile material is covered. Even though it's called a textile duct, the textile often only accounts for 35% of the total CO2-eq footprint of a textile duct," says Development Manager Anders Olsen, KE Fibertec.

"The goal was therefore to prepare a complete EPD based on a PCR (Product Category Rules) that takes into account all parameters, so all CO2 footprints - from the textile to the aluminium suspension, nozzles and accessories, to the packaging used for shipping", Anders Olsen continues.

This has now been achieved, and KE Fibertec is the only company in the industry to offer calculations for all components included in a textile-based solution, where the company divides the documentation into the four main categories: textile, mounting materials, accessories, and packaging. This gives a very good overview of the total climate impact of the part of the ventilation contract that KE Fibertec supplies.

Since EPDs are third-party verified, customers are guaranteed a credible starting point. KE Fibertec's unique TBV Designer software, which is used for dimensioning and quotation calculation, has now been further developed to include CO2 emissions calculated in our EPDs. Here you can calculate the specific climate impact of each project in relation to production, use and disposal. In other words, the CO2 documentation is not prepared based on a standard template or a subset of the product offered, but exclusively with project-specific CO2 data, giving customers and consulting engineers a full overview when making their decision when choosing a ventilation solution.

For KE Fibertec, it has been an interesting and intense work with the partner Viegand Maagøe, who has helped with all the preparatory work, from the preparation of life cycle assessments, documentation calculations and environmental declarations of products to the verification at the German IBU, and which has resulted in KE Fibertec now having a dynamic CO2 calculator for textile-based ventilation.

"EPDs are increasingly in demand, but unfortunately the EPD standard (EN15804) and verification systems are rather rigid if you make customised products like KE Fibertec. We are pleased that KE Fibertec has been persistent and can now present EPDs that include all sub-components for their GreenWeave and MultiWeave product ranges", says Lasse Vinblad Thaisen, Senior Project Manager at Viegand Maagøe.

Today, KE Fibertec has learnt important lessons about the company's products in the preparation of environmental product declarations. However, KE Fibertec is no stranger to working with sustainability and the development of more environmentally friendly solutions. Since 2012, the company has worked purposefully and strategically with several initiatives towards greener solutions within ventilation. This is not only in relation to the materials used in the company's own weaving mill, but also in relation to the way production is organised and, not least, how production waste is recycled and incorporated into new products.

The collaboration with Viegand Maagøe has provided important experience and has meant that it can now be documented that textile based ventilation is a very good alternative to the industry's more conventional ventilation solutions. With the dynamic CO2 calculator, KE Fibertec can now document that their solutions have a 5-6 times lower climate footprint when compared to equivalent data for steel ducts (source: Industry-specific EPD for steel ducts prepared by VELTEK, Denmark).

Even though KE Fibertec's textile based ventilation solutions only make up a small part of the total climate footprint of a building, choosing a more environmentally friendly solution is certainly not insignificant. Sustainability is a concept that has gained public interest, and in the coming years, stricter documentation requirements will be imposed when marketing so-called sustainable products. For KE Fibertec, it is very much about being transparent and precise in the way we work with sustainability and ensuring that the solutions are well documented.

In addition to offering EPDs and product-specific CO2 calculations, our tool also supports those working with certification of buildings such as DNGB and BREEAM. The dynamic form creates simpler workflows because the math is done. In this way, KE Fibertec has made it easy to make a more climate-friendly choice.