Programme: CAP’EM – Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco-Materials

This programme aims to identify and showcase building materials that are more environmentally sustainable and that in many cases are manufactured in a partner country (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and UK)

Programme Details

Target market:

The CAP’EM programme can be utilised by anyone using construction materials including: students, builders, trades/crafts-people/ DIY-ers/construction professionals/builders merchants.

Programme Timespan:

January 2008 to 30 June 2012

What is the programme designed to do?

The objectives of this programme are to:

  • Develop a shared methodology for the life cycle analysis of the environmental and health impacts of construction materials.
  • Evaluate 150 building materials according to this new methodology, and enable users to classify them according to multiple criteria.
  • Increase the use and knowledge of eco-materials in North-West Europe by engaging with the building industry.
  • Demonstrate the use of eco-materials in new build and renovation contexts, via a network of exhibition centres.

How do we achieve this?

The CAP’EM programme is structured into four Work Packages:

Work Package 1 (WP1) will establish a shared definition for ecological building materials and develop an evaluation method for them, based on simplified life cycle assessment (LCA) methods and existing scientific databases. A selection of 30 materials will be used to test and evaluate this method.

Work Package 2 (WP2) will evaluate 150 building materials readily available in North West Europe using the simplified LCA tool developed in WP1. 150 building materials will be selected from across North West Europe to be assessed (including at least 100 eco-materials). This process will ensure that the procedure, the assessment methodology and the software are both scientifically robust and realistic, notably regarding the amount and quality of data required to undertake the evaluation. Work package 2 is led by BSK-CiC (UK).

Work Package 3 (WP3) will disseminate information on the methodology, tools and evaluated eco-materials towards professional audiences in the building construction sector. This CAP’EM website is the hub of this activity, delivering information and evaluation opportunities for eco-designed materials and eco-construction strategies, exhibition events, design training sessions and media coverage.

Work Package 4 (WP4) will develop a network of exhibition centres to demonstrate the use of eco-materials, both in new build and renovation, to targeted audiences across North West Europe. The exhibition centres will be created by each programme partner in their respective regions. This will raise awareness among end-users and building professionals alike, increasing demand for eco-materials. BSK’s exhibition centre is located in Whitfield, Dover, Kent.

Who funds the programme?

CAP’EM is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg IVB programme.