A balance between positive and negative environmental impact
The various phases in the life cycle of a product have both a positive and a negative impact. There is also an effect in the form of transport operations in connection with many of these phases.
In this very much simplified environmental balance sheet we can see two different columns that we can compare. In this instance we have used an Ecophon acoustic ceiling as an example. It is of course difficult to evaluate the various environmental aspects, but the discussion is valid within this context.
A building product must have overwhelmingly positive indoor environmental properties for users. It is above all the important functional properties that must be weighed against the negative impact on the external environment generated by the product and its use.
For Ecophon’s acoustic ceilings, the positive environmental aspects are above all a quieter, calmer and more efficient working environment with good acoustics and less noise (1). These are properties that will be absent if, for example, you choose a suspended ceiling with no sound-absorbing function. All building products, however, emit substances that can have a negative impact on the indoor environment (2). It is really a question of the volume, how hazardous the substances are and how long it takes for emissions to subside.
The glasswool used in Ecophon’s acoustic ceilings consists of 70% recovered household glass. This creates a positive environmental impact in production (3), as the waste glass would otherwise be disposed of in landfill sites. Production otherwise has a negative environmental impact (4).
In the post-usage phase (e.g. in connection with the demolition or renovation of a building) there is a negative environmental impact (5). However, in Ecophon’s case there is a chance of limiting this impact, as residual products can be recycled.
|1 & 2. Usage phase|
3 & 4. Production phase
5. Post usage phase