Who chose EPDItaly tells its story: Baraclit S.p.a

How important do you consider the sustainability aspects of your products in a context where these aspects are increasingly an element of market competitiveness?

In recent years, more and more companies and consumers have become aware of the environmental and social impact of the products they use or purchase, so sustainability has become a crucial competitive element in the marketplace. In our industry in particular, there is a unique opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact through greater control over the manufacturing process and the use of more sustainable materials.

In fact, prefabrication offers several advantages:

Baraclit’s focus on sustainability is therefore a strategic element to continue to be a leader in today’s market. This has the advantage of always being able to respond to the growing demand of clients, but above all to reduce production costs in the long run and contribute to a more sustainable future for the construction industry and the environment.

 

How did the idea of certifying products with EPD come about?

More and more clients are interested in certifying their buildings according to energy-environmental certification protocols (LEED, BREEAM, WELL). Among the requirements are Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) of building materials used on construction sites. It was this requirement that gave Baraclit the initial impetus to embark on this path of certifying its manufactured products.

Life cycle analysis (LCA) then became a fundamental tool for analyzing the production process in detail in order to optimize those phases that are more energy-intensive and impactful. In addition, it was essential to assess the benefits of using renewable energy (Baraclit with its own 4.2MW SolarLAB installed on the roof of the plant produces clean electricity from solar sources for almost 90% of its annual needs, of which about 40% is self-consumed at the same time) and a closed-loop water system (100% of the water used in production comes from a rainwater and process water collection, storage and treatment system).

Finally, we are proud to highlight that, with the EPDs of Aliant (roofing shingle), BasaltopĀ® (secondary roofing element) and KlimaWallĀ® (curtain wall panels), Baraclit is the first Italian precast manufacturer in the concrete products sector to have certified the entire exterior building envelope.

After being the first winged roofing tile in the history of prefabrication in the 1980s, Aliant today also becomes the first in the industry to have environmental certification (EPD).

 

Baraclit has published the first EPD on EPDItaly of prefabs generated by LCA tool qualified by ICMQ. How did you get on with the tool and what were the main benefits?

The Aliant EPD was generated through the use of an LCA-tool. This is a computer application, designed by Baraclit with the support of consultants, that allows us to perform in total autonomy the life cycle analysis of all the products of the Aliant family, which within it encloses more than 200 possible variants.

The advantage of this tool is first of all a drastic reduction in the time for data collection, verification and approval of EPDs. In addition, through the LCA-tool there is the possibility to automatically generate new EPDs (which will still be verified by a third party), but above all to be able to experiment with analyses and improvement scenarios of production processes in order to improve their efficiency and reduce consumption, both of raw materials and energy carriers.

 

Do you think it is important to have a Program Operator such as EPDItaly to promote certified products internationally?

Environmental sustainability, circular economy and corporate transparency are the current goals of the “sustainable” enterprise, and these benefit not only the narrow portion of the environment surrounding the enterprise, but the entire national and international territory.

So, we believe it is of utmost importance to have a Program Operator who is involved in networking the internationally certified products. This practice first and foremost promotes the spread of Baraclit’s facilities (present not only in Italy but also in neighboring foreign markets), but above all it promotes what are the essential values of corporate sustainability.