Byggvarubedömningen is a unique phenomenon in the construction industry as we have gathered many actors around a common and important topic – to build non-toxic and sustainable for today and tomorrow’s generations. Our history dates to the beginning of 2000 when the industry experienced major challenges, health risks and expensive decontamination due to the use of substances such as asbestos and PCB. In the meantime, awareness of substances and their potential impact was generally low.
At that time, two associations, Milab and Byggdmiljö, worked parallel with risk minimization and substitution of chemicals. The first association consisted primarily of private actors while the second was represented mainly by the public sector. Byggvarubedömningen was formed in 2007 through a merger of these two associations, and now Sweden’s largest and most important property owners had launched a standard for environmental assessment of building materials. Assessment criteria on which the products would be assessed on was developed as well as a database to gather all assessments in one place.
Byggvarubedömningen is probably what I am most proud to have been involved in and built up during my professional career, since it has such an extensive effect on the industry. What we build now affects both today and tomorrow’s generations. Thanks to Byggvarubedömningen, it is possible to avoid a new asbestos or PCB.
Today, an entire organisation has emerged of what once began as a small, member-owned economic association. Byggvarubedömningen is still owned by the economic association, but now employees maintain and develops the everyday work to support the owners keeping criteria updated, assessing products and developing our Web Service.
Byggvarubedömningen consists of two parts – the logbook tool and assessments of chemical content and lifecycle aspects, which are both well-known and established in the construction and real estate industry. Since 2006 we also have criteria on sustainable supply chains as an initiative to make the construction industry more sustainable.
Byggvarubedömningen should contribute actively to the construction sector, developing and building sustainable solutions of the future by inspiring the industry to reach a non-toxic environment and sustainable supply chains.
Whether discussing complex areas such as chemical content, lifecycle aspects or sustainable supply chains, the main idea of Byggvarubedömningen has always been to be user-friendly. Assessments are presented in our Web Service according to the assessment levels Recommended (green), Accepted (yellow) and Avoided (red), and follows the logical reasoning of a traffic light. This means that even those who are not familiar with these complex areas can still make sustainable choices. Our logbook tool is the user’s own venue for products where actors can collaborate on product selection and log what has been built in. The logging of products enables traceability of substances that we today have little knowledge about but which in the future may prove to be harmful. Thus, responsibility is taken for both this and future generations.
Byggvarubedömningen keeps growing. We develop the construction and real estate industry to become more sustainable and the number of members, assessments and logbooks are constantly increasing. Together we make it easier to build sustainably!