Understanding the Latest Changes in the Construction Products Regulation

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The Construction Products Regulation (CPR), a key pillar of the European Union’s regulatory framework, is poised for significant updates. Serving as the bedrock for ensuring reliable and high-quality construction products within the EU market, the CPR sets harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products. This regulation is critical for maintaining standards, ensuring safety, and enhancing the sustainability of construction materials. With an important vote foreseen in April 2024 in the European Parliament, the construction industry stands at the corner of substantial regulatory evolution.

 

Key Updates of the CPR and Their Impact

The incoming regulation will repeal its predecessor immediately upon enforcement, with few exceptions relating to standardisation extending until 2039. This transition underscores a commitment to modernising industry practices swiftly. Additionally, while the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) encompasses European Assessment Documents (EADs), it is noteworthy that the harmonised zone itself does not cover them. However, CE marking, a symbol of compliance with EU legislation, can still be obtained with EADs if they are cited in the Official Journal of the EU, providing flexibility for broader compliance.

In a significant move, the Commission is expected to introduce classes of environmental performance and thresholds through delegated acts, setting new benchmarks for product assessment and aligning with the EU’s environmental objectives. Moreover, in instances where standards are delayed or deemed unsatisfactory, the Commission can introduce implementing acts to cover the standard’s scope or apply it with exceptions, ensuring a proactive approach to maintaining high standards.

The integration of the European Sustainability Performance of Products Regulation (ESPR) requirements into the CPR, with the latter taking precedence in case of conflicts, demonstrates a unified approach to sustainability. Furthermore, the new regulation combines the Declaration of Performance with the Declaration of Conformity into a singular Declaration of Performance and Conformity, simplifying documentation processes for manufacturers.

 

Sustainability and Digital Transformation: A Forward-Thinking Approach

The inclusion of packaging in calculating a product’s environmental performance marks a holistic approach to sustainability assessment. Additionally, the introduction of a digital product passport, aligned with the ESPR, and the requirement for lifecycle assessment information in Declaration of Performance and Conformity , signifies a shift towards digital integration and comprehensive environmental evaluation.

The simplified assessment and verification systems (Currently called AVCP) highlight an inclusive and streamlined approach, reducing burdens for manufacturers. This move facilitates a more efficient and user-friendly regulatory environment, reflecting a significant advancement in regulatory processes.

 

Sustainability and Digital Advancements in the Updated CPR

The European Union is introducing new rules that will significantly change how we think about building and construction for a greener future. One of the major updates is the launch of a free software tool for companies by the EU Commission. This tool will help businesses easily calculate how eco-friendly their products are, pushing towards more environmentally conscious construction practices. Additionally, a new database will be set up to keep all important product information accessible for at least ten years. This move towards digitalisation aims to make it easier to share and access data on the environmental impact of construction materials.

In our efforts to protect the environment, the updated regulation also includes measures to reduce the release of microplastics from construction activities. This approach demonstrates a commitment to addressing environmental challenges proactively, focusing on solutions that benefit both the industry and our planet. Such measures are crucial for preserving natural ecosystems and ensuring that construction practices contribute positively to environmental sustainability.

 

 

As the European Union strides towards a more sustainable and innovative construction sector, the revised Construction Products Regulation represents a crucial step in this journey. The regulation, awaiting approval from the EU Parliament and Council emphasises sustainability and digital integration. For the expanded polystyrene (EPS) industry, these developments open up opportunities to enhance environmental practices, increase transparency, and embrace digital changes.

At EUMEPS, we are ready to support our members through these changes, ensuring they can meet the new requirements and make the most of the opportunities ahead. Together, we are working towards a future where construction not only builds structures but also supports a sustainable future.