Environmental impact

Life cycle 

As energy consumption decreases due to increasingly stringent EPB requirements, the relative contribution of building materials to the overall ecological footprint of buildings increases. 

When calculating the environmental impact of building materials, the entire lifecycle is taken into account, from extraction of raw materials to demolition or reuse, in contrast to the EPB calculation method which only looks at the use phase.


From the perspective of sustainable building, Bureau Bouwtechniek therefore also takes life expectancy and environmental aspects into account when selecting building products and building elements, in addition to the technical, aesthetic, economic and legal aspects. 

The instrument used by Bureau Bouwtechniek for this purpose is TOTEM. The three Belgian regions have developed TOTEM to support the Belgian construction sector in reducing the environmental impact of its buildings. 

Bureau Bouwtechniek is a pioneer of TOTEM, has good contacts with OVAM and provides feedback for further optimisation of this tool.
Commissioned by OVAM, BB developed together with WTCB a practical guide with guidelines, strategies and steps to qualitatively integrate the use of TOTEM in a project.


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