Life Cycle Assessments

It is when you use the roof window, that it has the most significant impact on the environment.

Policy and goals
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is part of our product development process. All concepts are screened using LCA, and a full LCA is done before market launch

Activities
In 2016, our LCA of VELUX roof windows and VELUX flat-roof windows were third-party verified to ISO 14040/14044 (Life Cycle Assessment standards), EN 15804 (Environmental Product Declaration for Building Products and Materials) and EcoPlatform (cooperation between European environmental declaration programmes).

In our product development, we have also introduced an internal tool for environmental material evaluation. The purpose of the tool is to enable easy benchmarking and comparison of different materials’ environmental performance to guide decision making. The tool identifies the best material based on an evaluation of:

  • Global warming potential (CO2 emissions)
  • Sustainable sourcing (renewables/secondary materials)
  • End-of-life recyclability. 

Performance
The life cycle assessments document that the energy savings in the use phase have the most significant environmental impact. Over the lifetime of the roof window, energy savings may exceed the energy consumed in the sourcing and production process. This means that roof windows may provide net CO2 savings over their life cycle. This is due to the energy balance of the window, which lets in solar heat through the pane and thus saves energy from other sources.

LCAs of roof windows with energy blinds have documented that the energy savings over the lifetime of the roof window can be improved when energy blinds are added to avoid heat loss through the pane. New active solutions that open and close windows and blinds according to weather conditions make it possible to optimise the use of the roof window and can even further improve energy and CO2 savings.

Next steps
There is continued focus to embed LCAs in our product development. In 2017, we plan to introduce a new tool for setting up environmental requirements in the product development process.


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