Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China
Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China 

02 August, 2017

Sustainable building materials and components database in Europe

Sustainable building materials and components database with detailed information support architects and planners to find sustainable building materials and at the same time help manufacturers to present their sustainable building materials.

Below some of these material databases will be presented in table, including Greenbuildingproducts.eu, WECOBIS, Ecoinvent, Ökobau-dat and Green Spec. The products from the database are preferable materials to be used to get green building certification. They are generally available online for free, some with user registration requirement (as in Greenbuil-dingproducts.eu). Some green building certifications follow country specific database (such as Ökobaudat for DGNB and Green Spec for BREEAM), while Greenbuildingpro-ducts.eu include products that can be used to get the building certified from DGNB and LEED.



This is the 1st database for products assessed in terms of LEED and DGNB criteria. Separate database for manufacturers (construction material producer, product manufacturer and framework manufacturer) and database users (Builders, planners and planning offices, construction companies, Accredited DGNB Auditors and LEED Accredited professionals) is provided. It also offers the specific product related assessment declaration with all necessary evaluation results concerning the certification criteria and furnishing of proofs and documentation.

Database for which criteria in Green building certificates

LEED Indoor Environmental Quality: IEQ Credit 4.1 Low Emitting Materials – Adhesives and Sealants, IEQ Credit 4.2 Low Emitting Materials – Paints and Coatings

LEED Materials and Resources: MR Credit 4: Recycled Content, MR Credit 5: Regional Materials, MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials, MR Credit 7: Certified Wood

DGNB Criterion 6: Risks for the local environment

Online database contains

ID name, product name, material provider companies, Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) (Adhesives, paints and coatings, flooring systems and composite fibre woods) and Materials and Resources (MR) (recycled content, regional materials, rapidly renewable materials and FSC certified wood).  

The search result includes:

- declaration sheet for specific product,

- technical data sheet,

- contact information of the manufacturer.

Published by:  HOINKA GmbH

Webpage:  www.greenbuildingproducts.eu

Access requirement: User registration, free access




The WECOBIS building material information system provides the holistic ecological selection of building materials by providing product-independent, environmental and health-related data. This information is provided for the life cycle phases of raw materials, production, processing, use and end of life disposal.

Database for which criteria in Green building certificates

BNB criteria ( Risks to the Local Environment – New Construction (BN_1.1.6),  Risks to the Local Environment – Refurbishment (BK_1.1.6),  Indoor Air Quality (3.1.3) and  Dismantling, Separation and Utilization (4.1.4)

Online database contains

Building Products (Construction panels, Flooring, Insulation, Seals, Glue, Wood-based materials, Solid building materials, mortar and screed, surface treatments, and Glazing.

Raw materials (Binders, Aggregates, Plastics and Metals)

Published by:  The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Webpage:   http://www.wecobis.de

Access requirement: Free of charge



Ecoinvent lists product databases provided by the Swiss Center for Life Cycle inventories. It holds the world’s leading database with consistent and transparent, up-to-date Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data (current version Ecoinvent version 3). The data is available in the ‘ecoSpold2’ data format and compatible with most of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and eco-design software tools such as LEGEP Software tool (LEGEP Software GmbH, Germany), GaBi (PE International/ LBP-GaBi, University of Stuttgart, Germany) and Umberto (ifu Hamburg/ ifeu Heidelberg, Germany).

Webpage:  http://www.ecoinvent.org/database/database.html

Access requirement:  Online register for free as a guest (limited access), buy a licence for full access




Ökobaudat is a German building material database for assessment of global ecological effects.  As a standardized database for ecological evaluations of buildings it is made available by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety to all persons involved in building construction.  Building materials, construction and transport processes are described regarding their ecological effects. ÖKOBAUDAT contains both generic datasets and specific environmental declaration datasets from diverse companies or associations. Data published in ÖKOBAUDAT is publicly available at no charge and can be used for life cycle assessment of building components and buildings. The owner of the datasets remains responsible for them (contents, values).

The first database was published in 2009 and since then has been updated and expanded regularly. Until 2016, datasets on more than 700 different building products are provided. Since September 2013, ÖKOBAUDAT has been the first life-cycle analysis database that completely complies with standard DIN EN 15804.

Database for which criteria in Green building certificates

DGNB,  Bewertungssystem Nachhaltiges Bauen für Bundesgebäude (BNB)

Online database contains

1. Mineral building products 2. Insulation materials, 3. Wood, 4. Metals, 5. Coverings, 6. Plastics, 7. Components for windows and curtain walls, 8. Building service engineering, and 9. Others

The first seven categories include information on production, maintenance and disposal of materials phases. Building service engineering contains further information on the use phase. The “Other” category contains information on for example transport of materials and waste disposal of materials.

Published by: the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

Webpage:   http://www.oekobaudat.de/en

Access requirement: Publicly available at no charge


Green Spec


Originally set up in 2003 as a two-year project, in conjunction with the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Green Spec was funded by the UK Government with the purpose to develop information on low environmental impact building materials for architects and specifiers. Since 2006 Green Spec has been run commercially by a small group of industry professionals dedicated to disseminating information about products and building techniques which optimize the practice of Green construction. Green Spec is split into two parts – one part provides design guidance and the other is a directory of PASS (Product Assessment Screening System) endorsed Green building products.


Green Spec, a UK based and in conjunction with BRE, is dedicated to disseminating information about sustainable building products and construction techniques. It identifies and endorses sustainable building products, systems and services using the PASS (Product Assessment Screening System) and includes a directory of endorsed products along with supporting environmental and specification data.

Database for which criteria in Green building certificates

BREEAM (Material)

Online database contains

Green products such as L1 Ground treatment and retention, L2 Complete construction entities and components, L3 Structural space and division products, L4 Access, barrier and circulation products, L5 Coverage, cladding, lining, L6 Construction fabric products, L7 Services, and l8 Fixtures and fittings

Published by: Green Spec

Webpage:   http://www.greenspec.co.uk

Access requirement: Free online available?


Materialdatensammlung für die energetische Altbausanierung, MASEA (“Material Data Collection for Energy Refurbishment”


This materials database contains all the necessary thermal and hygro-thermal characteristics for a wide range of typical as well as historical building materials.

The database was created by the Fraunhofer IBP in cooperation with the Institute for building climate control of the Technical University in Dresden and the Centre for Environmentally Conscious Construction in Kassel, supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology within the framework of the research program EnSan.

As there is little information on the building physics properties in existing building the project was started so as to offer relevant information that might be difficult to obtain.  This as prediction and calculation is only as good as the knowledge of the existing materials. The information helps to make energy efficient calculations as well as hydro-thermal calculations more accurate, helping to assess energy consumption as well as potential damage risks. The materials chosen are seen as representative of the “historical” building industry in Germany.

Online database contains

The database covers relevant building material information for building physics, a picture showing the building material as well as other relevant information with notes and information on special features. The material information includes:

  • material density
  • specific heat capacity
  • thermal conductivity
  • diffusion resistance (dry) 23 ° C - 3/50% of
  • diffusion-equivalent air layer thickness (sd value)
  • sorption
  • free water saturation
  • water absorption coefficient
  • open porosity

The materials database will be continuously expanded and updated with current materials and new building materials. Therefore, both manufacturers of building materials as well as research institutions have a secure online access. The database contains 474 materials.

Published by: Das Fraunhofer-Institut für Bauphysik

Webpage:   http://www.masea-ensan.de/

Access requirement: Free online available


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