In a time where greenwashing has become so prevalent that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has had to launch a crackdown and impose fines on many businesses, the need for certified sustainability credentials has never been greater. Across the architecture and design industries, certifications have become a means of third-party verification that a company, product, or process actually does what it says it does. And in doing this, certifications are a hugely important - and time-saving - part of the wider regulatory and industry-led push towards greater sustainability in the built environment.
Certifications enable confidence across the full spectrum of construction stakeholders that a product (or products) are fit for a particular purpose. The comprehensive audit and verification method of certification is conducted at arm’s length from the manufacturing organisation, ensuring impartiality and integrity. But certifications have an equally important role to play for the manufacturing organisation itself. The research and data gathering required for certifications mean that manufacturers have a central data source that consolidates all test reports, assessments and verifications indexed against the specific building codes and standards applicable for that criteria - providing a simple and effective means of sharing compliance information as needed.
And while there are numerous certification schemes both locally and around the world, there are a few that bear specific mention here in Australia. First, CodeMark is undoubtedly one of the most important. It’s the benchmark voluntary third-party building product certification scheme, administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), who issue a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to any complying product.
It’s with this knowledge in mind that Bondor Metecno Metecno, a leading supplier of insulated panelling, offers the largest range of CoCs in the industry. As adoptees of the CodeMarkTM Certification Scheme Certificates of Conformance since 2013, Bondor Metecno Metecno has been helping architects and specifiers adapt to increasing stringency for proposed Performance Solutions that meet Performance Requirements in the National Construction Code.
But that’s not all. As sustainability has risen higher on the construction agenda, to the point that it is arguably the second most important criteria to performance, the number of sustainability-focused certifications available to the industry has exploded. Among all of these, the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) reigns supreme. In fact, back in 2015 there were only 30 EPDs registered with EPD Australasia as part of the Australian construction industry. By 2022, this number had increased to 200, and in the first half of 2023, 80 new EPDs were registered. This represents a growth rate of over 500% in the past 8 years, and demonstrates the importance of the declaration. EPDs take a whole-of-lifecycle view of a product, measuring not only the impact of the product itself, but of all the manufacturing and end-of-life management processes associated with the product. In doing this, the EPD becomes the only certification to give an accurate, 360 view of how products impact the environment. And with schemes like NABERS and the GBCAs Green Star ratings increasingly factoring this into account, it’s essential for designers and specifiers to have an accurate understanding of how products contribute to an overall rating. All of Bondor Metecno’s insulated panel products; whether they’re cored with PIR, EPS, or Mineral Wool; come with EPDs that allow specifiers to quickly understand that they’re making the right choice.
For product manufacturers, certifications are about putting your money where your mouth is. And it’s only the businesses who are able to showcase innovation, that are able to go through the arduous processes of certification and emerge on the other side with a valuable product to market. Bondor Metecno is one of these companies. With a steadfast commitment to sustainable practice, and working with architects and designers to identify and adopt the right product for the job, Bondor Metecno remains at the forefront of sustainability in the Australian construction industry.