Filter settings can help you find exactly the material you are looking for, however they can also restrict you from finding materials if you combine too many filter settings. For this reason it is recommend to use the filter settings with care. In this article we will explain how you can utilize the filter settings in the most efficient way. You do not have to select all filters, you can also use 1, or a combination of a few.
Where do you access the filters?
The filter settings can be found in two places,
- Inside your materials query in any tool which supports filter settings.
- During the 'mapping phase' of the import process.
The filters can be found in the materials query of any tool which support filter settings.
The filters can additionally be found during the 'mapping stage' of the import process.
What do different filters do?
There are different filters which can be used to filter out data from the database to display only those materials which meet the set filter criteria.
- Material Filter - To filter out materials based on their material class and subclass.
Using the material filter allows you to set the material class or subclass (e.g. glass wool insulation). Searching for materials will only display results for that material class or subclass.
- Country Filter - To filter out materials based on their country of production.
Using the country filter allows you to set the country of production. Searching for materials will only display results for materials produced in that country. If there are no EPDs produced in a country, or no EPDs for a specific product in that country, it will not display any results.
- Data Source Filter - To filter out materials based on publication source
Using the data source filter allows you to set the source of the data which is usually an EPD program operator or other type of material database. Searching for materials will only display materials published on the selected database. Manufacturers are free to choose with which program operator they publish data, which means that the majority of databases cover materials from more than one country of production.
- Type Filter - To Filter out materials based on the type of data
Using the type filter allows you to set the type of data you want to search for. We distinguish between 4 types of data.
- Generic data - Representative for a range of products or regions, may not always be covered by an EPD. Use this type when you have not chosen the products yet, or when the manufacturer has no data.
- Manufacturer data - Often Type III EPD data which can cover single or multiple products representing manufacturers their products. Use this type when selecting specific local products or for picking the closest alternative product.
- Plant data - Also Type III EPD data, however from one specific factory. Use this type when selecting local product or picking the closest alternative product.
- Private data - Data you have added yourself using the Private Constructions or Private Data features.
- Upstream filter - To filter out data based on their used upstream database
Use this filter only if you are intending to do direct product comparison for multiple impact indicators. Using this filter is not relevant for carbon only (GWP) assessments, and less relevant when doing whole building LCA studies.
The reason why this is relevant is due to the LCA methodologies Ecoinvent and Gabi use to calculate their emissions. These methods are similar for the indicator GWP however have slight differences in the other indicators (OP, ADP etc.). For this reason if you are doing direct product comparison and are comparing two similar products which have been created with different upstream databases, theoretically not all of their emissions for all indicators are comparable.
- CO2e filter - To filter out data based on their environmental performance
Use this filter to narrow down your list of materials based on their environmental performance. This filter is tied in with the Green Material Benchmarks. This filter benchmarks all products against each other, and categorizes them according to 'Very low - Low - Average - High Very High' emissions. If you select e.g. 'Very low', it only displays the top 20% best performing materials, you can combine this filter with the material filter for quick results of the top 20% best performing materials of a specific material type.
- Unit filter - To filter out data based on their available functional units
Use this filter to narrow down your list of materials based on their available functional units. Recommend to find e.g. MEP / Building tech options in m2.
- Properties filter - To filter out data based on specific material properties
Use this to narrow down your list of materials based on specific material properties. Do note, we can only add this filter to materials if the EPD or manufacturer specifically states their product has said properties. Recommend for finding e.g. freeze resistant asphalt or fire resistant gypsum board.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I select my country no products are showing up, why is that?
The majority of European countries have plenty of EPD data, however not every country has EPD data for every product and the vast majority of EPDs are from Western Europe. Most countries in Asia or Africa have no EPDs at all as creating EPDs just is not a priority in those regions at the moment.
If I select the United States or Canada plus a specific material filter, no products are showing up, why is that?
In North America there is a large quantity of EPDs, however these are mostly structural materials, which means the variety of different types of products available is much more limited than in Europe. As LEED is the most popular LCA assessment in North America there is less of a push for manufacturers to create EPDs for non-structural materials as for LEED the required scope is only the structure and envelope of a building.
I cannot find any data at all, why?
We recommend to click on the 'clear' option next to the filters to ensure no filters are blocking you from finding data. Then start a search again, however as we stated before, if you combine too many filters, this can also restrict you from finding the resources you want. You do not have to use all filters at the same time.