2014 is already proving to be a succesful year for ARGE but before we start to look forward, we reflect on some of the successes 2013 brought.
Early in 2013 ARGE briefed its membership on the forthcoming changes to the Construction Products Regulation, which came into force in July. Creating a series of Declaration of Performance (DoP) templates, ARGE helped its members comply with the new requirements.
In May, ARGE announced its plans to present its proposals for generic EPD’s at its annual conference in Budapest. This was to be supported by a presentation from the chairman of the CEN committee concerned with sustainability standardisation – TC350. The sustainability agenda was to take centre stage.
To support this, July marked the launch of ARGE’s ‘Introductory Guide for the European Wide Sustainability Agenda.’ The 10page guide highlighted that sustainability was no longer a question of ‘if’ it will affect members but when this would happen.
Plus, in the run up to the annual conference, ARGE made significant improvements to its website and forum, as well as introducing a Linked In page, which some members have already started using to keep up to date with all the latest news from ARGE.
August saw further success for ARGE when it was announced as the choice point of contact for the European Commission Services. A meeting in late September followed with CEN and the Commission, which helped to progress a number of key product standards towards publication and agree an escalation process to address blockages and administrative delays.
With one month to go until the conference, August also saw detailed tenders for the writing and delivery of accessible and generic EPDs from three very well qualified consultancies.
September, the month of the annual conference in Budapest, saw a whole host of success stories. It was officially announced that ARGE would be delivering generic EPDs for its members, with votes in favour of pursuing ARGE’s delivery proposals and sustainability strategy outline. Additions to the executive team was also announced at the conference, with Hans Weissenboeck taking up the mantle of ARGE Chairman, as well as Urban Doverholt and Stephan Schmidt joining the team.
The latter part of 2013 has seen things move at a great pace, with two EPD providers being shortlisted and seven national associations signing up straight away.
This creates a very strong base from which to start 2014 and we hope to shortly announce new member associations signing up for the EPD programme as well as confirming the EPD provider and programme holder.