If this message does not appear correctly, please click here


The CAPEM method
  • Partner Zoom: BSK (UK)
  • Demonstration Centres
  • Out and About

January 2012
Welcome to this edition of the CAP’EM newsletter.
The CAP’EM team
The CAPEM method     

Five questions for Peter Thoelen from VIBE, Belgium, leader of the project team responsible for developing the method.

What is this method about?
CAP’EM's  aim was to develop a very transparent method for assessing eco building materials. We have chosen for a life cycle analysis (LCA) approach which considers the environmental impact of the product 'from cradle to gate', i.e. from obtaining the raw materials to the finished product leaving the factory gate. The life cycle phases that follow after the product has left the factory call up many uncertainties. That’s why we stick to this ‘cradle to gate’ assessment. We decided to present the phases 'from gate to grave' – use, maintenance, replacements, end of life scenarios - in a qualitative description. The assessment is based on the European and international standards like the ISO 14000 series and the draft prEN15904. Until now we have 30 materials assessed and all participants are very satisfied with the method.

What distinguishes this method from other methods?
This method crosses national borders, so it avoids confusion about diverging results in different countries. It has been developed by eco building pioneers and not by the traditional building industry. And last but not least: it will be affordable for small and medium sized enterprises.

What are eco materials?
Within CAP’EM we don’t speak of ‘eco material’, but of an ecological building material, or
building product. This is a material, or product – both words are being used, without distinction, for the moment with no heavy negative environmental impact and with no negative health impact.
No product is excluded. Only after assessing and comparing them with similar products we can tell if the product meets the definition.

A last remark or message?
It was really a pleasure to cooperate in this international project team. Also a word of appraisal for the manufacturers that have been figuring as patient ‘ victims’ of our sometimes awkward growing pains. For those manufacturers who are eager to have their product CAP’EM assessed: we’ve started the assessments of 100 products. Only the first 100 are free of charge, so contact us.

Having your product assessed free of charge? Grab this opportunity!

Mailto: or your local CAP’EM partner

Partner Zoom: BSK of the UK    

BSK  is a community interest company dedicated to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME) to develop and grow; to be able to create new jobs and be prepared for a low carbon future. Its mission is to inspire people about tomorrow’s  world and equip them to succeed .  Its high innovation and growth team in Kent delivers high growth business coaching. They provide a company with ‘ thinking’ time and through their commercial networks draw in the relevant and financial, IP, market and technical support.  

BSK is involved as a lead partner in a 16 EU projects.

BSK chose to be a CAP’EM partner because of its commitment to helping small businesses prepare for a low carbon economy. The construction sector in the UK has a history of producing a great deal of waste and carbon through inefficiency. The sector is also populated by a large proportion of SME’s. BSK hopes that its involvement in this project will allow it  to bring further support to companies looking to embrace a more sustainable way of building.

For more information: visit BSK’s website

Demonstration Centres; BSK –CiC is the first    

BSK-CiC is the first partner to launch its showroom of eco-materials. Build4 Sustainable Construction Demo Centre was opened in March 2011. BSK’s aspirations are to reach networks of SME’e by offering this centre as a place to meet, network, learn more about eco-materials and to teach more about eco-materials that BSK is not be aware of  yet. Build4 is all about sharing knowledge. The biggest challenge will be to remain current on new materials entering the marketplace and forming relationships with the manufacturers and suppliers of these materials so they can have the most up to date product information  for the people who are using them.

All demonstration centres: 
•    UK: Build4, Sustainable Construction Demo centre, Dover and a second to develop in Huddersfield
•    Germany:  to develop in an old storage house in Münster.
•    France: CD2E, to develop in Loos-en Gohelle, near Lille.
•    Netherlands: Demonstration house Agrodome, Wageningen; Part of the permanent exhibition at ICDubo, Rotterdam and Mobile exposition during the summer and winter at De St@art, Apeldoorn
•    Belgium: exposition in the industrial academy KaHO Sint Lieven, Gent.