Home Knowledge A New Leaf? Change in Laws Approved for Sustainable Construction Products

A New Leaf? Change in Laws Approved for Sustainable Construction Products

On 10 April 2024, the European Parliament formally adopted at first reading a new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products (Regulation).

The Regulation aims to strengthen and modernise rules in place since 2011 and incentivise supply and demand for environmentally sustainable construction products. What do you need to know?

Scope of the Regulation

The Regulation:

  • applies to contracts containing construction products, ranging from supply to works contracts;
  • amends Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020 and repeals Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 – preamble to the Regulation identified that Regulation (EU) No 305/11 showed that it needed to align with obligations in other EU legislation, limit the administrative burden on businesses, and better support the European Commission’s objectives in making the construction sector more sustainable.
  • is part of a package of measures adopted by the European Commission in March 2022, following on from the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, which is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal;
  • will set out harmonised rules for declaring environmental sustainability and safety performance of construction products available on the market and for direct installation, including the possibility of establishing relevant thresholds and classes in relation to their essential characteristics; and
  • will also provide for an assessment method for calculating environmental sustainability of construction products through its life cycle (whether new, or re-used or re-manufactured) for construction works.

While the scope of the Regulation is broad, EU Member States will remain competent to lay down provisions on construction works, including on their design and dimensioning. Its text acknowledges that is not intended to reduce the level of protection already existing and justified in EU Member States.

New European Commission powers

The European Commission will be empowered under the Regulation to establish mandatory minimum environmental sustainability requirements through delegated acts for public procurement of construction products. These rules can apply to every contract that contains construction products, including contracts for construction works, where Member States want to introduce particular environmental requirements.

When does the Regulation take effect in Ireland?

Once the Regulation is formally adopted at one of the European Council’s next meetings (which is anticipated, given the Council’s recent commitments to do so), the Regulation can then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The Regulation is binding and directly applicable in all Member States, including Ireland and will take effect 20 days following its publication in the OJEU.

Contact Us

For more information or advice on construction contracts including incorporation of sustainability requirements, including in relation to construction products, please contact Cassandra Byrne, Jarleth Heneghan, Liam McCabe, or your usual William Fry contact.