1 October 2018

NIBE investigates, Kiwa certifies Leadax - 'the new lead'

Independent research by the Netherlands Institute for Building Biology and Ecology (NIBE) shows that Leadax, a Dutch invention as an alternative to lead, causes 54% less damage to people and the environment than the heavy metal. Kiwa has certified the product on the basis of a Kiwa Covenant.

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The Wapenveld company Leadax produces a lead replacement whose impact on the environment is much smaller than that of traditional lead. With this, the company offers parties in the construction sector a more sustainable alternative that looks and feels like lead, but has no harmful effects on people and the environment.

NIBE, specialized in life cycle analysis, assessed the impact of the new product from cradle to grave, from the extraction of the raw materials, the transport, the manufacture, the use in the construction process to the possible demolition after 50 years of life. The assessment of NIBE provides the so-called shadow costs of a product. The lower the shadow costs, the more sustainable the product. This classification can (also) be used for sustainability hallmarks such as BREEAM, GPR Gebouw and the Environmental Performance Buildings (MPG).

Leadax scores better than lead, says the research report: 'The total environmental impact of a square meter of lead is € 2,896 in shadow costs, that of Leadax € 1,337. This means a reduction of 54%. Leadax achieves a much better environmental performance than lead and is therefore a more sustainable alternative.’ NIBE further points out the long life of the material and the energy-efficient production process.

Leadax consists for a large part of a waste stream from another industry: the foil in laminated glass that is used, among other things, in car windows. This does not shatter the glass when a stone comes against it. Leadax itself can also be fully recycled. Thus it contributes to a circular economy.

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More information

For more information please contact Bert.van.Erkel@kiwa.nl.