Thor Endre Lexow is the CEO of VKE, the Norwegian HVACR Association. In this episode of the ‘Faces of the Eurovent Commission’ series, he informs us about VKE and what constitutes an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
Thor Endre Lexow graduated as a Master of Science from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim in 1990 and specialised on high temperature heat pumps for industrial drying. The introduction to refrigeration and heat pump technology was his eye opener to this fantastic and energy efficient technology for thermal energy production, both heat and cold. Soon after that, he specialised more into energy performance of buildings, building physics and indoor climate. He has worked at many different places from research, consultant, manufacturer to standardisation.
In 2017 he took on the position as the CEO of VKE. Indoor environment, energy performance and the environmental impact of the built environment are his professional interests and in his free time he prefers riding his bicycle in the mountains or kayaking in the lakes with family and friends. As part of the ‘Faces of the Eurovent Commission’ series, we asked Thor about VKE and Environmental Product Declarations.
What is VKE and its main focus point?
VKE is the Norwegian association for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR). It was established in 2008 after three associations joined together, forming one strong association for both manufacturers and contractors in the HVACR sector. Today VKE has 225 companies as members, representing more than 3.300 employees. VKE is a member of The Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries (BNL) which is a business and employer policy organisation for companies in the construction industry and a part of The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). The main focus points for VKE can be put in three words: sustainability, seriousness and competence. Everything we do for our members are connected to either of these concepts.
What really constitutes an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and how does EPD Norge function?
In achieving sustainable solutions and products, we need to know the environmental performance of the whole buildings over the lifecycle. To have a sustainable development of our business sector we need to know the right path, that is, which products and services will be sustainable in a building context. Hence, we will need EPDs based on EN ISO 14025 on every component of significant impact which are used in a building. When the EPDs are digitalised and machine readable, you can calculate the environmental performance for the whole system of components in a BIM model, which we see as a building including its technical buildings systems. It is important that the EPDs are developed with the same core rules and EN 15804 is the right standard for construction products. Most countries in Europe have EPDs operators which are organised under the ECO Platform. EPD-Norway is the Norwegian EPD operator, and it publishes third party verified EPDs.
VKE is the Norwegian HVACR Association promoting the joint interests of manufacturers, suppliers and contractors of air-conditioning, heating, refrigeration, and ventilation equipment. The association works closely with governmental, public and other organisations, both in Norway and on a European level, to represent the economic and political interests of the ‘HVACR’ industry and represents over 200 Norwegian companies.
About the Eurovent Commission
Eurovent’s Member Associations are represented in the Eurovent Commission, which is Eurovent’s steering committee. The Eurovent Commission does not only define the general political guidelines of the association, but also monitors and mediates the activities of its subordinated Product Groups. It also serves as a forum for exchange of information and cooperation between the Member Associations. The Eurovent Commission ensures that Eurovent positions are always broadly representative of wider European interests across all sizes of enterprises. The Eurovent Commission elects a Chairperson for a three-year term and appoints a Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term according to a rotating schedule. Both are automatically members of the Eurovent Board.