Facade in the state of construction. Copyright by BMLRT, Alexander Haiden.

New Austrian Ecolabel Guideline for Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS)

Thermal insulation of buildings saves fossil fuels and, by reducing CO2 emissions, helps to prevent the earth from overheating. Exterior walls are therefore provided with insulating materials and covered with weather protection (plaster or similar). The two combined make up: a composite thermal insulation system.

The focus is usually on thermal insulation, protection of the building from weathering and optical properties. Environmental influences during the production of the materials, the respective greenhouse potentials, problematic contaminations and health hazards due to the chemicals or blowing agents and flame retardants used that exceed legal standards tend to play a subordinate role. Algae, fungi and microorganisms that lead to greying of the facade are combated with environmentally harmful biocides. Aspects of recycling management are neglected, as is the optimisation of the waste eco-balance after use.

Last but not least, poorly executed installations lead to high maintenance and renovation costs during use, whereby hoped-for effects for climate, energy and the environment are lost again.

In order to counter all these circumstances with a quality and environmental label, a guidline for biocide-free and more environmentally friendly composite thermal insulation systems was developed for the Austrian Ecolabel. The requirements are aimed at the production of the individual components, the materials used, as well as the quality of the installation and the recycling after use. A high level of satisfaction during use is to be ensured, as well as ambitious climate protection and above-average ecological quality.

Composite thermal insulation systems worthy of the award must be tested and evaluated and have the following characteristics:

  • More environmentally friendly materials and substances
  • No hazardous chemicals or pollutants that interfere with waste disposal
  • no critical flame retardants and blowing agents
  • no biocides in adhesives, reinforcing plasters, finishing plasters, grouts or insulating materials
  • no biocides against algae, fungi and lichens
  • optical durability due to resistance to greying
  • Statements on the life cycle assessment of product manufacture

The materially suitable components of an Ecolabel ETICS may only be used in a suitable construction (planning) and installed by trained specialists according to detailed specifications. Purely mechanical fixings are possible, as are non-mineral substrates, such as wood. Planning and construction are jointly responsible for the realisation of an Ecolabel thermal insulation composite system. Secured by the criteria are:

  • Durability / durability through testing and evaluation specifications
  • Requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance
  • Information for planners, craftsmen and building owners
  • Quality assurance / proper execution of the work
  • Recycling-friendly deconstruction, an optimal waste eco-balance and maximum recycling management

Since the Directive came into force on 1.1.2021, it has been possible to apply for a licence to use the Austrian Ecolabel via an application software at the Association for Consumer Information:

If no registration exists yet:


or, if registration already exists:

https://produkte.umweltzeichen.at/index.php - click on "Login as a company" (top right).

Eligible to apply are innovative suppliers who manufacture a composite thermal insulation system as a uniform product or have it developed or manufactured and market this product under their own name or brand. In the case of existing Blue Angel certification, a new expert opinion is not necessary; evidence of a few deviations is sufficient.

Enquiries and contact:

DI Oswald Streif, Association for Consumer Information (VKI).

Division Investigations - Ecolabel

Tel. + 43 1 588 77-272 | ostreif@vki.at