Sports hall from the inside. Copyright by Thomas Belazzi.

Ecolabelled building products guarantee added value

It is not only particularly important for school buildings that tested ("healthy") building materials are used in their construction and interior design. Building products with the Austrian Ecolabel guarantee health and well-being. Dr Thomas Belazzi pays particular attention to both. He is a recognised expert in ecological building and managing director of bauXund forschung und beratung gmbh in Vienna (

Aspects of sustainable construction. bauXund is a technical office specialising in environmental and health issues in the construction sector. Its fields of work are the diverse aspects of sustainable construction in large-volume building construction. bauXund specialises in four areas: Chemical and product management, pollutant investigation, building certification and research. We spoke to Dr Belazzi about his view of building products with the Austrian Ecolabel:

Dr Belazzi, how do you rate the importance of the Austrian Ecolabel for construction products?

"I consider ecolabels such as the Austrian Ecolabel to be very important because they are an incentive for product manufacturers to produce high-quality products and transparently demonstrate their sustainability qualities as such. And because ecolabels make it very easy for buyers of building products, whether construction companies or consumers, to recognise truly sustainable products."

Portrait picture of Dr Thomas Belazzi. Man between 50 and 60 years old with thinning hair, glasses, grey suit and white shirt, smiling. Copyright by Pletterbauer.

How do you rate the current range of construction products with the Austrian Ecolabel?

"I think it has grown significantly in recent years. Due to my profession, I have a particularly good overview of construction-related products. Here, too, the range has become broader. But as always, there is still room for improvement."

So where could improvements be made?

"In my view, it's not about additional product groups, but about more licence holders per product group or more products per licence holder. That should be the focus. For example, two companies for lacquers and varnishes with a total of four products is anything but sufficient. This should be worked on."

In your opinion, Dr Belazzi, how do Ecolabel products stand out from other products?

"Ecolabel products are characterised by transparency in the ecological and sustainability criteria. In my view, this is the main added value."

What role do construction products with the Austrian Ecolabel play in the consultations provided by bauXund forschung und beratung gmbh?

"Eco-labelled building products play a particularly important role in certification projects because klimaaktiv and ÖGNB also evaluate them positively and reward their use with additional points in the audit."

Dr Belazzi, how are Ecolabel building products integrated into the dialogue between bauXund and property developers?

"If building products with the Austrian Ecolabel are to be used in a construction project, then these are requested by the property developer - advised by bauXund - in the tender. They ask us to show them which certified building products are offered by whom and where. These are then selected together on this basis. And then defined and installed during the construction phase. The certificates are provided by the product manufacturers. The homepage of the Ministry of the Environment is another possible source of information."

We would like to thank Dr Thomas Belazzi, bauXund in Vienna, for this very informative interview.