Information on building components        

In the section 'building components', nine different types of building components have been compiled (external wall, internal wall, compartment wall, …). These which are further sub-divided into 42 basic design types (external wall with or without ventilation, external wall with or without dry-lining,…). Variations of these designs can be created by modifying for example the thickness or the type of insulation material.

For each building component and its variations, the performance parameters thermal, acoustic and fire as well as ecological drivers are provided. Each component variation can be downloaded in pdf format and might be suitable for submission to building authorities to demonstrate compliance. All these quoted performance levels have been determined either by testing, calculations or means of assessment by accredited testing institutes.

The published datasheets will be reviewed on regular basis to ensure that the information provided is current and correct.

A facility for detailed searching is available. Building components can be searched using different criteria, for example by selecting a construction method (solid wood construction or timber frame construction, with or without ventilation,…) or a performance parameter, such as thermal, acoustic or fire (REI30, U>0,20 W/m²K, ...). If the identification code of a particular building component (e.g. awrhhi04a-00) is known, then it can be entered directly into the search field on the starting page.

The datasheet of the building component provided in pdf format contains the following information:

  • Building component designation
  • Depiction in 3D
  • 2D-view (with legend)
  • Evaluation of parameters: thermal, acoustic and fire performance as well as ecological drivers
  • Detailed listing of the building materials used
  • Detailed information on the evaluation of ecological drivers

Building component designation

Explanation please see nomenclature


Whilst variations of the basic design have been considered in detailing, performance assessment and so forth, the 3D depiction of the component  always shows the basic design build-up (reference design –00).

2D-view with legend

Whilst variations of the basic design have been considered in detailing, performance assessment and so forth, the 2D-view of the component  always shows the basic design build-up (reference – 00).

Evaluation of thermal, acoustic, fire performance requirements and ecological drivers.

The datasheets provide information on the following parameters:

  • Fire resistance class REI (according to ÖNORM EN 13501-2)
  • Thermal transmittance U [W/m²K] (acc. to ÖNORM B 8110-6 and/or ÖNORM EN ISO 6946)
  • Water vapour diffusion (acc. to ÖNORM B 8110-2)
  • Equivalent energy storage mass per unit area mw,B,A [kg/m²] (acc. to ÖNORM B8110-3)
  • Weighted sound reduction index Rw [dB] (acc. to ÖNORM EN ISO 140-1 and/or ÖNORM EN ISO 717-1)
  • Weighted Normalised Impact Sound Pressure Level Ln,w [dB] (acc. to ÖNORM EN ISO 140-6 and/or ÖNORM EN ISO 717-2)
  • Ecological index – see review of ecological drivers for details

Detailed information on building materials– configuration of layers

The information provided on building materials such as density, thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity etc. have been quoted from «The catalogue of the thermal performance of building materials and components«, (Austrian Standards Institute, 2001) and, where relevant and available, product standards. Information regarding the water vapour resistance factor µ, originates from «Determination of parameters concerning thermal, acoustic, fire performance as well as ecological drivers for wood and wood-based composites«, (Association of the Austrian Wood Industry, 2002) and for some products have been extracted from test certificates. Information on the Euroclasses of reaction to fire performance have been quoted according to the decisions of the European Commission. The dynamic stiffness s’ and the air flow resistivity r were determined by TGM Institute of technology for thermal and acoustic performance.


Detailed information on the evaluation of ecological drivers

The software ECOSOFT was used to evaluate ecological drivers of the various timber construction elements featured in the database. ECOSOFT is a software tool for the calculation of environmental indicators in accordance with CML 2001 of building designs and construction works based on the IBO database for building materials. ECOSOFT is based on the MS Office application Excel and was developed by IBO – Austrian institute for building biology and ecology.

In ECOSOFT, building elements are assembled from individual layers of different building materials: for each layer the building material is selected from the database and the thickness of the layer and the volumetric share [%] of the building material based on the respective layer is used. The database suggests a density value and service life for the respective building material, these parameters can be modified depending on the product employed

Database for building materials – LCA

At present the database for building materials maintained by IBO contains more than 500 materials. Each material is classified by 30 environmental indicators. The database is being continuously updated and expanded by IBO. The material data cover the lifecycle of a product in a cumulative way up until the selling point “ex factory”. Thus all upstream processes right through to the preparation of the ready-to-ship product are considered. For all processing steps material, transportation and energy inputs as well as emission into air, soil and water along with waste are considered. The software SimaPro with the CML2 Baseline 2001 has been employed to calculate the life cycle analysis of the construction materials.

Ecological drivers

The datasheets provide information (impact of timber materials and systems) on the following parameters:

  • Global Warming Potential (GWP)
  • Acidification potential (AP)
  • Consumption of renewable and non- renewable energy (PEI e, PEI ne)
  • Formation of Photooxidants (POCP)
  • Euthropication (EP)
  • Ecological index OI3Kon calculated


The most common substances contributing to global warming, are also defined using the term Global Warming Potential (GWP). This parameter is expressed in relation to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The Global Warming Potential defines the contribution of a given substance to global warming in comparison to the contribution of an equal amount of carbon dioxide.


Acidification occurs primarily through the reaction of nitrous oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide with other components in the air such as hydroxyl (radical). The Acidification Potential (AP) is a measure of the tendency of a component to become acidified. This is generally benchmarked against the to APsulphur dioxide.

PEI e, PEI ne

The energy consumed during manufacturing of a product or service is called primary energy content. It is derived accounting for both renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. Oil, natural gas, coal and uranium are defined as non-renewable resources, whereas renewable resources are wood, hydroelectric power, solar and wind energy. The primary, non-renewable energy content - PEI ne - is calculated by adding the gross calorific value of all the non-renewable resources used in the process (such as manufacturing of a product). Similarly the primary, renewable energy content - PEI e - sums all renewable energy sources used.


Photooxidants are a mixture of reactive gases, harmful to health, which in the presence of sunlight produce anthropogenic emissions (in particular nitrogen compounds and hydorcarbons from exhaust gases). Ozone is the most important product of these photochemical reactions.


The euthropication potential (EP) describes the extent to which a substance containing nitrogen or phospor contributes to the production of biomass.


The ecological index for construction works, OI3Kon, is caculated from three ecological parameters, PEI ne (measure of need for non-renewable energy), GWP (Global Warming Potential) and the AP (Acidification Potential). In most construction forms, the OI3Kon values range between -30 to 120 points. The higher the OI3Kon value for a construction form , the greater its ecological impact. Ecologically optimised construction materials and assemblies can achieve low and in some instances negative points, if they are exceptionally efficient.

© 2003 – Catalogue of reviewed timber building components for thermal, acoustic, fire performance requirements and ecological drivers
all rights reserved, last update 29.07.2010 | Disclaimer