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Standards for sustainable construction:


During the last years international, European and national standardisation bodies have developed sustainable construction related normative. This normative will be thoroughly reviewed in the OPEN HOUSE project.


CEN (European Committee for Standardization) is developing standards to support the development of methodologies for assessing building sustainability performance. The CEN/TC 350 “Sustainability of Construction Works” has already developed standards related to sustainability works and is developing other indicators related to the same issue. The overall aspect of the sustainability is taken into account (environmental, economical and social).


ISO TC59/SC17: Building Construction/Sustainability in Building Construction. The ISO Secretariat has published several ISO standards addressing the development of indicators for buildings, environmental declaration of building products and methods of assessment for environmental performance of construction works between others, and it is currently developing other standards addressing issues like, the terminology of buildings and constructed assets and sustainability in building construction as well as updating of the methods of assessment for environmental performance of construction work.


Methodologies for assessing the sustainability of buildings

Existing methodologies are partially based on existing standards. In spite of CEN and ISO work, there is not yet finalised common European standards regarding construction sustainability and the existing assessment methodologies are predominantly developed for their own countries, based on special political, climatic and cultural initial conditions and different calculation tools and standards.).  

The lack of a common European standard makes it harder to develop a common methodology or tool for assessing the sustainability at a European level.


Main identified gaps and barriers regarding methodologies for the sustainability assessment of buildings, are:


There is a need at European level of a methodology that could be embedded in policies, a methodology that would gradually come in the mainstream, in the everyday of the construction business. That could at the end even assume the shape of a “label” allowing sustainability to become a visible, comprehensible and, why not, a marketable  open asset.


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This project receives funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 244130 (OPEN HOUSE).