(163c) Sustainable buildings: Targets and Measurements

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The presentation starts with a discussion of the role of buildings in the global energy and water conservation agenda, Well-established design measures in new buildings, and retrofits in existing buildings are reviewed, going from the low hanging fruit of energy and water efficiency measures, to improved management and control, and ultimately to the installation of renewables and recyclables. We compare measures especially on their cost per saving effectiveness, and discuss the feasibility of (net) zero-impact as the ultimate target of sustainable buildings.

The second part of the presentation focuses on building environmental assessment (BEA) systems. BEA systems measure the outcomes of buildings through a broad range of criteria, ranging from occupant health and productivity,  energy and water conservation, material impacts, transport needs, etc. In the material impact criterion, they have recently started using LCA methods, or some reduced version of it when appropriate data is not available.

The primary aim of any BEA system is to encourage the design of green buildings and stimulate the market for sustainable construction components and materials. A properly managed set of guidelines, supported by an adequate BEA system, is the best instrument for local governments to regulate industries and to improve the sustainability of the built environment. 

The current state of sustainability targets and assessments systems is critically analyzed.

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