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European Commission releases first EU-wide tool for sustainable building performance reporting

The European Commission (EC) has launched the pilot phase of Level(s), a new EU-framework for sustainable buildings which will help to transform the building sector.
European Commission releases first EU-wide tool for sustainable building performance reporting

Level(s) is the first tool of its kind that has been developed for use across the whole of Europe. It is the result of a broad consultation with industry and the public sector, focusing on performance indicators across areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, resource and water efficiency as well as health and comfort. It aims to establish a ‘common language’ around what sustainable building means in practice – shifting the debate beyond energy performance.

Level(s) is an open source assessment framework, developed by the European Commission in close collaboration with key players like Skanska, Saint-Gobain, Sustainable Building Alliance and Green Building Councils.

“Level(s) can help us develop an environment built sustainably across Europe and support our transition to the circular economy” said Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “We are releasing this framework for the sector during World Green Building Week demonstrating Europe’s global leadership. It marks an important step towards a more resource-efficient and competitive construction sector in Europe.”

James Drinkwater, Director of the World Green Building Council's Europe Regional Network, added that the launch of the tool provides a clear signal to the market that sustainable building practice is shifting from the niche to the norm. Having a common goal to deliver nearly zero-energy buildings across Europe galvanised industry-wide action, and now having a common language around ‘sustainable’ building is helping to really transform mainstream practice.  

The test phase for Level(s) is now being launched and will run until 2019. The EC has invited all building projects to learn more about it and pilot the new tool and will provide technical assistance to those applying all or parts of Level(s).

Two technical guidance reports have been released to support the pilot phase. The first technical report provides an introduction to Level(s) and how it works. The second technical report provides detailed guidance on how to make performance assessments using Level(s). The Commission will host a pilot workshop for organisations interested in testing Level(s) in Brussels on 4 December 2017.

Level(s) focuses on the main aspects of a building's performance, providing a simple entry point for those looking to build more sustainably. These aspects include: greenhouse gas emissions throughout the building’s life cycle, material life cycles which are resource efficient and circular, efficient use of water resources, healthy and comfortable spaces, adaptation and resilience to climate change, and whole building life cycle cost and value. Each indicator in Level(s) is designed to link a building’s impact with EU priorities for circular economy, and the framework effectively broadens the building agenda to deliver more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For additional information:

European Commission (Environment) Level(s)

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