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Environmental and Health-Related Criteria for Buildings

Measurements & MonitoringBuilding assessmentResearch

Scope and Objective

The objective of the study is to provide ANEC with a background paper on environmental and health-related criteria for buildings. The back ground paper shall be the basis for developing a European set of environmental and health-related indicators.

The study shall support ANEC in position finding processes and enable to shape upcoming discussion on these issues. Key criteria were selected from a consumer's perspective account by focussing on familiar information (e.g. NOx emission rather than acidification indicator for central heating burner). However, the potential readers of the study are expected to be experienced in the topics of assessing the environmental performance of buildings.

In order to do so the study at hand presents an analysis of the problem of the Commission’s numerous initiatives, reveals new perspectives, and principle solutions. 

It was not the aim of the study to elaborate a detailed complete criteria and indicator catalogue for an assessment method to be used in CEN/TC 350 or in EU Ecolabel for buildings as such.

The first approach was a consideration of several existing building assessment systems with special attention to the communalities. The following technical guides and references to building assessment systems were considered:

  • EU Eco-Label   
    EU Eco-Label Award Scheme for Buildings: Supporting document to third draft criteria (ed. ISPRA, May 2010)
  • SBTool             
    Reference: “An Overview of SBTool, September 2007 Release” (ed. iisbe, Nils Larsson)
  • CSH                  
    Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide May 2009, Version 2; ed.  Department for Communities and Local Government, 2009
  • BREEAM MR    
    BREEAM Multi-residential 2008 Assessor Manual (BREEAM BRE Environmental & Sustainability Standard BES 5064: Issue 1.0; ed. © BRE Global, 2008,
  • LEED HRS      
    LEED® for Homes Rating System, Version 2008 including corrections, clarifications and new exemplary performance rulings (ed. U.S. Green Building Council, January 2010)
  • LEED NC        
    LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction (for the Design, Construction and Major Renovations of Commercial and Institutional Buildings Including Core & Shell and K-12 School Projects (ed. US. Green Building Council, Washington, 2009)
  • DGNB              
    DGNB – residential buildings. Steckbriefe (Draft, May 2010)
  • TQB                  
    TQB-Kriterienkatalog (TQB catalogue of criteria), status 22.07.2010

 Building assessment systems may use similar indicators but conceptually handle them differently. These different approaches should be described with their advantages and disadvantages and conclusions drawn about which concept would be useful for consumers. 

Next step was the choice of indicators that had to be exemplified. It led to the following categories for which an in-depth analysis was carried out:

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) with focus on building material
  • Energy demand and CO2
  • emissions with focus on operation phase
  • Daylighting
  • Emissions on construction site
  • Chemicals in building materials / indoor air

ANEC – Raising standards for consumers

Research period

February 2010 – March 2011

Funding Institutions

ANEC – Raising standards for consumers