Sustainable buildings: Stakeholders discuss feedback from Level(s) test phase

On 20 February, the European Commission organised the conference “Reflect, Debate, Advice – Get Level(s) right” in Brussels in order to present and discuss the analysis and findings from approximately 80 Level(s) test results and survey responses coming from all over Europe. In setting the scene, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) highlighted the horizontal findings and indicator specific issues of the test phase.

Afterwards representatives from Finland, France and Denmark specified the key issues they faced when testing Level(s), followed by a question and answer session on what this could mean for taking Level(s) further. During this session, challenges with regard to the complexity of the assessment, the clarity of terms and definitions and a need for further guidance documents were highlighted.

To further engage with testers and general stakeholders from the building sector, the afternoon offered the possibility to discuss topics such as how to accommodate users with less experience, how to implement Level(s) in the typical building project stages and how to provide benchmarking. Building upon the feedback from the conference and the consultation on horizontal themes and technical updates (open until 20 March), the JRC will develop a first publication on Level(s) by summer 2020.

Level(s) is a voluntary assessment and reporting framework for building sustainability performance. By focusing on existing standards, Level(s) provides a common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance in the built environment and offers a tiered approach to life cycle assessment. The indicators of the framework cover greenhouse gas emissions throughout the building’s life cycle, resource efficient and circular material life cycles, efficient use of water resources, healthy and comfortable spaces, adaptation and resilience to climate change, as well as life cycle cost and value.