Level(s) is a voluntary building assessment framework developed by the European Commission to improve the sustainability of buildings. Using existing standards, Level(s) provides a common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance in the built environment.
The framework provides a set of indicators that anyone interested in assessing a building project can use – including for public procurement and commercial schemes. The framework is based on six macro-objectives, for each of which indicators are specified:
- Greenhouse gas emissions along the life cycle, including energy consumption in use phase of the building and embodied energy
- Resource efficient materials life cycle
- Efficient use of water resources
- Healthy and comfortable spaces
- Climate change resilience and adaptation
- cost and value optimised over the whole life (life-cycle cost)
One important aspect for the cement and concrete industry is the fact that, for a building to be sustainable, a balance between social, economic and environmental measures needs to be maintained over the whole life of the building. For this reason, assessment over a broad suite of indicators, at the building level, is the most appropriate approach.
Level(s) is a transparent and fair system based on real life-cycle analysis (LCA), relying on existing standards such as those developed by CEN/TC 350. CEMBUREAU has piloted Level(s) and believes it is a powerful tool for optimising the whole life sustainability performance of buildings. CEMBUREAU welcomes Level(s)' way into the EU legislation and sustainable building labelling systems.