Sustainable Civil Engineering

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Sustainable Civil Engineering - LEEDS & BREEAM

Sustainable Civil Engineering - LEEDS & BREEAM

Part 2


The paper presents the comparative review of five prominent sustainable rating systems namely BREEAM and LEED. The review process adopts a system of criteria which encompasses all features of sustainable rating tools. The main goal of the study is to consider all aspects of the systems in order to find out the best one(s). The study provides a deep insight into sustainable rating tools and can be a recommendation and reference for users when choosing between rating systems.

The assessment of building environmental performance covers a wide range of issues and may involve not only a number of environmental, but also economical, social and cultural factors. Building environmental assessment is a specific complex of proceedings oriented to systematic and objective evaluation of building performance. These processes lead to design, construction and operation of buildings with respect to criteria of sustainable development. Building environmental assessment is not only tool of control, but also tool of sustainable building design. The assessment systems are based on the building's life cycle: pre-design, new buildings, existing buildings, and renovation. Since 1990s building environmental assessment systems, methods and tools are developed for evaluation of building performance in many countries. Different building environmental assessment systems and methods have the same or similar issues of evaluation (Buttler, 2009, 11). Most of them deal with project management, site selection, energy performance, waste and water management, indoor environmental quality, environmentally preferable materials, etc. These comprehensive assessments of buildings require multidisciplinary and multi-criterion approach. The purposes of building assessment from environmental aspects are the determination of real buildings state from viewpoint of safety and reliability, the possibility of buildings comparison, the find of environmental buildings potential and the proposal of improvements resulting in sustainable buildings.

Worldwide there is hundreds of building evaluation tools that focus on different areas of sustainable development and are designed for different types of projects. By March 2010, there were 382 registered building software tools for evaluating energy efficiency, renewable energy, and buildings' sustainability. However, only a few systems are widely acknowledged and really set a recognizable standard for sustainable development. The following five systems are chosen to be reviewed in this paper because they are currently the most popular, influential and technically advanced rating tools available.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It was developed in the UK in 1990 and is the building environmental assessment method with the longest track record.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998, provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Since its inception in 1998, LEED has grown to encompass more than 14,000 projects in the US and 30 countries covering 99 billion m² of development area.

CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency) was developed in Japan in ...
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