Level(s) is a voluntary reporting framework aiming to improve the sustainability of buildings. It is a tool for designing and constructing sustainable buildings. Using existing standards, it provides a common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance in the built environment.
Sustainable buildings use less energy and materials, and are healthier and more comfortable spaces for occupants. Along with lower environmental impact, sustainable buildings are relatively low cost to run and in the long term, more valuable properties.
To move away from the linear economic model of ‘take, make, and waste’ and towards resource efficiency, Europe needs a sustainable built environment. And the buildings sector is one of the most resource consuming sectors in Europe - it accounts for approximately half of all extracted materials, half of total energy consumption, one third of water consumption and one third of waste generation.
That’s why the built environment is a key target in the European Commission’s policy for circular economy: a regenerative economic system in which resource and energy consumption are minimised. Level(s) is a tool of the circular economy for the built environment. It encourages life cycle thinking at a whole building level, and supports users all the way from design stage through to operation and occupation of a building.
Level(s) provides an easy starting point to introduce sustainability into the user's work. Within the Level(s) framework, each indicator is designed to link the individual building’s impact with the priorities for sustainability at the European level. This focuses the user on a manageable number of essential concepts and indicators at building level that contribute to achieving EU and Member State environmental policy goals.
Level(s) was developed by the European Commission in close co-operation with industry stakeholders including Saint Gobain, Skanska and Sustainable Building Alliance.