In October 2016, the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) submitted a response to the public consultation of the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on draft indicators for the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings. While welcoming this initiative, ACE calls for greater recognition of architecture in the project development.
In its response to the JRC consultation, ACE contends that all three pillars of building performance should be assessed: indoor environmental quality, occupant satisfaction, and the resources required to achieve these, in order to ensure that none takes preference at the price of the others.
A set of clearly defined and measurable indicators would allow professionals to compare building performance predicted in the design phase with the achieved and maintained operational performance. The benefits of such a framework of indicators would be greatly enhanced by mechanisms allowing the data collected to be shared in the public domain, thus facilitating feedback loops for continuous improvement.
ACE believes that Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) should be at the core of the indicators – it would greatly support architectural design and result in more resilient buildings, if coupled with validation of achieved performance. On the other hand, life cycle cost and climate change resilience are essential to support a greater emphasis on occupant needs and better architectural quality.
ACE recommends a clearer distinction between indicators and ratings, with this initiative focusing on indicators and metrics for harmonised communication only. Moreover, references to a potential Building Passport and efforts to take advantage of Building Information ModelLing (BIM) would be useful.
As a participant in the Steering Committee set up by the Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENVI), ACE is actively engaged in the development of this initiative and looks forward to pursuing the discussion with the other stakeholders.
For further information, please visit the relevant ACE webpage at the link below.