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Cembureau members pilot new building assessment framework

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Three member companies of Cembureau, the European Cement Association, have completed a pilot test of the European Commission’s new building assessment framework: Level(s).

Level(s) is a voluntary building assessment framework covering six broad areas: greenhouse gas emissions, resource use, water use, healthy and comfortable spaces, resilience to climate change, and lifecycle cost.

The buildings tested by Cembureau’s members were a sustainable single-family housing development in Waterford, UK, by CRH; a social housing development in Saint-Nazaire, France, by LafargeHolcim; and the new HeidelbergCement headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

The piloting experience has demonstrated the strengths of Level(s), in that it is a transparent and fair system based on real lifecycle analysis and relying on existing standards, such as those developed by CEN/TC 350. It can therefore be a powerful tool for optimising the whole life sustainability performance of buildings.

The testers had some proposals for the improvement of the framework. These included providing greater encouragement and guidance to users of Level(s) for assessing the carbonation of concrete (a property whereby CO2 from the air is absorbed by concrete during and after its life), as well as the contribution of thermal mass (a property whereby heavyweight materials absorb and release heat) to energy efficiency and comfort. The testers also made specific recommendations about the simplification and usability of the framework.

“Level(s) fits with our philosophy that the right way to assess the sustainability of construction is at the level of the construction work and over the whole lifecycle,” said Vagner Maringolo, Sustainable Construction Manager at Cembureau. “We look forward to continuing to support the European Commission in the roll out of Level(s)”.

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European cement news Cement news 2018