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JRC presents Level(s), a common language for sustainable buildings

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In August 2017, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) released two Technical Reports presenting Level(s), a common EU framework of core indicators for the sustainability of office and residential buildings.


The first report, Introduction to Level(s) and how it works, comprises the first two parts of the guidance on how to use this initiative. In Part 1 a general introduction to Level(s) is provided; Part 2 includes an overview of the macro-objectives, performance indicators and the three Levels of performance assessment, which are the following:


    Level 1: Common performance assessment

    Level 2: Comparative performance assessment

    Level 3: Performance optimisation assessment


This second report, How to make performance assessments using Level(s), offers a complete set of technical guidance on how to make performance assessments at each of the three different Levels, and then to report on the results. It also provides and analyses a 5-step approach to performance assessment and reporting.



What is Level(s)?


Level(s) is a voluntary reporting framework that provides a common "sustainable" language for the buildings sector: a set of simple metrics for measuring the sustainability performance of buildings throughout their life cycle. It encourages life cycle thinking at a whole building level; it is a comprehensive toolkit for developing, monitoring and operations, and supports improvement from design to end of life.


Level(s) uses robust indicators based on existing tools and standards, and covers energy, materials, water, health and comfort, climate change and life cycle cost and value. It is applicable to offices and residential buildings. Sustainability tools and certification schemes can use Level(s) as a module within their products; the initiative is open source and freely available.


Level(s) was developed by the European Commission in close co-operation with industry stakeholders.