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Introduction to Level(s) and how it works: JRC Technical Report - Parts 1 and 2

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This Joint Research Centre (JRC) report introduces and explains Level(s). Developed as a common EU framework of core indicators for the sustainability of office and residential buildings, Level(s) provides a set of indicators and common metrics for measuring the environmental performance of buildings along their life cycle. As well as environmental performance, which is the main focus, it also enables other important related aspects of the performance of buildings to be assessed using indicators for health and comfort, life cycle cost and potential future risks to performance.


Level(s) aims to provide a general language of sustainability for buildings. This common language should enable actions to be taken at building level that can make a clear contribution to broader European environmental policy objectives. It is structured as follows:


  1. Macro-objectives: An overarching set of six macro-objectives for the Level(s) framework that contribute to EU and Member State policy objectives in areas such as energy, material use and waste, water and indoor air quality.
  2. Core Indicators: A set of 9 common indicators for measuring the performance of buildings which contribute to achieving each macro-objective.
  3. Life cycle tools: A set of 4 scenario tools and 1 data collection tool, together with a simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, that are designed to support a more holistic analysis of the performance of buildings based on whole life cycle thinking.
  4. Value and risk rating: A checklist and rating system provides information on the reliability of performance assessments made using the Level(s) framework.

In addition, the Level(s) framework aims to promote life cycle thinking. It guides users from an initial focus on individual aspects of building performance towards a more holistic perspective, with the ultimate aim being the potential for wider use across Europe of two main tools – Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA).


This report provides the two first parts of the guidance on how to use Level(s). In Part 1 a general introduction to Level(s) is provided. In Part 2 an overview of the macro-objectives, performance indicators is given, as well as the three Levels of performance assessment:


Level 1: Common performance assessment
Level 2: Comparative performance assessment
Level 3: Performance optimisation assessment



To download the report, please visit the relevant European Commission webpage at the link below.


See also the relevant BUILD UP Publication How to make performance assessments using Level(s): JRC Technical Report - Part 3