Recently, I attended the 1st International Conference on Building Assessments. The major recurring theme of the conference was the number of the different national assessment systems. In Europe alone apart from BREEAM LEED and Green Globes every country has its own system including French HQE, German DGNB, Portugal Lider A, Italy’s Protocollo Itaca, Spain’s VERDE Czech SB ToolCZ, Switzeland’s Minergie, Finland’s PromisE and Swedish Miljobyggnad.
The European Commission has already appointed and financed an extensive study called SUPERBUILDING, whose aim is not to produce another assessment system but to find a common language among the existing systems and support development of the next generation of sustainable building assessment systems. The SUPERBUILDING has developed a “top down” approach, largely based on the development work of ISO/TC 59/SC 17 suite of standards for sustainability in building construction.
While some of the more market orientated assessments march to their own tune, it is important to follow the efforts of the European Union as it is usually those efforts which eventually make their way into the regulatory process.