Title: Building Design for safety and sustainability
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC93115
ISBN: 978-92-79-45682-4
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 27116
OP LB-NA-27116-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC93115
DOI: 10.2788/338223
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The issue of sustainability in the building industry is prominent, as this industry causes large impacts on the environment but also it contributes greatly in a socioeconomic perspective of growth. In line with sustainability the purpose of this report is twofold: to provide a comprehensive description of the current state-of-the-art building assessment methods and to contribute towards sustainability and building design optimisation through the introduction of a comprehensive design approach. In the first part of the report the role of the Environmental methods and Footprint schemes is examined, with a further analysis in the Footprint (PEF, OEF) methods introduced by the European Commission, in ascertaining building sustainability. Footprint schemes provide an environmental assessment on a product-level approach. However, a building is better described as a process rather than a product, while considering the interactions involved in the building life-cycle it seems inappropriate to consider building components in isolation. Current environmental assessment methods evaluate buildings over their life-cycle at a later design stage to provide an indication of their environmental performance. The sole aspect of environmental performance cannot provide comparable building solutions, while at this stage the information cannot effectively used in the general design process. A more effective way of achieving building sustainability is to consider and incorporate environmental issues in the early design stage, where the principles of durability, probabilistic reliability and safety of structures are involved. Since these parameters are part of the same whole they need to be designed together. To move towards sustainability, a new integrated-design approach is deemed essential that will allow building assessment in a multi-performance perspective. In the second part, the Sustainable Structural Design (SSD) methodology is presented built on environmental and structural performance parameters based on a life-cycle approach. Emphasis is put on integrating environmental results in the structural performance, which is treated in a probabilistic manner through the introduction of a simplified Performance-Based Assessment method. A global assessment parameter as the result of ecological costs and structural repair and downtime losses is obtained, which allows diverse stakeholder categories to make decisions in a multi-dimensional perspective. The final part of the report is devoted to further research insights. Both resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector and a respective Communication launched by the European Union in July 2014 are discussed.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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