Level(s), the new EU framework for assessing and reporting on the sustainability performance of buildings, is going through a test period and registration is now open for any building project to take part. Registration closes on 30 September. Technical documentation laying out the indicators and guidance on how to use them were published on the Level(s) webpage in English last year, and they are now available in five additional languages. The page also features short notes to help interested organisations navigate the process, a report presenting Level(s) for beginners, which also describes the benefits of Level(s) according to different building professionals, other documents such as the recently developed guidance on how to choose indicators, and frequently asked questions.
Support to testers A technical helpdesk to support organisations testing Level(s) is now up and running. Testers will shortly have access to an electronic platform where they can exchange information and experience, and hold discussions linked to specific topics. A first webinar for testers will be held on 10 July. To access all of this, register your building project to test Level(s).
Examples of testing actions across Europe All over Europe, Green Building Councils and Ministries of Environment are preparing for Level(s) through activities, workshops and events where Level(s) is discussed in the national context. In France, Alliance HQE-Green Building Council France has launched a call to create a community of companies testing the Level(s) framework. Participants will be able to share their experience of testing the framework and discuss technical challenges at a workshop planned for October 2018. Support for Level(s) is very strong in Italy and Green Building Council Italia has undertaken a number of activities to support implementation, including working groups focused on Life Cycle Assessment in buildings and Green Public Procurement. They also deliver specific training courses on these topics and have recently hosted a conference on Green Public Procurement and Circular Economy/ Level(s). They are also actively promoting the testing of Level(s) in conjunction with the application of their certification schemes. In Ireland, the Irish Green Building Council launched a new programme on Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs) to measure the carbon footprint of construction products. In the accompanying launch report Towards a Circular Economy in Construction, the Irish Green Building Council specifically mentions Level(s) as the key tool to support the mainstreaming of circularity in buildings. In Finland, the Ministry of the Environment is coordinating the testing of Level(s) together with the Green Building Council Finland, Building Information Group and the Housing Finance and Development Centre ARA. The Ministry supports testers with a grant to support the Life Cycle Assessment calculations. Finland hopes to make a strong contribution to the joint effort of EU States to test Level(s). Quarterly seminars are organized, with the Finnish organisations committed to testing Level(s). The third of five planned seminars was organised on 6 June. Several building projects testing Level(s) were presented as well as initial observations. Questions linked to the actual testing and the test phase were discussed. Check out the reports from the event from the Ministry and the Green Building Council.
The next workshop will take place in October 2018. In Slovenia, a Level(s) pilot project workshop took place on 29 May. This major event with about 100 participants presented the interim outcomes from a Level(s) testing project, which is conducted by Knauf Insulation. In this case, Level(s) is being tested on a new building and hands-on recent experience was shared with a large audience from all parts of the (mainly) Slovenian building sector. The Slovenian Ministry of Environment is making good progress with these issues, and increasingly including sustainability aspects in policy, and they presented the latest developments in this area. The Level(s) framework and the design of the test phase were introduced.
Knauf Insulation press release Knauf Insulation blog post Knauf Insulation video
Level(s) news The Danish Green Building Council organised its spring conference on 16 May. The event was attended by about 130 participants. It discussed Level(s) as well as how national public authorities are considering working with voluntary sustainability classes. National building professionals talked about the many different ways in which sustainability is considered in the building sector and also how sustainability leads to innovation. The Lithuanian Ministry of Environment Lithuania organised a conference on Sustainability of Buildings – Challenges and future vision for public sector buildings, on 31 May. The Ministry considers promoting the assessment of buildings sustainability at the State level, especially in the case of publicly owned buildings. This conference with about 80 participating building professionals and policy makers served as a discussion forum for how to take this forward. In this context, Level(s) was presented and considered a key tool. A video of the event is available.
Coming events Events with confirmed dates where Level(s) will be presented and the testing of the framework will be discussed include:
• World Corrosion Congress EUROCORR 2018, Cracow, Poland 12 September 2018
• Slovenia Green Building Council Sustainable Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia 27 September 2018
• Annual Forum of Plan national batiment durable, Lyon, France 18 October 2018
• Fourth international conference of the Initiative Growth Transition, Vienna, Austria 15 November 2018.
Horizon2020 call with relevance to the construction sector A new call will soon be open with important links to Level(s). It concerns coordination and support activities that are needed to pave the way for future digital industrial platforms in the construction sector. Proposals need to take into account the «recently developed framework with core indicators to assess the environmental performance of buildings, including circular economy aspects»