An Analysis of the Most Adopted Rating Systems for Assessing the Environmental Impact of Buildings
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Rating systems for assessing the environmental impact of buildings are technical instruments that aim to evaluate the environmental impact of buildings and construction projects. In some cases, these rating systems can also cover urban-scale projects, community projects, and infrastructures. These schemes are designed to assist project management in making the projects more sustainable by providing frameworks with precise criteria for assessing the various aspects of a building’s environmental impact. Given the growing interest in sustainable development worldwide, many rating systems for assessing the environmental impact of buildings have been established in recent years, each one with its peculiarities and fields of applicability. The present work is motivated by an interest in emphasizing such differences to better understand these rating systems and extract the main implications to building design. It also attempts to summarize in a user-friendly form the vast and fragmented assortment of information that is available today. The analysis focuses on the six main rating systems: the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB), the Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQETM), the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the Sustainable Building Tool (SBTool).