The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool

The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool aims to support sustainability performance improvements in buildings and construction processes. The tool can be used to set targets for sustainability performance. It can also be used to assess and improve performance as well as providing confirmation of the performance where this is required.

Theoretical framework

The tool is based on a holistic approach to addressing sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental criteria. The selection and development of criteria align with the definition of sustainability developed by the World Wildlife Fund. This defines sustainability as the achievement of a maximum Ecological Footprint (EF) and a minimum Human Development Index (HDI). The SBAT  measures the performance of buildings and construction processes in terms of the extent to which they support environmental, economic and social sustainability and ultimately the achievement of EF and HDI minimum standards. 

Characteristics of the SBAT

The tool has the following characteristics:

  •  The tool has been designed to be easy to use and criteria are based on good practice sustainable building planning, design and operation principles. 
  • SBAT criteria and reporting are designed to enable building users, building owners and developers, government and communities, who are critical to sustainable building performance, to be involved in assessing and setting targets and then ensuring that these are being achieved.  
  • The tool encourages a responsive approach where local needs and opportunities are prioritized and addressed within a broad sustainability framework. 
  • The SBAT is particularly appropriate for developing countries as it addresses issues such as employment, health and education as well as environmental issues such as energy, water and waste.

SBAT criteria 

The SBAT assess sustainability performance through the following criteria in the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Materials
  • Biodiversity

  • Transport
  • Resource use
  • Management
  • Products and services
  • Local economy

  • Access
  • Health
  • Education
  • Inclusion
  • Social cohesion

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