Towards a single label for environmental quality and energy performance in certified buildings

Most clients now apply energy labels and environmental certifications; more than 200 000 detached houses and apartment buildings and more than 6,000,000 sq m of non-residential buildings have already been certified.

Prospects offered by the Multi-Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting on the Environment are accelerating the demand for certifications and labels.  The need to develop a common display base compatible with existing certifications and labels has become pressing for construction players and private homes, to be able to handle the increasing demand for greater legibility and consistency among the different names, marks and result evaluations.

This was the objective of SB Alliance –co-founded by the French and British and now composed of about twenty countries – in defining six harmonised indicators, namely greenhouse effect gases, production of waste, non-renewable energy, water consumption, thermal comfort and indoor air quality.  These indicators are not intended to replace existing national reference documents because it is still essential to take account of the specific features of the different countries.  The sustainable building initiative of the United Nations program for the environment selected the greenhouse effect gases indicator for presentation to COP15 in Copenhagen.

CSTB and QUALITEL subsidiaries (Cequami, Cerqual, CertiVéA) will integrate these indicators into their reference documents in 2010, resulting in a label somewhat like what is already used for routine consumption products.