ISO launch sustainable construction standard

Builders, architects and housing authorities will soon be able to use an international benchmark to judge sustainability in construction.

The Switzerland-based International Organisation for Standardisation announced it has developed the ISO 15392 standard, which it says will apply to buildings and other construction works from “the cradle to the grave”.

It will be applicable to buildings and other construction works, as well as to the building materials, products, services and processes used in the construction.

The organisation hopes it will provide a common language for those involved in construction and housing, such as builders and architects, product manufacturers and designers, building owners, policy makers and housing authorities.

It said the principles of ISO 15392 also recognise that although sustainable development is a global issue, the strategies for addressing sustainability in building construction will differ from region to region.

It is believed to be the first international standard, although a number of countries already operate their own national standards, such as LEED in the USA and BREEAM in the UK.

The UK-based company Green Horizons told edie just last month it had developed a global standard, the GBS, to allow consumers to compare the impact of developments on a like-for-like basis (see related story).

Green Horizons managing director Colin Barrett-Treen welcomed the announcement of the new ISO standard, adding that it could encourage more firms in the property industry to look at sustainability.

He added: “As far as the GREEN Building Standard (GBS) is concerned, we feel that the ISO’s entrance into this market will help us to expand our own services.

“The GBS is a robust and credible rating system which allows developers to highlight their properties as being environmentally friendly, which at first view may seem to duplicate what the ISO is about to launch.

“However, there are some important differences which make the GREEN Building Standard an important option for real estate developers, even if they also attain an ISO Standard.

“In addition to granting a rating, Green Horizons Property is committed to promoting those developments that are rated by our code, both to the buying public and to the real estate industry.”

Kate Martin

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