Level(s) is a voluntary reporting framework to improve the sustainability of buildings. Using existing standards, Level(s) provides a common EU approach to the assessment of environmental performance in the built environment.
Level(s) provides an easy starting point to introduce sustainability into your work. Within the Level(s) framework, each indicator is designed to link the individual building’s impact with the priorities for sustainability at the European level. This focuses the Level(s) user on a manageable number of essential concepts and indicators at building level that contribute to achieving EU and Member State environmental policy goals.
Level(s) is a tool for designing and constructing sustainable buildings. Sustainable buildings use less energy and materials, and are healthier and more comfortable spaces for occupants. Along with lower environmental impact, sustainable buildings are relatively low cost to run and in the long term, more valuable properties.
To move away from the linear economic model of ‘take, make, and waste’ and towards resource efficiency, Europe needs a sustainable built environment. And the buildings sector is one of the most resource consuming sectors in Europe - it accounts for approximately half of all extracted materials, half of total energy consumption, one third of water consumption and one third of waste generation.
That’s why the built environment is a key target in the European Commission’s policy for circular economy: a regenerative economic system in which resource and energy consumption are minimised. Level(s) is a tool of the circular economy for the built environment. Level(s) encourages life cycle thinking at a whole building level, and supports users all the way from design stage through to operation and occupation of a building.
Level(s) focuses attention on the most important aspects of a building’s performance, providing a simple entry point to what can be a very complex area. Click on the links below to learn more about how Level(s) can help you in designing and constructing better buildings.
For all the latest technical documentation, including technical guidance and test survey, please go to the JRC webpage.
Level(s) is for:
Building professionals and their clients can use Level(s) to increase their understanding of how buildings impact upon the environment. Level(s) shows how to reduce environmental impact, and can prepare users for more challenging performance assessment schemes and tools.
Level(s) can also be used by assessment and certification schemes to make sure that their criteria reflect the most important priorities for circular economy at a European level, and to enable the comparability of data and results across different building performance rating systems.
On the 4th of December 2017, 80 pioneering organisations committed to test Level(s) joined a workshop organized by the European Commission, to learn more about the testing phase, how other organisations plan to test Level(s) and what the benefits of the tool can be according to building certification schemes.
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Level(s) was developed by the European Commission in close co-operation with industry stakeholders.
In 2014, the European Commission adopted the Communication "Resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector". The general objective of this initiative is to reduce the environmental impact of buildings by improving the overall resource efficiency and, as a consequence, to improve the related competitiveness of construction businesses.
This identified the need for a common EU approach to the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings: a 'common framework of core indicators', rigorous enough to drive improvement in performance and allow for comparison between buildings.
In 2015, Circular Economy Action Plan furthermore reiterates this objective and adds that, given the long lifetime of buildings, it is essential to encourage design improvements that will reduce their environmental impacts and increase the durability and recyclability of their components.
Since then, the work started the Level(s) framework - a flexible system of indicators, that can be incorporated into new and existing assessment schemes, or be used on their own by a diverse range of stakeholders, including public authorities, design teams and property investors.