Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Building sustainability performance - Level(s)

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.

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.

"The Commission's framework for sustainable buildings - Level(s) - aims to unite the whole sector value chain around a common European language for better building performance. It looks at the full lifecycle of buildings to address their huge potential for emissions reductions, efficient and circular resource flows, and supporting the health and wellbeing of those they are built to serve.

Level(s) will serve as a galvanising force for actors across Europe's building sector in understanding how they can collaborate to create a sustainable built environment for all Europeans. It will be a powerful source of data and insights for national policy-makers looking to build sustainability and circularity into their building codes. We have an opportunity to grow Europe's sustainable building sector into a world leader, in a growth area for the construction and real estate sector globally."

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime and Fisheries

Bringing buildings into the circular economy

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.

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) has been developed with the following stakeholders in mind: developers, investors, architects, quantity surveyors, construction managers, lead contractors, facility managers, asset managers and buildings occupants.

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.

Key documents

Report: Taking action on the total impact of the construction sector
DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

Level(s) factsheet
DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

Level(s) flyer
DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

Technical documentation: Introduction to Level(s) and how it works - Part 1 and 2

DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

Technical documentation: How to make performance assessment using Level(s) - Part 3

DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

For all the latest technical documentation, including technical guidance and test survey, please go to the JRC webpage.


Testing Level(s)

Before Level(s) can be launched on the market and start constituting a basis for different policy and business initiatives, it has to be thoroughly tested by building professionals across Europe.

For this purpose, the European Commission opened a two-year testing phase for Level(s) in spring 2018. During the testing phase, stakeholders across the construction and real estate value chain, from investors, to developers, designers and manufacturers, are supported in testing the Level(s) indicators on their respective building projects. The feedback from the testing phase will inform the final version of the Level(s) framework – to be launched around summer 2020.

Level(s) is being tested in more than 130 building projects in 21 countries. Learn more about the testers under the following links:

Supporting documents for testing Level(s)


Level(s) by the experts: watch our series of videos


Why Level(s)? DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL
What is Level(s)? DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

Who is Level(s) for? DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL
How can you participate Level(s)? DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL

What is your interest?
What are the opportunities?


18 December 2018

4 December 2017


Newsletter and contacts

Right navigation