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.
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.
Technical documentation: Introduction to Level(s) and how it works - Part 1 and 2DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL
Technical documentation: How to make performance assessment using Level(s) - Part 3DE | EN | ES | FR | IT | PL
For all the latest technical documentation, including technical guidance and test survey, please go to the JRC webpage.
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)
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