The present study moves from the awareness about the structural condition of the European building stock, which, in some cases, is far from the level of structural safety required by the European codes. Where the seismic risk is more relevant, as in southern Europe, the adaptation of building heritage according to modern seismic standards must be pursued with an emphasis on sustainability, so that available resources are used as efficiently as possible.
The proposed methodology is the territorial implementation of a building design approach, called Sustainable Structural Design (SSD) Method. SSD is an efficient and solid method aiming at guiding the sustainable construction sector toward a multi-performance and life cycle-oriented approach, including the environmental aspects related to energy consumption and CO2 emissions, in structural design, performed with a simplified Performance Based Assessment (sPBA) methodology, in order to obtain a global assessment parameter expressed in monetary terms. A simply applicable methodology, allowing the identification of the territorial areas which need a more urgent intervention, is obtained.
Starting from the SSD Methodology, the authors have studied its applicability at territorial level, considering three different area dimensions, as countries, regions and cities, and identifying the most suitable approach for each of them. The application of the SSD at territorial level could allow the main aspects of sustainability to be included, identifying the areas where an intervention could reduce the energy consumptions, the CO2 emissions and the structural losses of buildings, thus supporting the strategic decision-making on territory.