After two years of providing research and insights on how to integrate the Level(s) Framework into green building certification schemes criteria, how to develop quality product data by addressing the whole life cycle impacts and how to inspire the public procurers to insert sustainability component in their tenders, LIFE Level(s) project prepared its final stage.
Now, the project carries out the Europe-wide training courses on the selected Level(s) Framework indicators: life cycle analysis (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC) and indoor air quality (IAQ) with an additional element of environmental product declarations (EPD) and the value of quality product data.
However, the first step in providing encompassing training at the level of 8 EU countries was to develop the training material that would reflect the type of knowledge needed by the stakeholders, the learning objectives and the target stakeholder groups. The latter is a wide form of building sector stakeholders concerning the comprehensive value and scope of the Level(s) Framework. When training on the common language for building sector stakeholders on the sustainability of buildings, materials and their content need to address the requirements and potential of key industry actors.
In line with that, in order to address the whole value chain of European stakeholders, the LIFE Level(s) training program targets building professionals, product manufacturers and public authorities.
Guided by Green Building Council Italia, the lead beneficiary of the project’s capacity-building action, a set of training materials was developed in collaboration with experts from Politecnico of Milan and Politecnico of Torino. Yet, taking into account the national specificities, each GBC adjusted the material according to the national context:
- the level of awareness of buildings’ impact on the environment
- the capacities of local stakeholders
- the adoption of the life cycle approach in the design actions
When researching the bottlenecks in the buildings sector when it comes to Level(s) Framework, several critical areas within the selected indicators proved to be the most significant to address in the training program:
- Understanding Level(s): what is Level(s), how it is structured and how the different stakeholders can use it; what competencies are needed to calculate the indicators
- How to use buildings rating systems to answer Level(s)’indicators
- How Level(s) indicators are integrated into public tenders
Life Cycle Analysis and Environmental Product Declaration
- Understanding the LCA methodology: basic knowledge of what it is and how it defines the environmental impact of buildings
- Learning how LCA supports the different phases of the design activity (concept phase, detailed design, construction phases) and how to compare performances, from practical examples of projects.
- Databases and tools for LCA: what databases and tools exist and how to choose them
- Knowledge of EPDs: what is an EPD and how to read it?
- Databases and tools for EPDs: what databases and tools exist and how to choose them
- How to integrate LCA requirements into public tenders, from best practices
Life Cycle Costing
- Understanding the LCC methodology: basic knowledge of what it is and how it can define the economic impact of buildings, link with LCA
- Learning how LCC supports the different phases of the design activity (concept phase, detailed design, construction phases) and how to compare LCC results, from practical examples of projects
- Databases and tools for LCC: what databases and tools exist and how to choose them
- Expressing maintenance needs and costs related to products to inform LCA and LCC
- How to integrate LCC requirements into public tenders with best practices
Indoor Air Quality
- Knowledge of IAQ: what is IAQ and which parameters affect it, how to measure and monitor IAQ in a building
- Learning how to use IAQ parameters to support the design activity: what IAQ parameters to check in the different design phases (concept, detailed design, and construction).
- How to read data about IAQ in construction products technical datasheet
- How to express data about IAQ in construction products technical datasheet, what tests are needed on products and materials
The LIFE Level(s) training material is a precious body of knowledge now available to the GBCs to grow the awareness of the construction stakeholders on the sustainability issues as well as their actual capacity to understand, measure and demonstrate the building’s impact and answer to the requirements of the European and national policies for sustainable construction.
The training activities carried out in the previous period will soon be reported on!
Level(s) training provided by the GBCs will continue after the project ends and will build the capacity of a large part of the stakeholders of the buildings sector in Europe, producing a change to the approach to the design phases as well as to the way of assessing the impacts of the buildings on the environment and on human health.