There are six elements which ASBP believe underpin the sustainability of construction projects:
How the design and construction approaches impact on the health and well-being of its occupants. A wide range of factors apply; including indoor air quality, daylighting, acoustic performance, incorporation of natural elements, how the layout promotes healthy living, as well as avoidance of materials containing chemicals harmful to health.
Focusing on the project’s sustainable use of resources in accordance with the hierarchy of reducing, reusing and recycling; including resource-efficient design and construction, use of renewable resources or secondary materials, water efficiency, flexibility of use and re-usability of elements at end of life, and circular economy models applied to materials, or the building as a whole.
This covers the approach to the carbon cost of the building, and what has been achieved. Projects will evidence cradle-to-cradle thinking and a life cycle analysis approach applied throughout the design and specification of the whole building, to inform significant reduction of embodied carbon in the building fabric, fit-out and services, alongside operational carbon reductions.
The approach reflects a commitment to sustainability; for example by transparency of supply chain and information and compliance with ethical and transparency standards. Projects should evidence a deep commitment to sustainability through related activities around the project (e.g. dissemination of information and learning from the project encourages others to build sustainably).
This focuses on how the building performs; its energy efficiency, thermal performance, including insulation, thermal mass and avoidance of overheating, airtightness, ventilation and moisture control. Consideration may be made of how the project demonstrates performance through passive systems such as a fabric first approach, or solar gain.
The building’s impact on the local community; e.g. meeting priority built environment needs identified by the local community, use of supply chain to optimise local economic and social benefits, designing for people with minimum or positive impact on local biodiversity and the natural environment, and linking the design to local social history and traditional built environment.