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OPEN HOUSE: An online platform for a transparent and open methodology to assess the sustainability of buildings

: Peyramale, V.; Eberl, S.; Essig, N.


International journal of sustainable building technology and urban development 3 (2012), No.4, pp.316-321
ISSN: 2093-761X
ISSN: 2093-7628
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBP ()

Buildings play a major role in societies but they are also responsible for important impacts on the natural environment in terms of pollution and resources consumption. With the growing global population aspiring for high-level health and comfort, resources will have to be managed more efficiently if we want to ensure a sustainable development. In particular, a life-cycle-thinking approach has to be adopted in the building sector in order to encourage decisions with positive long-term impacts. Decision-making requires knowledge of building performance and many assessment methods have been developed world-wide to evaluate the sustainability of buildings. According to Cole [1], the development of all these different methods results from the âtension between the desire for objective, scientifically rigorous and stringent performance criteria with the desire for practical, transparent, simple to understand criteria that ask the industry to respond to manageable step chang es in practiceâ. The project OPEN HOUSE aims at providing the appropriate solution to these challenges. With the help of a user-friendly tool based on a complex assessment system, it is made possible to quickly measure the sustainability performance of the building and propose actions to improve it together with the associated costs. The European project OPEN HOUSE has been established under the framework of a FP7 R&D programme by a European consortium of 19 partners from research institutions, the building industry and the political sector. Running from February 2010 to July 2013, its objective is to merge existing methodologies for sustainability assessment of buildings towards a common view. With the aim of being widely adopted in Europe, the OPEN HOUSE methodology is developed in a fully transparent, collective and open process, with extensive communication and interaction between all stakeholders.