The International Conference “Building Sustainability Assessment 2012 (BSA 2012)” is co-organized by the Greenlines Institute for Sustainable Development and the University of Minho and will be held in Porto, Portugal, from 23rd to 25th of May 2012.
Building sustainability involves various relations between built, natural and social systems and therefore comprises a complex of different priorities that require consideration at each stage of a building’s life-cycle. To cope with this complexity and to support sustainability systematic, holistic and practical approaches to building design need to be developed. These approaches are aimed to support the development of a building design that achieves the most appropriate balance between the different sustainability dimensions and can be used with two different objectives: to support the sustainable building design; and to assess and recognized the efforts of the design teams in developing high-performance buildings. Building sustainability assessment methods and tools can be used since the very beginning of the design stage in order to gather and report information for decision-making during the different life-cycle stage of a building.
During the last two decades a significant number of environmental and sustainability assessment tools for buildings have been developed. The main goal, at present, is to develop and implement a systematic methodology to support a building design which achieves the most appropriate balance between the different sustainability dimensions, and which is, at the same time, practical, transparent and flexible enough to be easily adapted to different kinds of buildings and to the constant evolution of technology.
BSA tools and methods are constantly evolving in order to overcome their various limitations, but they continue to be based in a different list of indicators, which cause difficulties in comparing results from different systems. In order to overcome these constraints, both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) have worked actively in the last few years to define standard requirements for the environmental and sustainability assessments of buildings. On the other hand, Energy Certification of buildings is now considered in some countries too limited to embrace the consequences of the built environment on the natural, social and economy systems and therefore a broader list of indicators is being integrated in the certification processes of the building performance. This is challenging a common international understanding in the field.
Based in the abovementioned context, BSA 2012 is the 1st international conference focused in emerging challenges in the field of building sustainability assessment. The scope of the conference includes, but not limited to, the following topics:
1. Emerging tools and methods for building sustainability assessment (BSA)
2. Development and application of existing BSA tools, methods and certification systems
3. Comparison of BSA tools and methods
4. Normalisation of life-cycle analysis and building sustainability assessments
5. Environmental life-cycle analysis (LCA) of materials, products and buildings
6. Social life-cycle analysis (SLCA) of materials, products and buildings
7. Life-cycle costs analysis (LCCA) of materials, products and buildings
8. Education on building sustainability assessment
9. The relevance of the BSA methods for the environmental policies
10. Integration of BSA methods in building design tools