Are Australian building eco-assessment tools meeting stakeholder decision-making needs?

  • YEAR
    2004
  • AUTHORS
    Watson, Phillipa
    Jones, Delwyn
    Mitchell, Pene
  • CATEGORIES
    2004 Conference Papers
    Social and political issues in architecture

Extract

ABSTRACT: The building industry seeks assessment and reduction of environmental, social and
economic impacts in the built environment. There is a growing demand for decision-making support
tools to facilitate this process. The building sector encompasses a broad range of professional activities
including regulation, planning, design, manufacture and site development, and these span
fundamentally different applications. Industry sector sustainable development relies on vast amounts of
technically rich information, not yet streamlined, being shared between professions for varying
applications at different stages and levels of the building life cycle. For consistent stakeholder decisionmaking,
building eco-assessment tools (BEA) that address economic, social and environmental criteria
as well as those used only for environmental assessment need to manage vast amounts of information
necessary for credible assessment. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) platforms for
sharing data provide a way forward in compiling and processing such complex information sets.
Results of studies of twenty-eight tools showed that irrespective of the economic, social and
environmental criteria they addressed most did not support:
• The majority of key stakeholders’ criteria or provide sufficiently flexible applications;
• Stakeholder decision-making integrated over whole of building life considerations;
• Early intervention such as at policy development, investment and concept planning; and
• Functionality measures for pre/post occupancy and operational assessment
This paper discusses stakeholder needs in relation to building environmental and sustainability
assessment tool applications. Stakeholders are shown mapped against potential tool deliverables, in
order to highlight gaps between their needs and current tool attributes/applications in a strategic life
cycle framework based on emergent theory. Possible ways to meet identified stakeholder needs are
illustrated and discussed, considering ICT technology exploited in a new tool prototype, LCADesign,
that has created a platform to facilitate information collection/connection and manipulation from
divergent sources for flexible, variously formatted, outputs.

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