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The environmental value of buildings: a proposal for performance assessment with reference to the case of the tall office building

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Buildings consume approximately 33% of the world's energy, equivalent to 21% of global CO2 emissions (IEA 2009, World energy outlook 2009, Given the current scenario of energy consumption in buildings, the objective of this paper is to present some of the key issues related to assessment of the environmental performance of buildings, supported by the proposal of strategic indicators (with reference to the tall office building), followed by a critical review of the value of environmental design. Fieldwork has shown that a group of European case-studies show signs of change beginning to emerge considering value ahead of first cost, challenging the conventional commercial model. Energy savings and environmental quality in the operation of buildings bring marketability benefits to tenants, whilst future-proofing investments are of benefit to investors. In addition, buildings need to go beyond governmental targets to be able to remain competitive, adding value to environmentally considerate design.

Keywords: assessment; buildings; criteria; environment; quality; value

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Departamento de Tecnologia da Arquitetura, Laboratório de Conforto Ambiental e Eficiência Energética 2: Environment and Energy Studies Programme,Architectural Association School of Architecture, Graduate School, London, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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