“The requirements rally for sustainable construction risks missing the goal”

2017-09-26

In debate article in “Aktuell Hållbarhet” (published 2017-09-26)

Demands and requirement criteria for sustainable building and construction do not always mean long-term and better results. The risk is that the industry is putting their resources on expensive and time-consuming documentation rather than to focus on the products actual environmental performance, writes Sussi Wetterlin from BASTA and Anna Jarnehammar from IVL Swedish Environmental Institute in an article in “Aktuell Hållbarhet”.

More demands and requirements does not always lead to better environmental performance and the “requirements rally” that we see in the Swedish market risks to deplete and destroy the process. Instead of the desired environmental improvements we get a costly and resource-intensive process where the focus is on short-term documentation of the present and current situation, which ultimately increases the cost of construction instead of improving it.

It is time for industry and sectors stakeholders to unite around guidelines that leads to better environmental performance – in actuality, write the authors. They highlight three areas that must be prioritized: the criteria for sustainable building and construction products needs to be coordinated, the information about the chemical content of products must be improved and we must take into account the impact of products throughout their whole life cycle in order to make the right decisions in terms of sustainability.

Read the entire debate article in “Aktuell Hållbarhet”
(Note that the article is only available in Swedish).