Domain 4- Performance Based Built Environment
State of Art





Urban Approaches
Desirable Features
Urban Regeneration


International State of Art

The International State of the Art Report is an important external deliverable under the PeBBu Work-plan to be a complete expose on the topic of Built Environment.  It will have to be built upon a multitude of original reports from members of the PeBBu Network and where necessary beyond.


bulletTo define the concept of performance based building in the context of the urban environment.
bulletTo identify possible areas of contribution to society’s value of the urban environment from this approach.
bulletTo review existing research and expertise in all parts of the world in each of the contributing areas to PBBE
bulletTo develop a research agenda based on the values that this contribution could make to society and its needs.


The first step is to define the scope via a web based survey of the members using the Delphi technique of continuous refinement.  This will inform the first workshop where the goal will be to bring together the relevant inputs to the scope of the area and to discuss the integration issues between the different fields.

The outcome of the first workshop is a definition of the scope of the integration problem.  The second workshop will aim to develop a framework and specification of the tools of integration that will inform the community of the scope of future research goals.

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Sustainable Development


The quest towards sustainable development in our societies puts the spotlight on the built environment and the construction industry. Construction, buildings and infrastructure are the main consumers of resources: materials and energy. In the European Union, buildings require more than 40 % of the total energy consumption and the construction sector is estimated to generate approximately 40 % of the man-made waste.

[Sjöström, C., 1998, CIB World Congress, Construction and the Environment, Väg- och Vattenbyggaren, Nr 3, Stockholm]

Environmental burdens caused by construction can be minimized and construction technology can be used to remedy the environment. Sustainable construction is the response of the building sector to the challenge of sustainable development.

[Huovila, P., Koskela, L. 1998, Contribution of The Principles of Lean Construction To Meet The Challenges of Sustainable Development, Proceedings of IGLC-6 6th Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 13th -15th August, 1998]


Sustainable development has several definitions, such as:

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising that ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

[The Brundtland Report, WCED, 1987]

Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems.

[Caring for the Earth, IUCN/UNEP, 1991]

Development that delivers basic environmental, social and economic services to all residences of a community without threatening the viability of natural, built and social systems upon which the delivery of those systems depends.

[International Council for local Environmental Initiatives, 1996]

Determined to promote economic and social progress for their peoples, taking into account the principle of sustainable development and within the context of the accomplishment of the international market and of reinforced cohesion and environmental protection, and to implement policies ensuring that advances in economic integration are accompanied by parallel progress in other fields.

[Amsterdam Treaty, 1997]

It is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come.

[Consultation paper 3 on a UK strategy for sustainable construction, 1998].

Sustainable objectives often emphasize environmental burdens. However, environmental issues often cannot be tackled if the problem of poverty remains unsolved separates different economic spheres when identifying major challenges to sustainability.

[Hart, S., 1997, Beyond Greening, Harvard Business Review, January-February]

Major challenges to sustainability (Hart 1997)






Greenhouse gases

Use of toxic materials

Contaminated sites

Scarcity of materials

Insufficient reuse and recycling

Urban and minority unemployment


Industrial emissions

Contaminated water

Lack of sewage treatment

Overexploitation of renewable resources

Overuse of water for irrigation

Migration to cities

Lack of skilled workers

Income inequality


Dung and wood burning

Lack of sanitation

Ecosystem destruction due to development



Soil loss

Population growth

Low status of women



The difference between the market economies, transition economies and developing economies influences its implementation priorities. The mature economies pay attention to a sustainable building stock either by new construction or by refurbishment. In the transition economies the emphasis is on new developments reducing the housing shortage and improving their transportation networks. In the developing economies the social agenda (e.g., job creation) is much higher on the agenda than environmental concerns.

In addition to the “common” sustainability criteria, such as energy efficiency, non-toxics or recyclability many other important sustainable measures can be listed. Some examples of that kind are: preserving property value, flexibility, long service life, use of local resources, information dissemination, use of by-products, immaterial services, mobility consideration or supporting local economy.

The building industry has to adapt to these new and emerging construction markets, which have environmental and social dimensions. Construction businesses are expected to integrate into, and consider more fully, the issues valued by others at national, regional and community level where the driving forces will be a mixture of political, social and market forces, requiring products which respond to genuine needs and concerns.

[Bourdeau, L., Huovila, P., Lanting, R. & Gilham, A., 1998, Sustainable Development and the Future of Construction, A comparison of visions from various countries, CIB Report 225, Rotterdam]



Sustainable Development

Related Web Sites

Related Web Sites


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