An evaluation of environmental assessment methods

Bahadori-Jahromi, Ali (2012) An evaluation of environmental assessment methods. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 178 (181). pp. 1041-1045.

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After successive global environmental conferences in which national governments
pledged to reduce carbon emissions, there is ever-increasing scrutiny on the construction industry.
This is because the energy used in the production of building materials and subsequently required to
power a completed building form a substantial part of the overall carbon emissions generated by
society. The response from both public and private sector interests around the world has been to
enhance the importance of environmental assessments – both of building methods and the finished
product – almost in inverse proportion to the tolerance for energy waste. The standards required by
individual states vary considerably: part of this is down to local climate and geographical
considerations, but a major consideration is the incentives offered for meeting a given standard.
These consist primarily of tax credits and quality certificates, and the right to promote a building as
“green”, thus improving the reputation of its designers and sales potential for buyers. Some of the
various Assessment organisations around the world have already franchised their standards to other
countries (both government-sponsored and private enterprises) and continue to form partnerships
with each other, usually in the same continent or hemisphere. The principal aim appears to be
expanding the influence of that particular environmental standard. There is the real possibility of
environmental assessment methods in certain countries becoming counter-productive: in the rush to
standardize, actual improvements made possible by new technologies are rendered useless by
political manoeuvring to make a particular standard “the one” to use.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Construction and engineering > Built environment
Construction and engineering > Civil and structural engineering
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 11:53

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