Building Sustainability Toolkit

Creating sustainable buildings is about harnessing environmental, social and economic forces for competitive and financial advantage. Increasingly, sustainability issues are featuring in global and local legislation, company reporting and consumer choices like eco-tourism and ethical investment. Successful businesses in the 21st century will include a high proportion that aim to profit from these trends.
Thirdwave's Building Sustainably Toolkit assesses building developments for their sustainability value. The assessments run across about 60 sustainability performance criteria. These criteria are grouped into eight categories including initial strategic planning and site selection, energy and resource conservation and the maintainability and upgradeability of the building.

To contextualise the tools, Thirdwave establishes operating frameworks through scoping studies of relevant policy documents, knowledge of location and reference to best practice. The assessment is therefore customised to time, place and participants and the framework is easily updated for future guidance.

Results are presented graphically, illustrating:

  • Overall performance
  • Performance in each of the criteria
  • Performance in each of the 8 main categories
  • Performance in a range of themes that recur throughout the analysis, such as energy in use,
    thermal performance and toxicity.
The Building Sustainably Toolkit software can be used to assess a project at any stage from building and planning through to operations and refurbishment. To achieve best value, the earlier the tool is used the better, as many of the costs and environmental impacts of the operations are determined by choices made at the pre-design stage.

Thirdwave has developed separate tools for the sustainability assessments of housing, hotels, offices, leisure facilities and retail developments.