Tackling the sustainability challenges in construction: International Standard just updated

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The construction sector has a huge role to play in making our world sustainable, not only because it represents a large part of our physical environment, but because it is an industry that impacts all areas of society. ISO’s International Standard for sustainability in this sector has just been updated.

From energy use and pollution to providing jobs, homes and infrastructure, the building and civil engineering sector touches all of us and has a significant impact on the sustainable development of our world. Defining just how to integrate sustainability into the industry, however, is no easy task.

ISO 15392, Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – General principles, sets out internationally agreed and recognized principles for achieving sustainability in building and construction. It provides a common language for all stakeholders in the industry, from the designers and manufacturers to regulators and consumers, which can be used as a basis for communication and deriving evaluation criteria.

The standard has just been updated to reflect changes in the industry and ensure it remains relevant for all users.

Philippe Osset, Chair of the ISO subcommittee that developed the standard, said that while concepts related to sustainability are complex and constantly evaluated, ISO 15392 can provide a basis upon which decisions and assessment criteria can be made.

“The sustainable development challenge is a global one, so global solutions, targets and indicators are required,” he said.

“ISO 15392 provides that internationally agreed language and a set of principles upon which strategies and solutions can be built.”

Improvements to the new version include extra information on the general principles, application of the principles as they relate to the three pillars of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) as well as the introduction of new concepts such as resilience.

ISO 15392 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 59, Buildings and civil engineering works, subcommittee SC 17, Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works, the secretariat of which is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France. It can be purchased by your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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