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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/6125

Title: Environmental labelling of buildings and construction products: lessons for South Africa from global trends
Authors: Ampofo-Anti, NL
Keywords: Building environmental labelling
Environmental labelling
Construction
Building environmental assessment
Life Cycle Assessment
LCA
Human environment
IAQ certification
Buildings
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Publisher: Alive2green
Citation: Ampofo-Anti, NL. Environmental labelling of buildings and construction products: lessons for South Africa from global trends. International Green Building Conference and Exhibition: Future Trends and Issues Impacting on the Built Environment, Sandton, South Africa, 25-26 July 2012
Series/Report no.: Workflow;9603
Abstract: Environmental labelling enables consumers to use their purchasing choices to protect the environment. The concluding declarations of the first three Earth Summits however caution that to truly serve this purpose, environmental labelling should be informed by life cycle considerations. Environmental labelling in construction takes the form of whole building rating systems and construction product certification programmes. The First Generation building rating systems have to date experienced much success in certifying green buildings. However, their future is at risk because the prescriptive standards they rely on need updating to address a number of shortcomings and limitations. These include the inability to assess the absolute environmental burdens of a building. The voluntary, market-based approach also prevents green buildings from garnering the critical mass necessary to contribute to national sustainable development targets. Second Generation building rating systems are leveraging LCA principles to move from prescriptive towards performance-based standards. This new approach responds to and complements emerging policy trends towards “green” building regulations and mandatory energy labelling of buildings. Construction product certification aims to minimise the outdoor environmental effects of buildings; and create a healthier indoor environment for building occupants. Under regulatory pressure, both the ISO 14020 and IAQ performance certification programmes are shifting from voluntary towards mandatory, minimum requirement. Post-1994 environmental policy presupposes that South African industry will leverage voluntary, LCA-based environmental labelling standards to assume greater responsibility for environmental protection. However, the construction industry response is largely rooted in prescriptive standards. As a performance-based standard which will soon be subject to mandatory implementation, SANS 204 Energy Efficiency in Buildings does not constitute a sufficient basis for sustainable building. Other, enforceable measures would be needed to consolidate the gains already made – these should be informed by life cycle considerations and must include environmental labelling regulations, sustainable building standards, IAQ performance standards and a construction-specific chemicals policy.
Description: International Green Building Conference and Exhibition: Future Trends and Issues Impacting on the Built Environment, Sandton, South Africa, 25-26 July 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/6125
Appears in Collections:Building science and technology
Environmental management
Climate change
Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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