CESBA guide

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The CESBA Guide is a joint output of the CEC5 project co-financed under the Central Europe Programme and the CABEE project co-financed under the Alpine Space Programme. Since both the projects share the aim of promoting sustainable building solutions, the mutual co-operation has triggered an extensive engagement of bodies, associations, networks and institutes as to the content of this guide. A wider expert input facilitates the dissemination of this common result not only throughout the Central Europe area but also across the Alpine region area.

One major step forward for the works on this Guide was the common CESBA Sprint Workshop held in Vorarlberg in October 2013. It was hosted by the CABEE project with the expert contribution of CEC5. In the joint CESBA Sprint Workshop, the up-to-then results from both the projects were discussed among 100 experts in six thematic sessions. The key target of the CESBA initiative, which is described in this guide, is to develop a common assessment framework in order to improve the quality and usability of current certification labels.


A guideline for CESBA

The idea toward a better sustainability, improvement of the building standard practices and creation of shared-knowledge networks has been implemented in many projects before, such as: ENERBUILD, IRH-med, OPENHOUSE, SuPerBuildings, to name a few. Yet it was within the CEC5 and CABEE partnership that this common framework has been finally given structure to and has been launched under the name of CESBA (Common European Sustainable Building Assessment).


The CESBA guide is the first output of the CESBA initiative, achieved through the activities carried out in eight EU projects. It is a guideline proposing a first set of common European key performance indicators, a reference assessment method, and the European signature concept. This guide is going to be presented at the EU Commission in Brussels.

Contents of the CESBA guide

The CESBA guide discusses the core indicators required to measure various qualities of a building or neighbourhood. All aspects along the building cycle are addressed: from planning to construction, from tendering to monitoring. Furthermore, it integrates the certification processes, and the need for training and communication: as incremental sustainability may add construction complexity, all stakeholders along the value chain — including builders, administrations and users — need tools to evaluate both environmental and construction complexity, and need a clear understanding of building rating systems.

The CESBA guide is a start for a European discussion and advocacy of its use. It is a living document, which will be continuously enhanced and adapted to the changing conditions as the network of experts and projects working on it will grow. This CESBA guide will fill the gap in knowledge and understanding, not just for scientists, experts and political decision-makers, but also for the citizens who will be involved in the work towards quality at all levels, including the places where they work and live. All the ongoing results will be continuously published on this CESBA Wiki which serves as the CESBA knowledge hub. CESBA wiki is the reference point for CESBA newcomers and experts.

The European Union goal to reduce the CO2 emissions is a common obligation. As we join forces, devoting our knowledge and time to finding new solutions and strategies together, we will get faster to our common objective. The aims are so ambitious that it is impossible to reach all the planned results solely within a pre-set 3-year-long period of a project implementation. Hence the CESBA initiative with a wide panel of experts and simultaneously running projects was established and it will be promoted further.


Download the CESBA guide