Portal:Indicators

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Indicators - towards harmonized building and neighbourhood assessments in Europe

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The CESBA indicators consider the whole life cycling of the building and put the human being in the middle.

An indicator allows describing and evaluating the sustainability of a building. Indicators can be quantitative or qualitative. Different types of indicators get comparable by the process of normalization and by weighting them according to their relevance. Final measurements and verification procedures should be possible at any time.

Within the CESBA framework, common criteria called “Key Performance Indicators” have been identified. Key Performance Indicators intend to be a European common base for building sustainability assessment. Their adoption by the regional or national assessment systems will facilitate the communication between stakeholders and the comparability of performance results. KPI will also support and facilitate the development of future assessment schemes. Reference Performance Indicators have to be taken as a reference in the development of the specific regional assessment tools. The indicators are organized by criteria: Site, process quality, and the three aspects of [sustainability, i.e. environmental quality, social quality and economic quality. The number of indicators to be included in a specific assessment tool depends on its scope. The selection has to guarantee the CESBA principles.

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The CESBA Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPI) intend to be a European common base for building and neighborhood sustainability assessment. Their adoption by different assessment systems can facilitate the communication between stakeholders and the comparability of performance results. KPI can also support and facilitate the development of future assessment schemes. Within the CESBA framework, common criteria called “Key Performance Indicators” are identified. The KPI at European level should be adopted by a high number of building assessment systems and they address the main issues of sustainable building.
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The Key Performance Indicators are continuously developed by CESBA actors. On building scale, the lates Key Performance Indicators are:

  • Nonrenewable primary energy use
  • Primary renewable energy use
  • CO2 emissions
  • Indoor air quality
  • Thermal comfort
  • Building Life Cycle Cost
  • Reused/recycled materials
  • Water consumption
  • Solid waste
  • User involvement
  • Monitoring / optimization of operation


Assessment systems that adopt the CESBA Key Performance Indicators receive the CESBA stamp.

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Top articles

  • CESBA Guide - all you need to know about the CESBA movement
  • CESBA tool indicators: The CESBA tool for assessing the sustainability of public buildings was developed within the project CEC5 and is being tested within the context of model assessments in eight European nations.
  • Bicycle parking: This is one indicator of the CESBA tool that gives an example of which aspects a sustainable assessment system should consider.
  • CESBA Building Signature: This article explains how the performance of different buildings can be easily compared using the KPI.

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Discussion on indicators

The transnational use of the CESBA tool for the assessment of buildings in Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary raised some discussion on the usability of the CESBA tool all over Europe.

Here are some important quotes of the discussion on the CESBA tool indicators:


"Points are only for bus or train transport, why not include tram or subway? We included this in assessment and we suggest to include all kind of public transport" (Czech Chamber of Architects)


"In our practice we are using other standards for calculations" (Building and Civil Engineering Institute ZRMK, Slovenia)


"We propose to raise the upper limit (of the comfort temperature) in summer from 25°C to 27°C in order to consider higher summer temperature in Italy." (City of Udine, Italy)


Also, the Key Performance Indicators need to be discussed.


You are welcomed to login as an CESBA editor and join this important discussion!

Best practice assessments

Sailing Harbour

Bydgoszcz, Poland

PL model-assessment Sailing Harbour in Bydgoszcz.bmp

This hotel and harbour was constructed within the frame of a project covering the revitalization of degraded sports grounds on an island Młyńska in Bydgoszcz city. The designer was appointed by way of the international competition. Financial means for the building came from funds of the City, from national sources and from the European Union. The architecture of the building is innovative of modern style. The building obtained awards in architectural competitions. The building is characterised by low energy consumption for heating purposes. The heating energy comes form natural gas.

In the assessment using the CESBA tool the harbour achieved 696 of 1000 possible.

The evaluation was carried out using the PHPP programme and the Ecosoft programme.

Download model assessment Sailing Harbour Bydgoszcz

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