Portal:CESBA Approach

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CESBA Approach

  • 9 Principles
  • CESBA Cycle
  • CESBA Tools
  • Sprint Method
  • Stakeholder agreements

9 Principles

These are the nine principles of CESBA.

All CESBA indicators, tools, outputs, and services follow these principles.

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The CESBA cycle conveys the concept of CESBA that is defined by harmonized indicators, tools and services usable during the whole building life cycle and an ongoing dialogue with society.

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These are the CESBA Tools:

  • CESBA Generic framework
  • CESBA Passport
  • CESBA Decision making process
  • CESBA Award
  • CESBA Frontrunner approach
  • CESBA Generic Building-Tool GBT
  • CESBA Generic Neighborhood-Tool GBT
  • CESBA Generic City-Tool GBT
  • CESBA Generic Territory-Tool STT

Sprint Method

The sprint method is used especially for innovation and development processes. The project helps to build efficient task forces with the participation of users, developers and decision makers working together in a strict and efficient manner. Besides, the Sprint method supports mutual understanding and working together.

The goal is to get useful and approved results in a very short time. The method makes it possible that the developers and users are working shoulder on shoulder for a defined amount of days. In addition, during the common working days on a common place the participants are going to build a community, a more and more common understanding for the needs and the methods which are required from the target groups.

CESBA-SPRINT-Workshops are regularly arranged in order to develop the CESBA initiative further and to integrate new and existing actors.

Stakeholder agreements

Stakeholder final agreements Sprint Workshop, Malta in November 2018

Together we build on the previous work done in CESBA.


  • Latest challenges in the built environment & pooling resources: Create a positive professional image for public servants that have sustainability at heart. The social dimension is not given sufficient attention. Unstable economic conditions are not conducive to investments into energy efficiency in buildings. Further most programs in cities are tailored for middle class people with a stable income and well-to-do public administrations. CESBA shall dedicate attention to the professional identities of the key person involved in the building refurbishments in local administrations, financial institutions, energy service companies (ESCOs) and reinforce the sensibility and consideration for the social dimension of actions and measures.
  • Capacity to act: Involve young generation for long-lasting results and transfer of knowledge. Foster a participatory approach of stakeholders through gamification and co-creation. Adopt a parallel “bottom-up” and top-down governance. CESBA shall pay attention to people real needs. CESBA shall structurally involve stakeholders and shall provide tailored information to end-users.
  • Tools & indicators: their usage and necessary adaptations, energy renovation in buildings: We need to harmonize buildings, urban and territorial assessment tools. Currently there are some known problems such as lack of data, incentives, interoperability, common reporting formats, etc. We need to continue collaboration between us to solve this problem in the forthcoming years. Spatial planning could be a cross-sector facilitation and implementation of horizontal and vertical integration of political programs and recommendations. An improvement of the capacity to act, continuous adaptations and improvements are needed.
  • CESBA City Network: The strategy and operational activities of CESBA must be redefined. CESBA shall focus on the collaboration with existing networks. In CESBA we provide for existing city-networks designed tools, trainings and guidance, implementation models, assessment methodologies and contextualization to its members. The next step is to choose the suitable city network according to CESBA principles. The success of this collaboration will depend on the development of new CESBA tools as well as the execution of new European projects that allow financing the use and dissemination its services.

On CESBA Sprint Workshop:

  • Travel time to the meeting place / hotel should be worth it. It is very important, that all participants stay in the same hotel or very close by. A peaceful place in the countryside surrounded with interesting places to visit is preferred. The CESBA Sprint Workshop shall start either with a common breakfast or a common lunch and end with common lunch or dinner.
  • The day shall be structured in discussions and exchange in teams, 2 common plenary presentations and common networking activities. 10 to 15 people per the team including 2 moderators are a perfect size to work with. Team sessions shall last 4,5 to 5 hours per day (2 sessions with 2,5 hours, or 3 with 1,5 hours). It is important to have time for common social activities and individual exchanges. At the end at least 2,5 hour of common time shall be reserved for finalizing the final statement and next steps.
  • Out-door team discussions in the nature are important in many ways – they foster collaboration, inspire for new ideas and give access to the meeting place. Further role plays, games and others shall foster participation interaction.)
  • The organizers shall be flexible on participation if some applicants do not show up (participant lists and participation in teams, cost packages for common activities, program itself.) Badges for the participants first name are important for communication among the partners. A person familiar with the local situation, places and habits is necessary. Further organizers shall be prepared for a good documentation of results (flipchart, posters, video, and booklet). Food shall meet different needs of participants (allergies). Good preparation and organization of the event are key to success.

Stakeholder final agreements Sprint Workshop, Bezau in September 2017

CESBA – a collective initiative for a new culture of built environment in Europe

Together we build on the previous work done in CESBA. This includes the 9 CESBA principles, the Final Agreements of 2013 and 2014.


  • CESBA shall promote and facilitate the use and implementation of community based assessment tools, participative guarantee system in public policies, public incentives, green public procurements and spatial developments.
  • Key elements of harmonizing assessment schemes are “Spatial Scale (building, neighborhood, city, territory)”, Time-Scale, vs “PSC-Principles (Process Qualities, Sustainability Qualities, Capacity to act)”.
  • CESBA gains political strength by creating tangible results focused on user groups as a base for further communication.
  • CESBA see itself in the framework of circular economy. Circular public procurement has to be planned.
  • Main partners / target groups and channels of communication for CESBA are professionals, owners of assessment tools, and public authorities which will be addressed with a multilevel communication approach (on- and offline). A communication concept will be developed.
  • CESBA takes into account various local context and helps each community to do its best regarding its economic, social, environmental and cultural positions.Transnational partnerships help to develop a common language and understanding of good European practice. Best practices show progress and innovation to local authorities and users.
  • CESBA has gained a lot of content, methods and connections. CESBA has to capitalize and to go a next step in business development and strategic communication. CESBA has to adapt its communication design to lower entrance barriers for more participation.
  • Next steps for CESBA are task forces dealing with: 1. Harmonization of assessment systems 2. Business models for the capitalization of CESBA-Results / Business models on financing schemes for CESBA 3. Roll out and communication strategy
  • A CESBA award for sustainable neighborhoods based on KPIs shall be established on European level in collaboration with other networks.
  • The series of CESBA Sprint Workshops shall continue. The next CESBA Sprint Workshop shall take place in Malta from 7th-9th of November 2018.

On assessment systems:

  • CESBA supports transnational KPIs, reaching from buildings to neighborhoods to municipalities to territories to administrative regions to nations to Europe. KPIs are suitable to share objectives, to connect local actions to wider goals and programs. KPIs help to visualize the progress and make impact visible. KPIs help to learn, compare, monitor, assess progress and exemplify best practices. KPIs are user oriented. KPIs guide green public procurement, public incentives and policies.
  • CESBA supports transnational generic frameworks for the development of local harmonized assessment tools.

On Policy:

  • The implementation of assessment tools in public policies are limited by the risks of too high complexity, restrictions, and costs. Assessment tools in public policies shall be open and encourage new ideas to meet the need. Assessments are essential instruments to gain a good building culture and a better built environment.
  • CESBA supports the evaluation of effectiveness and quality of local policies and processes in terms of participation and governance (capacity to act).
  • CESBA supports implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies.
  • The involvement of users is the base. The drivers for user involvement are awareness raising, services, incentives, and legislation.

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Stakeholder final agreements Sprint Workshop, Turin in July 2014

CESBA – a collective initiative for a new culture of built environment in Europe

  • Together we support the work done, summarized in the CESBA guide and the CESBA wiki.
  • CESBA sees the diversity of cultural backgrounds, technical fields of working and levels of power as opportunities to discuss and create best solutions for the built environment.
  • CESBA capitalizes on European projects, offers European knowledge on built environment assessment to the public in English and in local languages. CESBA disseminates best practices, improves existing methods and generates new practices.
  • CESBA fosters local economy while keeping the global perspective in mind. Competition and cooperation are valued equally. CESBA creates a pre-market environment for a new culture of built environment. CESBA supports cost savings and fosters the creation of added values according to the goals of CESBA.
  • CESBA encourages and promotes the use of traditional, locally available resources and products as an important factor driver for local economy. By this, the built environment assessment scheme can create an added value to the aspects of sustainable development. It should integrate external costs of the processes and materials.
  • CESBA supports coordinated actions in the field of built environment, fosters transnational cooperation and supports new common project activities.
  • CESBA has different levels of commitment: CESBA Experts and CESBA Ambassadors are named in the CESBA Wiki. CESBA Editors continuously write on the CESBA Wiki and CESBA Experts keep it updated.
  • From today on an open thematic group on harmonisation of assessment methods and systems for buildings shall work under the umbrella of CESBA. Other thematic groups will follow. CESBA supports thematic groups over different EU-projects.
  • CESBA Wiki is the core of the knowledge hub. CESBA acts as a communication and action platform for its actors. CESBA actively communicates the news and main results in the field of the sustainable built environment in Europe. New social media and real time communication media are used.
  • CESBA is an ongoing process. CESBA will be strengthened within the upcoming years, through CESBA workshops, CESBA thematic groups, and common new projects.

Stakeholder final agreements Sprint Workshop, Hochhäderich in October 2013

CESBA – a collective initiative for a new culture of built environment in Europe

  • Together we enhance the quality of life by supporting the development of sustainable built environment.
  • CESBA is in line with EU initiatives and adopts and promotes national and European processes and standards at building and settlement level.
  • CESBA is a bottom-up initiative, which supports the definition of qualities for the whole building life cycle.
  • CESBA’s mass approach and open source method reinforce local and regional accepted standards throughout the different macro regions.
  • CESBA puts the human being in its centre and is in dialogue with society. On regional and local level CESBA focuses on its implementation. On inter-regional level CESBA focuses on the integration of the CESBA approach in the EU-institutions and EU-processes.
  • CESBA offers harmonization among building regulations at EU and national levels leading to considerable simplification within administration procedures and creating a common understanding among the actors.
  • CESBA researches and offers principles to assess building and built environment qualities.
  • CESBA offers a set of key indicators and reference criteria which help to compare different building standards. The usability of current assessment processes will be improved by developing a common framework.
  • CESBA encourages the building users to participate and take on responsibility for the used buildings.
  • CESBA fosters common European education and training standards on key issues of the new building and built environment culture.
  • CESBA is a non-profit initiative without financial interests.
  • CESBA is online with its knowledge hub CESBA wiki