The EU has asked the European standardisation organisation CEN to develop a common European methodology for assessing sustainability of construction works.
Today, the series consist of ten European standards and technical reports (CEN, 2012) – probably with more to come. The standards are voluntary, but created on a mandate given from the Commission; the methodologies are expected to become mandatory.
The standards fulfil the general principles for LCA (see section 6.1) and sustainability, described in international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 (CEN, 2006a; ISO, 2006b) and by UNEP and SETAC (UNEP, 2009; EPEA, 2014)
All major private scheme operators have declared that they will follow the principles of these standards or at least acknowledge data derived from applying the methodology (EPEA, 2014).
EN 15643-1 to 4 describes the framework for the methodology, which is a modular system.
A full sustainability assessment of a building requires investigation into its environmental, social and economic performance at all stages of its life cycle. The life cycle stages are divided into “before use”, and “EOL”.