As awareness of potential environmental impacts from the production, use and disposal of building products and materials has grown property owners, architects, consultants and others have sought to take a more sustainable approach to the selection and specification of products and materials.
The Future Build assessment methodology developed by Masdar City begins with a supplier or manufacturer completing both a sustainability questionnaire (product environmental, performance and availability factors) and supply chain code of conduct questionnaire (social). Through the questions asked and verification process, the methodology seeks to assess a number of key elements including but not limited to:
- Is the product made with salvaged, recycled or agricultural waste content?
- Is the product available locally?
- Does the product conserve natural resources?
- Does the product avoid toxic materials or emissions?
- Does the product save energy or water?
- Does the product contribute to a safe, healthy indoor environment?
- Does the supplier or manufacturer have in place fair employment practices, safe and healthy work environment, social, ethical and environmental risk management framework, and environmental policy?
The answers are assessed on criteria and weightings based on Masdar City key sustainability performance indicators. The answers provided are considered separately and verified by supporting documentation, site visits, and eco-labels, etc.
A, B and C ratings are then calculated for each section and issued by assessing where the result lies within a certain criteria scoring range. These individual ratings are then translated into a simple summary rating system to help specifiers and users to make a meaningful comparison on a product or material’s environmental, social and economic factors.
A product or material with ‘A’ rating will have better sustainability performance than that of a product or material with ‘B’ rating and a product or material with ‘B’ rating will have better sustainability performance than that of a product or material with ‘C’ rating.
Perceptions regarding best sustainable practice are subject to change as our understanding increases and a clear consensus regarding what is most important and practically achievable emerges based on experience and new technology.
We strongly encourage specifiers and users to ask for Environmental Product Declarations and Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) from suppliers and to use this data to satisfy themselves, that the company takes a responsible attitude to the management of its environmental performance and knows the environmental impacts of its products from the cradle to the grave.