Quantification of environmental and economic impacts for main categories of building labeling schemes

Erkki Seinre*, Jarek Kurnitski, Hendrik Voll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the weighting factors of five building sustainability assessment scheme categories - productivity, energy, water, materials and transport - to be used in Estonia. The method was based on environmental and economic assessment of available design options relevant for each category and transferring all impacts to euros through energy and carbon prices and productivity costs. The productivity category received the highest weighting, 89 or 70% share of the total impact with indoor climate reference class III and class II, respectively. This shows that the productivity effects are not enough recognized in current codes. To assign meaningful weightings for other categories the share of productivity was limited to 50%. The final weightings obtained with Estonian input data were 50% for productivity, 26% for energy, 21% for location, 2% for building materials and 1% for water efficiency. Obtained weighting factors for Estonia conflict quite remarkably with the weights of most well-known building sustainability assessment schemes, BREEAM and LEED, showing the importance of local conditions. Results denote that specific CO2 emissions of energy sources change the importance of categories in a considerable manner. All findings in this study show that local context should be considered when designing a building sustainability assessment scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Assessment category
  • Building sustainability assessment
  • Economic impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Green building
  • Labeling scheme


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantification of environmental and economic impacts for main categories of building labeling schemes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this