New ISO standard to help lower carbon footprint of buildings

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released a new standard to help owners, architects, engineers, and any other party involved in the life cycle of a building improve its sustainability.

ISO 20887, Sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – Design for disassembly and adaptability – Principles, requirements and guidance, assists users in two ways: by extending the building’s life through effective adaptability that makes it suitable for another use, and by optimizing its resources at the end of life through effective disassembly, reuse, recycling, and disposal of its various materials.

The result is reduced carbon emissions through optimal use of the building, lower costs through longer lifespan, and better use of resources, and less waste going into landfill, ISO said.

Philippe Osset, chair of the ISO subcommittee that developed the standard, said users get the most benefit from disassembly and adaptability guidance if they consider its integration into the early stages of the building works project.

“This will help them obtain the full potential value of a building throughout its life cycle, from repairs and refurbishments to the reuse, recycling, and appropriate disposal of its components when it is no longer able to be used,” he added. “What is more, this approach is exactly what supports the circular economy, thus contributing to a more sustainable world.”