Software for Assessing the Environmental Impact of Buildings (´Envest´)

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Courtesy of Courtesy of BRE

This paper introduces and explains the concept behind ENVEST, the first UK software tool for estimating the lifecycle environmental impact of buildings. ENVEST is a tool that allows designers to consider the life cycle environmental impact of commercial buildings at the building inception stage. The tool, which has received an enthusiastic response from building designers, provides a holistic approach to the design by:
  • Helping to optimise the form of the building, for the least environmental impact over the building life cycle.
  • Informing choice about the environmental impacts of the main elements of the building structure.
  • Providing and maintaining reference data acquired from material manufacturers.
  • Aiding designers to balance the environmental impact of the energy and water consumed during the operational life of the building, with the choice of building materials.
  • Performing comparisons of various building schemes.

Environmental impacts may be measured in UK Ecopoints. This weighting scheme relates the impact of the building design to the impact of one UK citizen over 1 year. The scheme was developed with DETR funding through a consensus building exercise conducted with representatives of the UK construction industry.


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