Environmental performance

The environmental performance of construction works is an important benchmark for a structure’s sustainability. The better the structure’s environmental performance, the lower its environmental impact.
According to the Building Decree, calculating environmental performance is mandatory in Civil and Utility Construction (C&U). In civil engineering, clients are increasingly including environmental performance as award criterion in tenders.

Multiple use

The Assessment Method offers the opportunity to calculate the environmental performance of construction works in an unambiguous, verifiable and reproducible way. Various organisations have designated the Assessment Method, including the NMD, as the method for calculating the environmental performance of construction works,
including in:

  • 2012 Building Decree
  • Sustainable procurement of new office buildings
  • Sustainable tenders for civil engineering structures
  • MIA/VAMIL (tax financing regulations)
  • Certification of sustainable real estate according to
    • Municipal Practice Guideline for Buildings (GPR)

The Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) requirements in building regulations, sustainable procurement and certification according to BREEAM and GPR are good ways to stimulate circular construction. The Environmental Performance Assessment Method for Construction Works calculates and clarifies a structure’s environmental impact.

Read more about the NMD and circularity here

Environmental performance calculation

The environmental performance of a structure can be assessed using calculation tools that are validated in advance by Stichting National Environmental Database. Read more here on the Calculation tools page.  The calculation tools use the National Environmental Database, which contains product cards of construction products, building installations and processes with information on environmental impact obtained via a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). You can read more about the Life Cycle Assessment on the environmental data page. 

Environmental impact of energy consumption and material use considered together

Until now, sustainable construction has mainly focused on energy savings in heating and cooling, etc. In most cases, energy-saving measures require the use of more materials and installations. The influence of this material use on a building’s overall environmental impact (environmental impact of energy and material use) mitigates the environmental benefits of the energy-saving measures. It makes sense to minimise this by placing environmental impact of energy and material use under the same heading and optimising the measures in cohesion.