An operational tool for building sustainability assessment

(Nanowerk News) A new version of SméO, the tool specifically developed for assessing the sustainability of construction projects in Switzerland, is available now. Through a partnership with the City of Lausanne, the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST) contributed to the research phase, which led to these recent evolutions. The inputs concerned more specifically the integration of new modules in relation with the concept of the "2000 Watt Society" and to calculations of the project’s financial viability.
SméO is a sustainability assessment tool for construction projects developed by the Canton of Vaud and the City of Lausanne. During the last two years, a new version has been developed to improve the services offered to the 3’000 current users. The new version enables now to compare the conformity of projects with energy targets corresponding to the objectives of the "2’000 Watt Society" (pdf) and the quantitative evaluation of the financial viability (pdf). Various improvements also seek a more transparent and easier use of the various features.
The Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST) contributed to this update effort through the contribution of Maria Gracia Riera Pérez, PhD student at the laboratory, whose research focuses on the integration of sustainability into the urban renewal process at the neighborhood level.
In order to support decision making at early stages of a building project, the tool now allows generating default values for the various items of energy consumption: embodied energy, operation energy and mobility energy. Targets are consistent with those developed by the SIA within the 2040 SIA technical specifications entitled "SIA route for energy efficiency."
As far as the financial viability is concerned, SméO now allows to fix targets for projects and to monitor their achievement during the various development phases. It is possible to assess projects with one or more allocations and intended for sale or for rent.
Source: EPFL
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