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Issue 2.2

Challenges and Opportunities in Quantifying and Evaluating Building Sustainability

Green building demand in the US has grown over the last decade. Yet the development and implementation of holistic sustainability evaluation metrics that quantify the impacts of more sustainable product selection and building design is still lacking. This study gives an overview of metrics and benchmarks for life cycle building products and whole building sustainability performance evaluations, co-benefits, and trade-offs across sustainability metrics and available software tools for building sustainability analysis in the US; summarizes sustainability analysis frameworks developed by NIST to quantify building sustainability performance in the US; and analyzes a case study showing how to complete an evaluation and interpret results. Although progress has been made in developing data, metrics, and tools to assist US industry stakeholders in making sustainable decisions, additional steps must be taken to accelerate quantification and analysis of sustainable buildings and related products.

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