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Sustainability Checklist - How Green is Your Building?


It is now universally accepted that the natural environment, the worlds resources and the environmental stability are under threat from our demands upon them. Unless significant reduction in the depletion of natural resources and the pollution of existing resources is effectively introduced, the environment enjoyed today will not be available for future generations.

The worlds leaders approached the problem on a global basis at the Rio and Kyoto conferences and set an agenda of objectives for change over future years to reduce the adverse effects of our lifestyle on the environment to create a sustainable environment.

The UK Governments four broad objectives for sustainable development are:

  • Social progress, which meets the needs of everyone
  • Effective protection of the environment
  • Prudent use of natural resources
  • High stable levels of economic growth and employment

The global and national objectives cannot be achieved without a local commitment from not only Local Authorities, but also from individuals. From Rio to Nottingham the Local Agenda 21 policies are attempting to address Green Issues.

Sustainability has been defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Sustainability Checklist is a checklist for sustainable design that can be applied to developments from house extensions to business parks. It is a self-assessment process, which can be completed easily by any applicant, developer, architect/designer or builder to establish how sustainable their development is and hopefully raise awareness of how it can be improved.

There is no obligation to complete the assessment. However, the information may assist in assessing your planning application.

The checklist will help to raise awareness of the contribution we can make towards protecting the environment and creating a sustainable future for our communities. The results will also help us monitor our progress in the future.

The assessment takes the form of a series of questions that initially require a tick in a box response. Further supporting evidence or information is then required for each question.

In most cases the three boxes to each question represent increasing levels of design commitment to sustainability and may suggest how the design can be improved.

Sustainable Construction - Useful Organisations and Contacts

Our grateful thanks to Nottingham City Council for designing the Sustainability Checklist.