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Introducing Level(s)


Using existing standards, the Level(s) framework with its indicators provides a common language for building sustainability, which can be used directly on building projects and portfolios, or as a basis for other initiatives, policies, schemes and actions, to include life cycle thinking and circularity.

Level(s) brings minimum numbers of indicators, with maximum leverage to deliver sustainability.

It tracks performance across the various stages of a building project, to give a complete picture throughout the full lifecycle.

Within the Level(s) framework, each indicator is designed to link the individual building’s impact with sustainability priorities at the European level. This allows Level(s) users to focus on a manageable number of essential concepts and indicators that contribute to achieving EU and national environmental policy goals.

The European Green Deal will improve the health, quality of life and wellbeing of all Europeans, and we should all be involved in making it a reality.

Level(s) is an important tool to help architects, builders and public authorities play their role by improving the buildings we live and work in. Level(s) is designed to improve the sustainability of buildings throughout their lifecycle, helping professionals deliver better buildings – while also speeding Europe’s transition towards a more circular economic model.

EU Commissioner for the Environment, Virginius Sinkevicius

The Level(s) framework

Level(s) is an assessment and reporting framework that provides a common language for sustainability performance of buildings. Level(s) promotes lifecycle thinking for buildings and provides a robust approach to measuring and supporting improvement from design to end of life, for both residential buildings and offices.

Level(s) uses core sustainability indicators, tested with and by the building sector, to measure carbon, materials, water, health and comfort, climate change impacts. It takes into account lifecycle costs and value assessments.

Level(s) is open source and freely available to all.

For all those in the sector, the challenges of cost control and environmental gain are met both by the reduction in energy, materials, and water use; and by future-proofing buildings. For those commissioning, designing, or occupying buildings, Level(s) helps them ensure that their high quality, fit-for-purpose buildings meet their cost and environmental objectives.

Infographic Levels


Areas Level(s) covers

Level(s) is divided into three areas, each with its own subject matter and desired outcomes

  • resource use and environmental performance during a building’s lifecycle
  • health and comfort
  • cost, value, and risk

Level(s) main indicators

Each of the three areas has its own set of indicators dealing with a building’s environmental, social, and economic long-term sustainability.

Thematic areasMacro objectivesIndicators
Resource use and environmental performance1. Greenhouse gas emissions along a buildings life cycle1.1 Use stage energy performance (kWh/m2/yr)1.2 Life cycle Global Warming Potential (CO2 eq./m2/yr)  
2. Resource efficient and circular material life cycles2.1 Bill of quantities, materials and lifespans2.2 Construction and Demolition waste2.3 Design for adaptability and renovation2.4 Design for deconstruction
3. Efficient use of water resources3.1 Use stage water consumption (m3/occupant/yr)   
Health and comfort4. Healthy and comfortable spaces4.1 Indoor air quality4.2 Time out of thermal comfort range4.3 Lighting4.4 Acoustics
Cost, value and risk5. Adaption and resilience to climate change5.1 Life cycle tools: scenarios for projected future climatic conditions5.2 Increased risk of extreme weather5.3 Increased risk of flooding 
6. Optimised life cycle cost and value6.1 Life cycle costs (€/m²/yr)6.2 Value creation and risk factors  


Initiatives to help mainstream lifecycle and circularity in the built environment

  1. June 2022

    Green public procurement criteria based on Level(s) for offices and schools – both new built and renovation

  2. 2021
    • Web-based support tool to work with Level(s) and web-based training materials
    • New Public Private Partnership under Horizon Europe
    • Implementation of the “Sustainable Finance – tackling climate change” Delegated Act
  3. 2020
    • Adoption of the “Sustainable Finance – tackling climate change” Delegated Act  
    • Green Deal call under Horizon 2020