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Level(s) in action


A project team decides which objectives to focus on, which indicators to work with and finally, at what level. Level(s) can be applied at each stage of a building´s life cycle:

  • Setting objectives at concept stage
  • Assess performance at design and construction
  • Follow up after completion
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Level 1 – Conceptual design Early stage qualitative assessments and reporting on the concepts that the chosen indicators will cover. It provides a simple structure that can be presented to clients to prioritize attention on sustainability aspects.
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Level 2 – Detailed design and construction Quantitative assessment of the designed performance. Allowing comparison between different design options and monitoring of the construction according to standardized units and methods.
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Level 3 – As-built and in-use Monitoring and surveying of activity both on the construction site and of the completed building and its first occupants. Level 3 helps the entire team understand actual building performance and identify lessons learned from the design to inform and improve future projects.

Let’s apply what we know…

With an understanding of macro-objectives and indicators, we can assess each stage of the building process.

First we will apply one indicator ‘1.1 Use stage energy performance’ to each level.

Level1. Conceptual design.  Level 2. Detailed design and construction. Level 3. As-built and in-use.
Levels in action_1


Levels in action_2


Levels in action_3


Qualitative assessments and reporting on the concepts

  This level is for those users who would like to:

  • Understand the energy needs associated with the type of building they are working on, and
  • Know where they can focus attention to reduce the total primary energy use associated with the building’s delivered energy needs during the use stage.

  This include a checklist to inform on design energy concepts.

An intermediate level, quantitative assessment

  This level is for those users who are at the stage of needing to calculate the energy needs and primary energy use of a building for the purpose of design comparisons, building permitting or tendering.

  This could for example include an energy simulation.




Monitoring and surveying of activity

  This level is for those users who would like to:

  • Collect metered data to understand the energy needs associated with the building. 
  • Carry out testing of the building in use to identify any performance issues with the building fabric and technical services.

  This could include an energy meter that measures real time energy consumption.

 As you have seen, an indicator can be easily integrated into each level of the building process to provide practical guidance.

Here you can see how the remaining 15 indicators can be applied to each stage of a building´s life cycle:

Useful reading

The following publication will help you understand how the Level(s) common language framework can complement and support sustainability certification schemes for buildings in the EU.

Level(s), A common language for building assessment