Building Environmental Performance Open Dialogue
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  Life cycle costing and service life planning

Responsible construction practices
This sustainability issue focuses on construction sites which are managed in an environmentally and socially considerate, responsible and accountable manner including the following sustainability features:

Legally harvested and traded timber

All timber-based products used during construction are 'Legally harvested and traded timber'.

National health and safety legislation

All national health and safety legislation and regulations for construction sites considered and implemented during:

  • Asset design; minimize health and safety risks
  • Pre-construction work planning and organization; collate health and safety information from all relevant stakeholders
  • Site set-up; implement health and safety features
  • Construction; manage, monitor health and safety of construction site staff
Environmental management

Principal contractor operates an Environmental Management System (EMS) covering their main operations. EMS should be third party certified ISO 14001/EMAS or equivalent.

Best practice pollution prevention policies and procedures on site are implemented, demonstrable by a filled in checklist (table 1 below). Compliance may be demonstrated showing at least the intent of each section (i.e. air quality) is met.

Sustainability champion (construction)

Appointed to monitor the project and ensure ongoing compliance with the relevant sustainability performance and process criteria, during construction, handover and close out work stages. Ideally the sustainability champion will visit the site regularly and require action to be taken to address shortcomings in compliance. Champion will report at relevant project team meetings, including identifying potential areas of non-compliance and any action needed to mitigate.

Sustainability target should form a requirement of the principal contractor's contract.

Post construction this sustainability feature may be satisfied via the sustainability assessor's assessment final report.

Considerate construction

Regarding single dwellings:

  • Specific individual is responsible for implementing and maintaining the following considerate construction practices throughout the works stage:
    • Keeping site clean and tidy
    • Reducing impacts on the community through community and neighbour engagement
    • Continuous improvements in safety
    • Commitments to ensure fair treatment of workers
    • Suitable site facilities for operatives and visitors
  • For further improvement contractor achieves six items in each of the four sections within the Checklist on table 2 below.
For all other building types, sustainability features can be satisfied as follows:
  • Principal contractor achieves six items in each of the four sections within Checklist on table 2 below
  • To improve further principal contractor may achieve all items in each of the four sections within Checklist on table 2 below provided the contractor's performance has been confirmed by independent assessment and verification.
Monitoring site impact

Specific individual with appropriate authority should report energy use, water consumption and transport data resulting from all on site processes (and dedicated off-site monitoring) throughout the program.

Monitoring - Utility consumption

Energy consumption

Record data of the site energy consumption due to use of construction plant, equipment (mobile and fixed) and site accommodation.

Report the total carbon dioxide emissions from the construction process via a sustainability scheme assessment scoring and reporting tool (scheme's performance benchmarking).

Water consumption

Record data on the constructor's potable water consumption due to use of construction plant, equipment (mobile and fixed) and site accommodation.

Use the total net water consumption from the collated data report, i.e. input consumption minus any recycled water use from the construction process in a sustainability scheme assessment scoring and reporting tool (for scheme's performance benchmarking).

Monitoring - Transport of construction materials and waste

Record transport data due to delivery of construction materials to site and construction waste from site covering:

  • Transport of materials from the factory gate to the development site, including any transport, intermediate storage and distribution
  • Scope of monitoring should cover the following:
    • Materials of major building elements, including insulation materials
    • Ground works and landscaping materials
  • Transport of construction waste from construction gate to waste disposal processing or the recovery center gate. Scope of this monitoring should cover construction waste groups outlined in the project's waste management plan
Use the collated data, reporting separately for materials and waste the total transport-related carbon emissions via a sustainability scheme assessment scoring and reporting tool (for scheme's performance benchmarking).

Exemplary sustainability level features

Principal contractor complies with a sustainability scheme 'compliant' organizational, local or national considerate construction scheme and their performance against the scheme confirmed by independent verification.

Additional information

Table 1: Checklist of actions to minimize air & water pollution at the construction stage




Noise & vibration

Minimize noise & vibration impact in local community


Plan noisiest activities at time causing least disturbance to local community


Use noise control devices, e.g. temporary noise


Use barriers / deflectors for impact and blasting activities


Avoid/minimize transport through community areas

Air quality

Prevent dust and other air pollution on site and in local community

Table 2: Safe and adequate access requirements checklist



Evidence of reference

Validation & justification


Appropriate and safe access to the site is provided. This must include as a minimum:

  • Provision of parking on or near to the site OR a public transport node with an average frequency under 30 minutes within 500m OR a dedicated transport service to a major public transport node provided by the contractor
  • Good lighting AND adequate barriers AND uniform surfaces, i.e. no trip hazards outside the site boundary
  • All accesses to be clean and mud free
  • Hoarding or scaffolding, which forms part of, or is external to the site boundary, to be well lit at night AND scaffold netting is in place and well maintained

See copy of the parking plan and check transport and dedicated service timetables and view other facilities are on site.


Appropriate and safe access on site is provided. This must include as a minimum:

  • Footpaths marked with ramps and signs
  • Pathways wide enough for wheelchairs
  • Accessibility of all areas by visually or hearing impaired visitors
  • All site hazards advertised at the site entrance

View on site and check that the list of hazards is complete


Site entrances and exits are clearly marked for visitors and delivery drivers to see

View on site


Site reception is clearly signposted OR all visitors are escorted to the reception

Check on arrival for the signs OR see a copy of the induction procedure


The post box has been placed on the pavement to avoid the postman from entering the site

View on site


Where there are minority communities speaking a different language in the area or working on site, notices are printed in the common local language

Check the area and check that the staff register for a minority culture community. Where this is present on- or off-site, check for signs in the community's language


All road signs or names can be seen OR when a road sign or name is obstructed a replacement has been erected

View on site


Where a site is in an area with severe congestion it has a delivery point remote from the site; deliveries are then made in smaller vehicles and timed to cause the least inconvenience

View procedures on site


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