Construction is the single biggest industry in the developed world, at around 13% of GDP, with arguably the greatest environmental impact. In Northern Europe, people spend over 90% of their time inside. This means that the construction, use and management of buildings have a dramatic impact on both the human and wider environments.
Sustainable construction aims at reducing the environmental impact of a building over its entire lifetime, while optimising its economic viability and the comfort and safety of its occupants.
While standard building practices are guided by short term economic considerations, sustainable construction is based on best practices which emphasise long term affordability, quality and efficiency. At each stage of the life cycle of the building, it increases comfort and quality of life, while decreasing negative environmental impacts and increasing the economic sustainability of the project. A building designed and constructed in a sustainable way minimises the use of water, raw materials, energy, land … over the whole life cycle of the building.