Environmental Assessment Tools are framework assessment tools, usually used to understand the environmental sustainability of buildings.
Further information on environmental assessment tools can be found on Module 3 of the Green Recovery and Reconstruction Toolkit.
Tools from the commercial sector
Many countries have developed commercially available systems such as:
Other countries are developing similar systems based on these tools. For instance the Vietnam Green Building Council is developing LOTUS, based on the above tools. For more information about other Green Building Councils (GBC) go to the World Green Building Council website.
Tools from the development sector
It is true the above tools can be applied to development contexts. However, they often need refining and do not include aspects that would be pertinent in a development context such as social development and local income generation. Two tools that have been developed to meet this need are:
- ASPIRE, developed between Arup International Development and Engineers Against Poverty; and
- Sustainable Building Assessment Method, developed by the Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancy for Development.
Both ASPIRE and SBAM include enviro-technical, social and economic aspects of a construction project and produce circular output graphs to allow for easy reference. SBAM, however, is free to use whereas APIRE must be hired or purchased.
Tools from the humanitarian sector
In order to understand the impact that a humanitarian project could have, a number of environmental assessment tools have been developed: