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Sustainable Construction and Architecture Strategy

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Sustainability in the building process

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Strategic objectives

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Lines of action

Lines of action

In order to achieve the strategic objectives, the EACS has set out 13 general lines of action that run through all of them. These lines of action aim to progress towards more sustainable building models, in response to the strategic objectives already set.

Link: EACS – Strategic Objectives and Lines of Action (File PDF 1.39MB)

Dissemination of knowledge in society on the benefits of sustainable building and urban space.

As has been detected in the diagnosis of the current situation, there is a need to spread a new culture of sustainability of buildings in our society. For this, citizens need to have access to information on the social, economic and environmental benefits provided
by this type of building, creating a global trend that will help in this transition towards a circular construction process and the involvement of all citizens in more sustainable models.

Training of those involved in the building and urban planning process.

In order to implement the changes needed in the construction sector for the transition towards a circular economy in construction, specialised and continuous training will be required for the technical project planners, as well as the rest of the players involved in the building process. This training must take the form of both official teaching and specific courses and sessions.

Promote the use of assessment tools based on LCA.

The life cycle assessment is proposed as the best methodology for evaluating the degree of sustainability of any product, including the whole building process. The EACS will encourage its use, relying on the already-existing standards, which require an analysis compatible with the LCA and offer certifications with valid information for citizens and all those involved in the process.

Implement sustainability and ecodesign in the draft stage of projects.

In the design phase, the project planner must anticipate and plan for all aspects that will contribute to achieving the maximum sustainability standards, guarantee maximum durability of the building and
circularity of the process: passive solutions aimed at reducing energy consumption and demand in the usage phase; decision-making on construction materials and components that minimise the carbon and water footprint; modular construction systems and use of industrialised building components that facilitate the deconstruction and dismantling of the building in such a way that the products can be reused or recycled after their use; design of flexible spaces to allow them to be adapted to future uses.

Availability of more sustainable building materials.

Any improvement in building sustainability, from a life cycle perspective, involves the use of materials with a low environmental footprint during their manufacturing and transportation, greater durability, and the possibility of being reused or recycled, as well as minimising the use of finite resources.
This requires the promotion of Ecolabels and Environmental Product Declarations, and it is essential to have up-to-date and reliable databases that incorporate all
of the environmental characteristics and impacts of the products.

Use of renewable energy in the buildings.

A basic aspect for achieving ever more sustainable buildings is to increase the presence of renewable energies and improve their integration in architecture. The new regulations on self-consumption, the climate conditions of the Region of Murcia and a gradual reduction in the cost of equipment will all promote their installation, especially in the solar energy sector. Furthermore, the use of maximum efficiency energy installations must be encouraged.

Improvement in the management of construction and demolition waste.

Improvement is needed in the management of waste from the building process, by adapting its procedures, placing special emphasis on those that apply to small works. Progress should be made towards ending the waste status for CDW, which will stimulate the creation of a bank of secondary raw materials and encourage an industrial symbiosis with other production sectors.

Update and improvement of construction processes.

One of the conclusions of the diagnosis carried out by the EACS is that the construction process has evolved very little in the last few decades or, at least, it has not evolved as much as those of other production sectors. The objective of this strategy must therefore be to design actions
that help improve the building process, resulting in greater sustainability. Aspects such as the industrialisation, reduction and management of waste generated during the
building process and the opportunities offered by new technologies such as the BIM method and 3D printing, will constitute progress towards more sustainable construction models.

Promotion of collaborative methodologies for project creation and management.

New technologies have provided tools to facilitate collaboration between those working on construction, and are a great help in progressing towards more
circular models in all sectors. The BIM method constitutes in itself a collaborative method for creating and managing projects, which offers more information about the process, promoting participation from all of the necessary actors and joint decision-making, resulting in more sustainable architecture and construction.

Actions led by public administrations as an example and driver of innovation.

Public administrations must play a leading role in this transition towards a circular building process. Their actions must be innovative, set an example, and serve as a guide and model to the private sector. It is a matter of urgency to promote green procurement schemes in which
price is not the principal decision-making criteria in the planning or construction of public buildings.
It is necessary to make progress in the implementation of electronic administration to make it more accessible
to citizens and speed up administrative procedures. Likewise,
multilevel governance schemes in which citizens are given special prominence, as key users
of the urban environments, promote a friendlier and more sustainable model of city.

Promote the culture of maintaining and renovating buildings

Efficiency in the use of resources necessarily involves maintaining them in their value chains for as long as possible. In the case of buildings, it is essential to prolong their useful life, maintaining or improving their energy performance. This is achieved by encouraging
the maintenance of buildings and their fittings throughout their useful life, change of usage, and their renovation at the end of their useful life, and offering existing buildings new opportunities, improving their consumption of resources such as water and energy.

Development of sustainable urban planning models

Urban planning regulations are vital in order to progress towards being a more sustainable city. However, occasionally, they present a barrier for this model of development, making it difficult to introduce more sustainable buildings. An improvement in existing legislation is required, to establish criteria for adapting existing planning to more sustainable urban models, which promote renaturalisation of cities and the application of a
more circular model in the building process.

Promotion of nature-based solutions

The whole sustainable urban model is based on the efficient use of natural resources. The current trend towards renaturalisation of cities includes replacing grey infrastructure with other nature-based ones. This line of action will encourage interventions with these types of
solutions in existing cities, contributing to a less aggressive, friendlier and more pleasant city for citizens.

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