The Institution commissioned research examining how structural impacts are addressed, how structural engineers can contribute to assessments through sustainable construction and whether the correct incentives are provided to make building structure more sustainable.
There are a number of common topics used in rating schemes for the sustainability assessment of structures, including:
- reuse of buildings, structure and elements
- recycled content
- Portland cement reduction
- responsible sourcing (including certified timber)
- local sourcing
- life cycle assessment
- efficiency and future proofing
- health implications
Structural engineers can play an active role delivering a sustainable building by supporting architectural, acoustic, thermal, lighting and construction performance.
Achieving a sustainable building requires a coordinated team, with early input from all parties. It is estimated that, in an active supporting role, the indirect influence of the structural engineer could support up to 50% of the green building rating score.
Rating schemes are a common client requirement and the Institution published research into their effectiveness in 2012.
The World Green Building Council provides overview, links and information about most green building rating schemes in the world.