Widening the Scope and Scale of Sustainability Assessments in Built Environments: From Passive House to Active Neighbourhood

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Abstract

The paper provide an insight into the research conducted by the University of Ljubljana, and the Urban institute of Slovenia committed to the assessment of the efficiency related to the management of local resources at the level of neighbourhoods. The reduction of energy consumption and energy efficient built environments are key objectives of many sustainability agendas which is followed by suitable assessment methods in urban analytics. However, there are two important hesitations occurring: first, traditional assessment methods that focus solely on the energy reduction and efficiency are often too narrow in their analysis and limited in their scope of impact. According to the recent advances in research worldwide, efforts solely related to reduction of energy consumption will unlikely lead to more responsive environments or rise the living quality. Thus, more comprehensive methodologies for assessing and monitoring the change and transformation in built environments shall be sought for to reach long-term sustainability. Second, to date, the majority of the evaluation methods - whether focusing to energy consumption or broader sustainability issues - are building- or household- oriented, thus systematically examining separate spatial and social entities, but neglecting the spaces between, the holistic aspect and the community aspect. The research develops structured evaluation model, where two main research pillars are addressed: 1) the development of the structured and modular system of indicators; and 2) the development of the methodology to interpret the resulting values. The paper presents first two stages of the research process and subjects the outcomes to the debate.

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