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Sustainability assessment tools' sensitivity and suitability to social housing developments

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Author(s):
Mariana Cristina Adão
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Defense date:
Advisor: Vanessa Gomes da Silva
Abstract

Environmental awareness ¿ particularly related to energy consumption and corresponding greenhouse gases emissions ¿ motivates development of methods and systems for sustainability and environmental assessments in the civil construction sector. Among the existing systems, few seem to be adequate for assessing Social Housing (SH) projects, for not incorporating economic and social aspects to the environmental analyses, or for not including or integrating assessments at the housing unit with site and neighborhood scales. This research aims to verify if existing sustainability assessment tools are adequate and sensitive enough to provide meaningful insights in the Brazilian HS context. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) delineated a theoretical framework based on the most relevant aspects for assessing SH projects, and identified the existing tools that were specifically devised for or applicable to SH developments: the Brazilian `Selo Casa Azul¿, the British `Housing Quality Indicators¿ (HQI) and the multinational `Sustainable Building Tool¿ (SBTool). Application to four case studies with different conception principles and constructive characteristics supported analyses of (1) scope completeness relative to the theoretical framework defined by the SLR, and assessment approach (adequacy); and (2) their ability to capture and differentiate distinct performance levels (sensitivity). As a result, Casa Azul and HQI do not consider several important aspects and have prescriptive scopes, and HQI assessment procedure and results presentation increase that tool¿s sensitivity. On its turn, SBTool¿s combination of scope completeness with adjustability to suit the assessment context increases sensibility. Such customization involves highly complex aspects that demand in depth understanding of the assessed subject. If properly done, such adaptation increases information quality to support performance interpretation and corresponding decision-making (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/11291-4 - Adequacy and sensitivity of existing sustainability assessment methods to social housing in Brazil
Grantee:Mariana Cristina Adão
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master