The new ISO/TS 21929-2, “Sustainability in building construction—Sustainability indicators—Part 2: Framework for the development of indicators for civil engineering works,” establishes core impacts for assessing sustainability performance in new or existing non-building construction, factoring design, construction, operation, maintenance, refurbishment, and end of service life. The standard is the latest green construction related effort from International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, whose reporting and documentation guidelines back product category rules and environmental product declarations emanating from cement, concrete and other heavy building material interests.
Civil works have what ISO officials note are significant environmental, economic and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable development—and project principals need to develop appropriate strategies to address them. The sustainability issues of concern range from use of energy resources to job creation and cultural heritage. ISO/TS 21929-2 describes how to use sustainability indicators with regard to civil engineering works and lays down rules for establishing a system of indicators. It also explains its relation to ISO 14000 on environmental management, ISO 26000 on social responsibility and ISO 15392 for sustainability in building construction. The civil engineering works standard can be ordered at www.iso.org.