Open House is a collaborative EU-funded research project with the aim of developing an European building sustainability assessment methodology. Openness and transparency is a key theme for the project; the resulting methodology will be openly available.
While other assessment methods do exist, most of these are proprietary. To many users, the methodologies used are ‘black boxes’, providing an environmental rating, but not full clarity on the methodologies used. There are also significant differences in the approaches of these tools, even within Europe.
As a second generation system, the Open House methodology provides a holistic evaluation considering the life cycle of a building and covering all relevant fields of sustainability. Open House indicators are multi-dimensional, encompassing environmental, economic, socio-cultural / functional quality, technical, process and location quality.
Arup are providing specialist water and waste water input, which takes water security/availability into account as well embedding the Arup Water Hierarchy as a key environmental sustainability indicator.
At the half way point of the project, a first draft of the assessment methodology has been established and this is being trialled on 68 case study buildings across Europe including two of Arup’s offices; 8 Fitzroy Street in London and Scotstoun House in Edinburgh.
To find out more about Open House, visit www.openhouse-fp7.eu.