This is a summary of the third phase of a BSRIA research programme undertaken with the support of the Construction Sponsorship Directorate of the Department of the Environment and Industry, to produce and subsequently evaluate an environmental code of practice for buildings and their services. Phase I began in 1991 and involved hte production of an interim report - "Building Services and Environmental Issues - The Background" and the "Draft Code". Phase II took place in 1992/3 to test the application of the "Draft Code", and to update and modify it based on its trial implementation. BSRIA's "Environmental Code of Practice for Buildings and their Services" was published in 1994. Phase III, evaluation, led to the production of the case studies described in this report, and appraisals of the financial, environmental and qualitative implications of environmentally responsible building projects, at all stages of the building life cycle, including appraisal of recommendations made in the Code of Practice.
The objective of the research is to identify approaches to reducing the adverse environmental impact of buildings, and to describe and, where possible, quantify actual and potential benefits. The research has highlighted the importance of feedback to the building design process on how good innovative ideas in theory work in practice, how decisions are made, and the value of using the Code of Practice. Background information is contained in a supplementary report. A follow-on project will produce further case studies, with the aim of improving the procedures for information retrieval by promoting formal feedback mechanisms, of keeping the industry informed of beneficial changes and potential hazards, and consolidating information as environmental and financial rules of thumb. A major objective is to improve uptake of the Code and the assessment methods it recommends by improving its accessibility to potential users. The "recommendation boxes", tinted grey, that appear in each case study are taken from the original BSRIA "Environmental Code of Practice for Buildings and their Services".