In December 2019 the RIBA launched its Sustainable Outcomes Guide. The guide details metrics, targets and goals for eight sustainable outcomes and correspond to the key UN Sustainable Development Goals.


The RIBA sustainable outcomes are:


  1. Net zero operational carbon
  2. Net zero embodied carbon
  3. Sustainable water cycle
  4. Sustainable connectivity and transport
  5. Sustainable land use and bio-diversity
  6. Good health and wellbeing
  7. Sustainable communities and social value
  8. Sustainable life cycle cost


What’s different about these outcomes is the variety of metrics. The inclusion of social and economic sustainability outcomes is the first I am aware of under a single banner.


Most (but not all) of the outcomes are also covered under the BREEAM 2018 manual proving how well informed this methodology is.


One growing area of interest is the measurement and prediction of operational energy/carbon. Not to be confused with anything shown in the SBEM output report brukl, this metric is largely based upon the calculation methodology in CIBSE Guide TM54. There is also an option to use the Passivhaus PHPP tool, although this is unlikely to apply in most scenarios.


Here at GreenBuild we offer Operational Energy calculations based upon TM54 and will go into more depth on this topic in a future blog post.



When using these outcomes, what must be considered early is the availability of information.


Even if a building is being assessed against the BREEAM standard it is not guaranteed that all this information will be available. Calculating these metrics does require additional work and therefore will have fees associated with it. Although, each has tangible and quantifiable benefits.


The RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge has seen hundreds of architectural practices pledging to the scheme. A sign that anybody not showing an in depth understanding of these issues will be left behind.


Link to the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide:


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Written by Daryl Fisher | Director