Building sustainability assessment methods (BSAM’s) seek to help project stakeholders understand the predicted and actual sustainability performance of their buildings but are often applied reactively and isolated from project decisions. The last decade has seen BREEAM at the forefront of evolving assessment practice towards a framework approach to help shape project decisions and promote stakeholder learning. The research explores the nature and extent this transition is being realised in practice within four case studies applying BREEAM spanning a fifteen-year period. Process and knowledge mapping techniques are applied to explore the flow of knowledge required to enable sustainable decisions, stimulate the sharing of understanding, mediation of views and to promote learning amongst stakeholders. Evidence suggested that when applied in progressive projects that the flow of knowledge is strongest when supported by sustainability leadership, a framework approach aligned with project management, an improvement and engagement culture and a strategy for promoting knowledge flow. As practice matures care is needed to ensure engagement remains high and stakeholders are not isolated from the flow of knowledge as projects increasingly rely on sustainability advisors thus losing the opportunity to learn and shape decisions.
- sustainability assessment, knowledge management, project management, sustainability leadership