Sustainable building technologies

Meeting peoples’ needs for housing and other infrastructure in a sustainable way is a priority at national and global levels. The sector is a heavy materials user and waste generator in the construction phase. Homes and other buildings are major energy users and contributors to greenhouse emissions.

Sustainable¹ building/construction technologies aim to achieve customer and business value while minimising life cycle environmental impacts. Sustainable building technologies can include:

  • Low impact planning and whole building design (e.g. location, passive solar)
  • Low impact/eco-efficient materials (e.g. use of recycled materials, sustainably sourced timber)
  • Energy efficient heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting (including microgeneration)
  • Water efficient systems
  • Resource efficient construction, including technologies and skills for waste minimisation.

The need for sustainable solutions to problems in this area presents immense global business opportunities.

1. There is no established definition and the term is used interchangeably with other terms such as ‘green building’. The term is often used to refer to relative materials and energy efficiency in construction and use. A broader definition would consider life cycle environmental, including ecological, as well as social impacts

General information and links

Building Research Establishment (BRE) site: Includes sustainable building/construction initiatives, training and other support and sites for BREEAM and EcoHomes rating schemes.

Campaign Strategy: Links to environmental building websites.

Centre for Alternative Technology: Initiatives and links to environmental building websites.

Green Building Discussion Forum

Green Building Links, sources for green & sustainable building

Green Building Webring: Host for environmental building websites and events.

International Institute for a Sustainable Built Environment and SBIS information database on sustainable building practices around the world.

NBS Green Construction.

Oikos green building source contains information on building energy efficiency and sustainable building construction.

Sustainable Building: Canadian site on sustainable building

Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), numerous reports and papers on sustainable housing and regeneration

UK review of sustainable construction 2006.

UK Office of Government Commerce guideline (2003): Achieving Excellence in Construction Guide 11: Sustainability.

UK-Sweden joint initiative to foster joint projects on the use of environmental technologies in construction.

United Nations Sustainable Building and Construction Initiative.

US Federal Environment Executive site. Provides links to green building and sustainable design sources.


Centre for Design, RMIT (Melbourne): Tools for sustainable building.

GBEN Global Built Environment: Towards an Integrated Approach for Sustainability.

Sustainability Works, an online software package offering an efficient way to deliver sustainable development.

US Department of Energy Sustainable Building Design Guidelines

Whole Building Design Guidelines and links to US green/sustainable building initiatives.

Whole Building Design Guidelines and links to US green/sustainable building initiatives.

Directories of products and suppliers

Abacus Construction Index UK, free searchable directory of 2,000 Architects, engineers and other construction professionals  

BUBL Information Service, a catalogue of internet sources in the construction Industry, including sustainable development sites.

The Building Centre:  Numerous building product and services directories with named personnel.
Building Products Magazine: Online free database of sustainable products & services.

Construction News Databases of Construction Companies and Products, subscription access only.

Construction resources: Materials and systems for sustainable building from Europe’s leading manufacturers.

Eco-Living Directory: Sustainable building products and services.

The Green Directory: Sustainable building products and services.
GreenPro Product Directory.

NGS Database of Sustainable Building Products, Systems & Services

The Sustainable Building Directory: Company/product lists plus related contacts

Sustainable Life, a gateway to product and service information, including the built  environment, towards a sustainable lifestyle 

Towards Sustainability: Sustainability building organisations, directories and journals

Sustainability Works: On-line database covering all aspects of sustainable housing development.

Industry and professional associations
Includes those specifically engaged in sustainable building and those engaged alongside general activities.

Association for Environmentally Conscious Building.  Activities include conferences.

British Earth Sheltering Association: Links to similar eco-building sites

BSRIA-Building Services Research & Information Association: Building services programmes in energy utilisation & management systems,  Web:

Building Controls Industry Association, supports energy efficiency & environmental protection

Buildings Energy Efficiency Federation (BEEF): Coordinating body for energy efficiency industry

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB): Activities include  sustainability & green design conferences Web

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineersrs (CIBSE):  Sustainable/greeen building energy management technologies

Construction Industry Council: Publishes Constructing for Sustainability as well as papers and articles on sustainable development

Construction Products Association, database of 30,000 members involved in sustainable construction work

Federation of Environmental Trade Associations: Environmental control in buildings

Green Register of Construction Professionals:  Numerous seminars and courses on sustainable building and services.

Sustainable Building Network: Virtual support network on sustainable building, based in the Netherlands and operating internationally.

Journals and other publications

The Builder Magazine, McDermott Publishing

Building Magazine, United Business Media.

BSEE - Building Services & Environmental Engineer, Datateam Publishing.

Building for a Future – BFF, The Green Building Press.

Building Products, Metropolis Business Publishing.

Building Research & Information, T and F Informs Ltd.

Construction Industry Times, Mcmillan-Scott plc.

Construction News (CN Construction), Emap Construction

DABS Magazine, MBR Publications.

Engineering Sustainability: Proceedings of the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineering), Thomas Telford Journals.

The Green Building Bible, Green Building Press.

Heating & Ventilating News, Emap Maclaren.

Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing, B&M Publications.

Heating & Ventilating Review, Faversham House Group.

Indoor and Built Environment,  SAGE Publications.

Sustain Magazine, McClelland Publishing. Numerous links to sustainable development websites.

What’s New in Building, United Business Media.


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