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Czech Technical University in Prague together with Technical and Testing Institute of Construction Prague and certification company Research Institute of Civil Engineering have been operating, managing and developing the SBToolCZ tool for assessing the sustainability of buildings since 2011. Its users will have access to an updated version from 2023, which will offer improved features and will be in line with the current legislative, environmental and social situation.

The revision of the national sustainable building assessment methodology SBToolCZ was completed in 2022. The aim was, among other things, to unify the criteria and to systematise them across the assessed types of office, residential, family and school buildings. Most recently, it will also be complemented by a methodology for the assessment of tertiary education buildings (e.g. colleges, universities, etc.) leading to a new version of the methodology in practice.

"The inspection included the development of the methodology and its digitalization with the possibility of importing data from the BIM model and their automatic processing. The next step for the first months of 2023 is the launch of the online calculator, a tool for evaluation using SBToolCZ," says the representative of the national platform, Prof. Petr Hájek from Faculty of Civil Engineering and University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings of Czech Technical University in Prague.

Compared to foreign methodologies for assessing the sustainability of buildings, the SBToolCZ tool is fully adapted to the conditions in the Czech Republic. It is the only one that respects the local climatic, construction and legislative conditions and also shows lower costs of certification processing. Naturally, the text is in the Czech language. At the same time, it is based on the internationally recognised SBTool framework, assesses similar criteria as other foreign methodologies and is also in line with new tools for assessing the sustainability of buildings or, for example, the intentions of the Green Deal and the European Union Taxonomy.

A credible certificate increases the market value of buildings and directly reduces their operating costs through its requirements. For contracting authorities, it is conclusive evidence of the consideration of environmental and social aspects as required by Public Procurement Act No. 134/2016 Coll., as amended, effective from 1 October 2016. The certification process also includes appropriate optimization of client requirements and the promotion of a healthy indoor environment.

CTU in Prague is the development and training centre, while TZÚS Praha and VÚPS act as independent certification bodies. The certified methodology is based on three basic pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and economic and management) and is complemented by a fourth pillar (location). The assessment method differs for each building typology, each of which has a specific set of criteria.