|SBToolCZ is a national certification tool for complex buildings in accordance with principles of sustainable construction . SBToolCZ examines and certifies the influence a building has on the environment, its social and cultural aspects, functional and technical quality, economical aspects, management and location of the building. The certification has already found its place on the Czech market – 30 projects are currently registered in the process of certification.
|SBToolCZ SBToolCZ is based on international scheme of SBTool (Sustainable Building Tool) developed by an International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE). This organization offers to national branches an extensive database of criteria of sustainable construction to determine the specific conditions of the participating states. The Czech version of SBTool fully respects the conditions of the Czech building industry and is in accordance with local legal standards. Criteria of the evaluation and their value have been identified by a panel of experts and take into consideration priorities of the Czech Republic. At the same time, the methodology and structure is in accordance with the European standardization, such as European standard CEN/TC 350 (Sustainable Construction) and ISO/TC 59 (Sustainable Building Construction).
The main objectives of the methodology can be summarize as follows:
National SBToolCZ Platform
The founding members of the platform are Faculty of Civil Engineering of Technical University in Prague, Technical and Test Institute for Construction Prague, s.p. and the Research Institute for Buildings – Certification Body, s.r.o. The role of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Prague is the development and educational centre. It develops a methodology and strategies for different types of buildings, takes care of the development, updating and validation of SBToolCZ system.
Certification bodies and the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Prague constitute the National SBToolCZ Platform. It organises educational courses for professionals focused on sustainable construction and complex quality building assessment. Courses are intended not only for people interested in sustainable building but also for those who want to acquire a status of an authorised SBToolCZ professional.
An independent SBToolCZ certification is carried out by two certification bodies – TZÚS Praha, s.p. (Technical and Test Institute for Construction Prague) and VÚPS – Certifikační společnost, s.r.o. (Research Institute for Buildings – Certification Body). Both have long-term experience in the field of testing, certifying and assessing construction products and also in management system certification. National SBToolCZ platform serves as a tool for investors, developers, designers and Professional in the Czech Republic. It can positively influence the quality of the Czech building industry and keep it on the top level of sustainable building trends.
Fig.1 The basic structure of the National Platform SBToolCZ
|The certification process
SBToolCZ allows the start of building assessment with the project concept. Thanks to the confrontation of methodology and project concept, it is possible to achieve effective project optimization so that the building is able to reach the best possible quality certificate. This phase, when the certification authority use the certification scheme at an early stage of the project and with the goal to achieve certain building quality level, leads to minimum additional costs and higher overall quality.
Fig. 2 The importance of the project optimizing and right timing of the beginning of the certification by SBTollCZ methodology.
Description of SBToolCZ methodology
The SBToolCZ methodology is based on a multi-criteria approach, when a set of various criteria enters the evaluation process. The range of criteria differs according to the type of building and assessed phase of life cycle (design, start of operation, operation). The structure of assessed criteria is divided into three basic groups – (E) environmental criteria, (S) social criteria and (C) economy and management. These three criteria are supplemented by a forth group of criteria that assess location of the building. They are assessed and the result is presented, but it does not influence the final quality certificate.
Fig. 3 The structure of criteria within the SBToolCZ methodology (compiled by ).
Each criterion has an algorithm for setting up the indicator value. The value is then normalised (using benchmarks) to a united scale. The SBToolCZ methodology uses a united numerical scale from 0 to + 10 in the following meaning:
Fig. 4 The resulting quality certificates according to total score .
|The tool PreSBToolCZ
The certification process is time-consuming and often not all the data necessary for assessment are available. Because the SBToolCZ methodology tries to optimise and improve the design process (in relation to sustainable construction), a preSBTool software has been invented. During early phases of the design process, PreSBToolCZ in a simplified and rapid form offers basic and preliminary information about the approximate quality level of the building. PreSBTool is based on SBTool methodology, but not all the criteria are evaluated. Usually, the criteria with higher relevance enter into the preliminary evaluation. The evaluation is simplified, compared to SBToolCZ, in order to be able to evaluate the project in phases when not all the relevant information is available. Location is not evaluated.The evaluation is in the form of a simple questionnaire with already given possible answers. In the case of energy balance you need to fill in an amount of energy necessary for year-round operation of the building and choose a relevant energy-carriers.
The achieved result is comprised of the score of individual criterion and an overall score (in methodological scale 0 – 10). For relevant assessment it is necessary to have the full evaluation done (based on SBToolCZ methodology) in order to obtain certification for a building. The output from the preSBTollCZ does not serve as the final building certificate.
PreSBToolCZ has found its use in practice. Many designers use it for preliminary assessment of complex quality of a building and for a brief presentation of sustainability level for investors. It is also possible to use the tool for project optimization. The set of questions can be used as a guide, which shows how the project can be improved in the monitored parameters. The questions can be eventually used as an inspiration for defining the specifications for the design team before the concept creation. PreSBToolCZ also finds its place in architectural competitions, where the criterion of a proposal, with principles of sustainable construction, can be incorporated. The PreSBToolCZ version focused on the civil service is also available online .
SBToolCZ was introduced to the Czech market two years ago and has quickly become a respected certification tool. It shows not only the demand for certification, but also its regular representation in media along with other recognized international methods such as BREEAM, DGNB or LEED. SBToolCZ is currently used for housing and commercial office buildings. There are 30 buildings in the certification process.
Certificates for two buildings, located in the street U Libeňského pivovaru in Prague in the design phase , were issued in April 2012. These buildings are linked to the X-LOFT building, which previously received the silver quality certificate . This building, completed in 2011, has 49 apartments and was optimized to meet requirements in the field of sustainable construction and also take into account the economic parameters (the condition of profitable extra costs). The result was low-energy building, with triple glazed windows, solar collectors and rainwater retention for watering. The option of a heat recovery unit can provide for the individual housing units, but this choice was optional. At the time of certification, the heat recovery unit was ordered for four apartments. After the building approval there were five of them.
Two separate but structurally identical buildings follow the X-LOFT building. These two have also been certified. In this case, the SBToolCZ auditor cooperated with a methodology advisor  from the early phase of the project. That means it was easier to incorporate number of measures leading to better results. This optimization was also easier because of the experience from the neighboring building. Interesting fact is that the clients have low interest in installation of the heat recovery unit. It means that the energy demands of the building can’t be even lower. However, both buildings can reach the criterion of primary energy use from renewable resources over 9 points (one of the best levels).
Palmovka Park II
The evaluation of the design phase is currently in process for the office building Palmovka Park II also in Praha – Libeň. The auditors were invited in the later phase of the project, however this building could get the bronze quality certificate – according to preliminary results. The focus on quality of interior space and user comfort supports such results. These features are provided mainly thanks to thoughtful organization of the building, limited window area of the building envelope, using quality materials and equipment with sophisticated technology. Based on the investors decision the building will be evaluated in both steps. The building design is now in the process of quality certification and then the final certification will verify the attained complex quality level.
 ČVUT V PRAZE, Fakulta stavební. Národní nástroj pro certifikaci kvality budov SBToolCZ [online]. 2010 [cit. 2012-04-12]. Available on www.sbtool.cz.
 ČVUT V PRAZE, Fakulta stavební. Envimat [online]. Praha, 2010 [cit. 2012-01-10]. Available on www.envimat.cz.
 Collective of authors. Metodika SBToolCZ - manuál hodnocení administrativních budov ve fázi návrhu. Praha, 2011. ISBN 978-80-01-04865-8.
 VONKA, M. & kolektiv. Český nástroj pro certifikaci kvality budov SBToolCZ a první certifikovaná budova X-LOFT. Konstrukce. ann. 10, č. 1, s. 14-18. ISSN 1213-8762.
 Palmer Capital. Projekt Úvaly-Hostín bude usilovat o bronzový certifikát SBToolCZ [online]. 2012 [cit. 2012-04-12]. Available on stavba.tzb-info.cz.
 Česká rada pro šetrné budovy, o.s. SBToolCZ pro administrativní budovy [online]. Praha, 2012 [cit. 2012-04-20]. Available on www.czgbc.org/dotaznik.
Ing. Martin Vonka, Ph.D., Ing. Antonín Lupíšek
Fakulta stavební ČVUT v Praze, Národní platforma SBToolCZ
Ing. Milan Pálka, Ing. Jan Tripes
TZÚS Praha, s.p., Národní platforma SBToolCZ
Ing. Lubomír Keim, CSc.
VÚPS – Certifikační společnost, s.r.o., Národní platforma SBToolCZ
Full version of the article was published in Energy Self-Sufficient Buildings magazine 2/2012.
|SBToolCZ is the result of long-term research of the Centre for Integrated Design of Advanced Structures (CIDEAS) at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of Technical University in Prague in the years 2005-2011, in close cooperation with international organization iiSBE and with support of the Czech Society for Sustainable Buildings (CSBS) – iiSBE Czech.