Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 61–87 | Cite as

Social criteria of sustainable development in relation to green building assessment tools

  • Jubril Olakitan AtandaEmail author
  • Ayşe Öztürk


The social criteria of sustainable development, with a focus on green building assessment tool, have remained underexplored. Moreover, a large number of green building assessment tools and social sustainability documentations have been developed and have had a direct impact on social criteria issues, but there seems to be a substantial gap in the study of social criteria in green building assessment tools. The present study aimed at introducing the subject area supported by categories to monitor social criteria in building assessment tool. In light of this argument, this paper, through analysis of frequency data and results of studies, aims to identify some potential factors that will impact building practitioners toward making the right decision for selecting and implementing social criteria in green building assessment tools. In order to organize this paper, it adopts an analytic approach where social criteria would be interpreted in a new position. The aim is to identify social criteria of sustainable development to assist building practitioners in order to assess the building project and embed them toward building assessment tool to achieve sustainable development goal.


Social criteria Building assessment tools Sustainable development Indicators Social sustainability 


  1. Ahman, H. (2013). Social sustainability- society at the intersection of development and maintenance. Local Environment,18(10), 1153–1166.Google Scholar
  2. Ameen, R. M., Mourshed, M., & Li, H. (2015). A critical review of environmental assessment tools for sustainable urban design. Environmental Impact Assessment Review,55, 110–125.Google Scholar
  3. Awadh, O. (2017). Sustainability and green building rating systems: LEED, BREEAM, GSAS and Estidama critical analysis. Journal of Building Engineering,11, 25–29.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, E., & Jahn, T. (1999). Sustainability and the social sciences. New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  5. Berardi, U. (2011). Beyond sustainability assessment systems: Upgrading topics by enlarging the scale of assessment. SUSB,2(4), 276–282.Google Scholar
  6. Berardi, U. (2013). Sustainability assessment of urban communities through rating systems. Environmental Development Sustainability,15, 1573–1591.Google Scholar
  7. Bernardi, E., Carlucci, S., Cornaro, C., & Bohne, R. (2017). An analysis of the most adopted rating systems for assessing the environmental impact of buildings. Sustainability,9(7), 1226.Google Scholar
  8. Biart, M. (2002). Social sustainability as part of the social agenda of the European community. In T. Ritt (Ed.), Soziale Nachhaltigkeit: Von der Umweltpolitik zur Nachhaltigkeit? (pp. 5–10). Arbeiterkammer Wien, Informationen zur Umweltpolitik 149, Wien. Available at
  9. Bostrom, M. A. (2012). missing pillar? Challenges in theorizing and practicing social sustainability: Introductory article in the special issue. Sustainability,8, 3–14.Google Scholar
  10. Boulding, K. E. (1985). The world as a total system. Beverly Hills, California, USA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. BREEAM. (2014). BREEAM UK new construction non-domestic buildings technical manual 2014. SD5076 – Issue: 5.0. Accessed 6 October 2017.Google Scholar
  12. BREEAM. (2016). BREEAM international new construction 2016, technical manual SD233—Issue: 1.0. Dublin: BRE Global Ltd.Google Scholar
  13. CASBEE. (2016). CASBEE brochure. Institute of Building Environment and Energy Conservation (IBEC). Retrieved July, 2017, from Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  14. Casula Vifell, A., & Soneryd, L. (2012). Organizing matters: How “the social dimension” gets lost in sustainability projects. Sustainable Development,20(1), 18–27.Google Scholar
  15. Chan, E., & Lee, K. (2008). Critical factors for improving social sustainability of urban renewal projects. Social Indicators Research,85(2), 243–256.Google Scholar
  16. Chiu, R. L. H. (2003). Social sustainability, sustainable development and housing development: The experience of Hong Kong. In R. Forrest & J. Lee (Eds.), Housing and social change: East-west perspectives (pp. 221–239). Florence, USA: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Colantonio, A. (2008). Social sustainability: A review and critique of traditional versus emerging theme and assessment method. Oxford, UK: Oxford Brookes University.Google Scholar
  18. Colantonio, A. (2009). Social sustainability: A review and critique of traditional versus emerging themes and assessment methods. In: M. Horner et al. (Ed.), SUE-Mot conference 2009: Second international conference on whole life urban sustainability and its assessment: Conference proceedings (p. 865). Loughborough: Loughborough University.Google Scholar
  19. Colantonio, A., & Dixon, T. (2011). Urban regeneration: Delivering social sustainability. Urban Regeneration & Social Sustainability: Best Practice from European Cities, 54–79.Google Scholar
  20. Cole, R. J. (1999). Building environmental assessment methods: Clarifying intentions. Building Research and Information,27(4/5), 230–246.Google Scholar
  21. Cole, R. J. (2005). Building environmental assessment methods: Redefining intentions, In Proceedings of the 2005 world sustainable building conference, Tokyo (pp. 1934–1939).Google Scholar
  22. Commission of the European Communities. (2001). A sustainable Europe for a better world: A European union strategy for sustainable development. Communication from the Commission (Commission’s proposal to the Gothenburg European Council). COM (2001) 264 final.
  23. Cuthill, M. (2009). Strengthening the social in sustainable development: Developing a conceptual framework for social sustain-ability in a rapid urban growth region in Australia. Sustainable Development,18(6), 362–373.Google Scholar
  24. Davoodi, S., Fallah, H., & Aliabadi, M. (2014). Determination of affective critrions on social sustainability in architectural design. In Current trends in technology and science. 8th SAS Tech 2014 symposium on advances in science & technology-commission-IV. Iran.Google Scholar
  25. Dempsey, N., Bramley, G., Power, S., & Brown, C. (2009). The social dimension of sustainable development: Defining urban social sustainability. Sustainable Development,19, 289–300.Google Scholar
  26. Dempsey, N., Bramley, G., Powers, S., & Brown, C. (2011). The social dimension of sustainable development: Defining urban social sustainability. Sustainable Development,19(5), 289–300.Google Scholar
  27. DETR. (2000). By design: Urban design in the planning system: Towards better practice. London: Thomas Telford.Google Scholar
  28. Eizenberg, E., & Jabareen, Y. (2017). Social sustainability: A new conceptual framework. Sustainability,9(1), 68.Google Scholar
  29. Elkington, J. (1997). Cannibals with forks—Triple bottom line of 21st century business. Stoney Creek, CT: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Empacher, C., & Wehling, P. (1999). Indikatoren Sozialer Nachhaltigkeit. Grundlagen und Konkretisierungen. In Institut fUr sozial-okologische Forschung (ISOE) (Ed.), ISOE Discussion Papers 13, Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  31. Endo, J., Murakami, S., & Ikaga, T. (2007). Application of a building environmental assessment, CASBEE, and its influence on the building market. Retreived from on 5th of June 2017.
  32. Enyedi, G. (2002). Social sustainability of large cities. Ekistics,69(412–414), 142–144.Google Scholar
  33. Epstein, M. (2008). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental, and economic impacts. San Francisco: Greenleaf.Google Scholar
  34. Eurostat. (2007). Measuring progress towards a more sustainable Europe: 2007 monitoring report of the eu sustainable development strategy. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  35. Gibberd, J. (2002). The sustainable building assessment tool, the built environment professionals conference, 1–3 May. Johannesburg.Google Scholar
  36. Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). (2009a). Green star overview, certification. [Online] Available: Green Building Council of Australia. Sydney, Australia. 2009. Accessed 6 October 2017.
  37. Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). (2009b). Green star rating tools. Web page on the GBCA Website. Updated June 16, 2009. Green Building Council of Australia. Sydney, Australia. 2009. [Online] Available: August 6, 2012.
  38. GSAS. (2017). Gulf organization for research and development, GSAS technical guide 2017, Issue 2, 2017. Reteievd July, 2017,
  39. Harmon, J., Bucy, F., Nickbarg, S., Rao, G., & Wirtenber, J. (2009). In J. Wirtenberg, W. Russell, & D. Lipsky (Eds.), The sustainable enterprise field book, (89–115). New York: Greenleaf Publishing.Google Scholar
  40. Harris, J. M., Timothy, A. W., Kevin, P. G., & Neva, R. G. (Eds.). (2001). A survey of sustainable development: Social and economic dimensions (Vol. 6). Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  41. Holmberg, J. (1992). Making development sustainable: Redefining institutions policy and economics. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  42. Jaeger, C., Tàbara, J. D., & Jaeger, J. (2011). European research on sustainable development: Volume 1: Transformative science approaches for sustainability (Vol. 1). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  43. Komeily, A., & Srinivasan, R. S. (2015). A need for balanced approach to neighborhood sustainability assessments: A critical review and analysis. Sustainable Cities and Society,18, 32–43.Google Scholar
  44. Kopfmüller, L. et al. (2001). Nachhaltige Entwicklung Integrativ Betrachtet. Konstitutive Elemente, Regeln, Indikatoren, Edition Sigma, Berlin.Google Scholar
  45. Larsson, N. (2007). Rating systems and SBTool—The international initiative for a sustainable built environment. Retrieved from Accessed October 6, 2017.
  46. LEED. (2013). LEED reference guide for building design and construction 2013 edition, leadership in energy and environmental design program. Washington, USA: US Green Building Council.Google Scholar
  47. LEED. (2016). LEED v4 for building design and construction (pp. 1–144). Washington, USA: United State Green Building Council.Google Scholar
  48. Lehtonen, M. (2004). The environmental-social interface of sustainable development: Capabilities, social capital, institutions. Ecological Economics,49, 199–214.Google Scholar
  49. Littig, B., & Grießler, E. (2004). Soziale Nachhaltigkeit. Informationen zur Umweltpolitik Nr. 160. Wien: Bundesarbeiterkammer Google Scholar.Google Scholar
  50. Littig, B., & Griessler, E. (2005). Social sustainability: A catchword between political pragmatism and social theory. International Journal of Sustainable Development,8(1–2), 65–79.Google Scholar
  51. Liu, Y., Dijst, M., Geertman, S., & Cui, C. (2017). Social sustainability in an ageing Chinese society: Towards an integrative conceptual framework. Sustainability,9(4), 658.Google Scholar
  52. Loh, J. (Ed.). (2000). The living planet report (p. 1). Gland, Switzerland: WWF.Google Scholar
  53. Lützkendorf, T., & Lorenz, D. (2005). Sustainable building investment: Valuing sustainable buildings through performance assessment. Building Research and Information,33(3), 212–234.Google Scholar
  54. Mckenzie, S. (2004). Social sustainability: Towards some definitions. Magil: Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia.Google Scholar
  55. Murphy, K. (2012). The social pillar of sustainable development: A literature review and framework for policy analysis. Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy,8(1), 15–29.Google Scholar
  56. New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). (2009). Green star New Zealand web site. New Zealand Green Building Council, 2009. Auckland, New Zealand. [Online] Available: August 6, 2012.
  57. Nguyen, B. K., & Altan, H. (2011). Comparative review of five sustainable rating systems. In 2011 international conference on green buildings and sustainable cities, Procedia Engineering (Vol. 21, pp. 376–386).Google Scholar
  58. OECD. (2001). Sustainable development: Critical issues. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  59. Omann, I. & Spangenberg, J. (2002). Assessing social sustain-ability: The social dimension of sustainability in a socio-economic scenario. In Seventh biennial conference of the international society for ecological economics. March 6–9, Sousse, Tunisia.Google Scholar
  60. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2016). Society at a Glance 2016—OECD social indicators. October, 10 2017.
  61. Polèse, M., & Stren, R. E. (2000). The social sustainability of cities: Diversity and the management of change. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  62. Reed, D. (1997). Review brief-structural adjustment, the environment, and sustainable development. Long Range Planning,30(1), 143–144.Google Scholar
  63. Sachs, I. (1999). Social sustainability and whole and whole development: Exploring the dimensions of sustainable development. London: Zed Book.Google Scholar
  64. Saunders, T. (2008). A discussion document comparing international environmental assessment methods for buildings. Watford, United Kingdom: BRE Global.Google Scholar
  65. Savitz, A., & Weber, K. (2006). The triple bottom line: How today’s best-run organizations are achieving economic, social and environmental success—And how you can too. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  66. SBTool | International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment. (2017). Retrieved from Accessed October 6 2017.
  67. Sharifi, A., & Murayama, A. (2013). A critical review of seven selected neighborhood sustainability assessment tools. Environmental Impact Assessment Review,38, 73–87.Google Scholar
  68. Thin, N., Lockhart, C., & Yaron, G. (2002). Conceptualizing socially sustainable development. London: Department for International Development and World Bank.Google Scholar
  69. United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UNCSD). (1996). Indicators for sustainable development, framework and methodology. October, 10 2017.
  70. United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA). (2001). Indicators of sustainable development: Framework and methodologies. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  71. United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA). (2007). Indicators of sustainable development: Guidelines and methodologies. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  72. Vallance, S., Perkin, H., & Dixon, J. (2011). What is a social sustainability? A clarification of concepts Geoforume,42(3), 342–348.Google Scholar
  73. Vavik, T., & Keitsch, M. (2010). Exploring relationships between universal design and social sustainable development: Some methodological aspects to the debate on the sciences of sustainability. Sustainable Development,18(5), 295–305.Google Scholar
  74. Weingaertner, C., & Moberg, Å. (2014). Exploring social sustainability: Learning from perspectives on urban development and companies and products. Sustainable Development,22(2), 122–133.Google Scholar
  75. Woodcraft, S., Hackett, T., & Caistor-Arendar, L. (2011). Design for social sustainability: A framework for creating thriving new communities. Young Foundation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureCyprus International UniversityHaspolat, NicosiaCyprus

Personalised recommendations