Designing this building... and the next

Lifecycle Building Challenge

Rating Systems

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Green building rating systems around the globe have incorporated Design for Flexibility/Adaptability and Design for Disassembly language. The following links provide information on rating systems that incorporate lifecycle building.

Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)

Collaborative for High Performance Schools

Leadership, Education, and Innovation: LE13.2 Design for Adaptability, Durability and Disassembly

LE3.2: Design for Adaptability, Durability and Disassembly

Intent: Reduce building material waste and promote local building material reuse during construction, renovation, repurposing of space, and disassembly. Provide spaces that are adaptable, durable, and flexible. Drive innovation in designing schools to support disassembly and reuse.

Construction, renovation and demolition waste comprises 30-40% of all solid waste in the US each year (22% in California), and 60% of the material resources that flow through the US economy annually (excluding food and fuel) are consumed by the built environment. (U.S. EPA and USGS) These figures are of particular concern because the average age of a school building in the U.S. is 40 years, and most schools are typically demolished by the age of 60 (NCER, 2000). In addition, school owners may spend up to three times the cost of the original construction in repairs, renovations and demolition over a school’s lifespan. (Brand, 1994) Designing for adaptability and disassembly will allow schools to economically act as stocks of materials for future buildings with minimal to zero loss of the materials during renovations and disassembly. As a by-product of this design concept, schools will be more adaptable and will extend the lives of their materials through whole building flexibility.


LEI3.2.1, Provide the school owner, builder and records management systems with a Disassembly Plan that has the method of disassembly of major systems during renovations and end-of-life, and the properties of major materials and components. At minimum the plan should include:

LEI3.2.2, Design major systems with differing functions and lifespans to promote disentanglement. Comply with two of the following to receive credit:

Goal: Encourage innovation in high performance school design. LEI3.2.3 Provide access to and types of connections that allow disassembly. To receive credit choose one major system (roof or HVAC) and provide:


LEI3.2.1, Develop a comprehensive Disassembly Plan that incorporates design for disassembly, durability, and adaptability principles. Even the best design for adaptability and disassembly will not be realized if the building constructors, operators, and deconstructors do not understand how to implement the disassembly processes as they were intended. Therefore, an important element of the design process is the documentation and dissemination of the building’s design intent per its materials, components, connections and form. The Disassembly Plan should also be updated to mitigate the deconstructor’s need to “start from scratch” to understand the building. Include in specifications and contractor agreement language that stipulates development of as-built drawings and materials inventory of major systems. A successful Disassembly Plan should include:


Green Guide for Health Care (v. 2.2)

Green Guide for Health Care

Materials & Resources: 7.1 Resource Use: Design for Flexibility


Conserve resources associated with the construction and management of buildings by designing for durability, flexibility and ease of future adaptation, and maximizing life of constituent components and assemblies.

Health Issues

Health care facilities undergo substantial renovation and remodeling to accommodate changing technologies and regulatory requirements, thereby generating significant quantities of construction-related wastes, and subjecting building occupants to noise, dust, and other health impacting disruptions associated with construction. By designing durable, flexible, adaptive, generic spaces, buildings can better respond to changes imposed by new equipment and infrastructure requirements with minimum waste and maintain a healthier environment during renovations.

Credit Goals

Increase building flexibility and ease of adaptive reuse over the life of the structure by employing three (3) or more of the following design and/or space planning strategies:

Suggested Documentation

Compile evidence of strategies employed to improve ease of adaptive reuse of the structure in future
expansion, renovations, including floor plans, building sections, or modular technology technical data.

Reference Standards

There is no reference standard for this credit.

Potential Technologies & Strategies

Flexible, adaptable and generic spaces increase building longevity. Strategies for achieving this include:



Green Globes

Greeb Globes

Resources: E.4 - Building durability, adaptability and disassembly


To extend the life of a building and its components, and to conserve resources by minimizing the need to replace materials and assemblies.