SBToolCZ National Sustainability Assessment Tool

SBToolCZ is Czech method for complex quality assessment of building performance in which the characteristics of the building and its surroundings are evaluated with respect to the sustainable development. Building’s impacts on the environment, social-cultural aspects, functional and technical quality, economic and management issues and location of a building are included in the assessment.

The method contains a set of criteria which is evaluated based on the basic characteristics of the building and its surrounding; and based on this evaluation the building obtain one of the three certificates (bronze, silver or gold).

SBToolCZ provides the tool for the design phase which shows the possibility how to improve the building in the evaluated criteria. The engineers are equipped with a tool which helps them to design the building in a wider context and also assess the affects the building have on its surrounding. The methodology is primarily used for certification purposes, but it can be also used by architects and building designers as a guidance for improvement of the particular building design in line with the principles of sustainable building.

The goals of SBToolCZ:

  • decrease the environmental impacts caused by construction,
  • support of energy efficiency of buildings in accordance with the directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings,
  • support of the creation of a good and healthy indoor environment of the buildings,
  • improvement of the buildings with respect to all aspects included in sustainable construction,
  • provision of the reliable certificate with respect to the principles of sustainable construction,
  • stimulation of demand for the sustainable buildings.

Currently, there are four certification schemes: family houses, residential buildings, office buildings and schools.

SBToolCZ is based on general international scheme SBTool (Sustainable Building Tool) which is developed by International initiative for Sustainable Built Environment ( and which provides national branches with the wide database of the criteria of sustainable construction for localization and usage under a specific condition of participated countries.

SBToolCZ is a result of long-term research of Centre for Integrated Design of Advanced Structures (CIDEAS) at Faculty of Civil Engineering at CTU in Prague. The Tool was created in cooperation with the international organization iiSBE with the support of Czech Sustainable Building Society (CSBS) – iiSBE Czechia and there are also applied findings from the project of the 6. Framework programme EU LEnSE and currently ongoing projects 7. RP Perfection and SuPerBuildings, in which are a significantly involved institutions that are concerned with the development of methods of assessment of buildings such BRE (Great Britain), CSTB (France), BBRI (Belgium), VTT (Finland), and in which is also involved Faculty of Civil Engineering at CTU in Prague.

How does SBToolCZ certify the building?

  • SBToolCZ contains a set of criteria in the field of sustainable construction,
  • each criterion has a scoring system, which is based on many years of research and respect for national customs and Czech legislation,
  • multi-criteria evaluation of the criteria, which is based on a panel of experts,
  • based on the number of points received, the final level of quality is determined.

How to recognize a quality building?

Based on the achieved points, the building is assigned quality certificates, as follows:

  • the building is certified (upon receipt of 0 to 40% of all possible points),
  • bronze quality certificate (40-60%),
  • silver quality certificate (60-80%),
  • gold quality certificate (over 80%).

Who performs the certification?

Since 2012, two certification bodies have been authorized:

  • Technical and Testing Institute of Civil Engineering Prague, sp (TZÚS Praha, sp)
  • Research Institute of Civil Engineering – Certifikační společnost, sro (VÚPS)

National platform SBToolCZ (Národní platforma SBToolCZ)

CTU in Prague, TZÚS Praha, sp and VÚPS jointly established the National Platform SBToolCZ at the end of 2011. The aim is to support sustainable construction in the Czech Republic and the operation, administration and development of the SBToolCZ certification system. CTU in Prague holds the position of a development and training center, TZÚS Praha, sp and VÚPS have the role of certification.

SBToolCZ can be used for certification of schools, apartment buildings, family houses and office buildings, in the case of other typologies, the possibility of pilot certification can be used.

A team of experts from the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague participates in the development of the methodology. The SBToolCZ methodology belongs to the parent system of SBTool methodologies, which is developed by the international non-profit organization International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE). The SBTool methodology is used in many countries around the world and SBTool certification is carried out at the national level in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The iiSBE representative for the Czech Republic is the Czech Society for Sustainable Building Construction based at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University.

Evaluation process

SBToolCZ allows you to start assessing the building from the concept of the project. By confronting the methodology with the concept, it is possible to achieve advantageous optimization of the project so that the resulting building achieves the optimal quality certificate.
In the case of evaluation of the building in the design phase, there is talk of  certification of the building design , after the completion of the construction, the building can then go through the process of  certification of the actual construction .

Which evaluation procedure is chosen depends on the contracting authority of the certification process and the implementation status of the building in question. However, the optimal process is when the contracting authority uses the certification scheme at an early stage of the project so that in order to achieve a certain level of building quality, the required changes can be incorporated leading to a higher evaluation.

You can find more at czech-language SBToolCZ website using Google Translator.