Development of a sustainability rating tool for heritage buildings: future implications

Abobakr Al-Sakkaf, Tarek Zayed, Ashutosh Bagchi, Sherif Mahmoud, David Pickup

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Heritage buildings are significant for their historical and architectural value. Due to the lack of rating systems designed specifically for heritage buildings, it is essential to develop and validate a heritage building assessment tool that considers its specific characteristics. The purpose of this study is to provide an extensive review of research on Sustainability of Heritage Buildings (SHBs). Design/methodology/approach: This review highlights methodologies applied in SHBs research and analyzes major global rating systems in order to identify their deficiencies for SHBs assessment. A systematic review was employed and articles from the top 10 high impact factor journals were studied. Twelve major global rating systems and their assessment criteria were identified. Findings: Significant variability was observed among the assessment tools since each tool assesses several criteria, factors and indicators that fit its local context. Part of this variability can also be seen in the rating scales, threshold values and accreditation titles. As a result, the final sustainability ranking for a given building cannot be compared among the 12 rating systems. Most importantly, these systems fail to analyze some factors such as energy that are considered important with respect to heritage building assessment. Originality/value: Since no specific rating system could be identified in this review as the most appropriate for heritage buildings, a new sustainability assessment tool that is specific to heritage buildings should be developed. Such a tool will enable facility managers to evaluate and improve the sustainability of their heritage buildings while preserving them.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Architectural heritage
  • Heritage buildings
  • Rating system
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a sustainability rating tool for heritage buildings: future implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this