THE RIBA is to judge entrants for this year’s sustainability award, part of the Stirling prize ceremony, against a new energy and emissions declaration scheme designed by Edge Group, an environmental body.

The project was developed in partnership with the RICS, the Sustainability Forum, and European groups involved in developing the Energy Performance in Buildings directive.

Bill Bordass, an environmental buildings expert and director of William Bordass Associates, said that the scheme would help to avoid confusion over which aspects of a building’s carbon dioxide performance were being measured.

He said: “Information on CO2 emissions when a building is in use can be very different from design data. This scheme is more comprehensive than others. It offers the opportunity to develop a closer match between the expectations and outcomes of a building, as it will highlight more areas where emissions can be cut down.”

The scheme is more comprehensive than environmental benchmarks such as BREEAM, as it takes account of CO2 emissions produced by all installations.

The RIBA’s decision to adopt the scheme for its October awards came after Edge Group members self-financed the initiative to push it beyond its research stage.

The original backer, the Carbon Trust, decided in March that it was not prepared to fund the roll-out of the scheme until the ODPM announced its intentions over the European directive.

The Pilkington Energy Efficiency Trust is providing financial aid.