1.1 - Background
The Project (or Programme) Sustainability Logbook (PSL) Workbook is the core component of the PSL Toolbox (website), a structured support tool that allows one to define the issues and objectives of sustainable development for a programme or for a building or a facility, or a group of buildings or facilities (a 'built asset' or 'project').
Using the Workbook, the Toolbox's main aim is to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders.
The Workbook is set up and maintained to establish and monitor the issues and objectives throughout the project or programme's lifetime by comparing outcomes with those for regularly updated reference frameworks.
The PSL Toolbox comprises four linked resources.
All who contribute to the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of projects or programmes aim to respecting statutory norms and regulations.
These activities traditionally focus on optimising time, cost and performance. Sustainable development has introduced new requirements that are already to some extent regulated and which encourage stakeholders to undertake specific initiatives going beyond the legal requirements.
Sustainability initiatives are made difficult owing to the proliferation of reference frameworks and the heterogeneous nature of their various methodologies. Moreover, these initiatives should address not only projects - the design and construction (so-called 'new build') or renovation of built assets - but also programmes, notably urban programmes, throughout the life-cycle of their components.
Project or programme
The PSL Toolbox applies equally well to a project (a specific built asset) or to a programme (a coordinated initiative involving a collection of projects or programmes). A project may itself comprise a single built asset such as a building, an industrial facitity, service infrastructure, a development or a group of designated buildings, infrastructure, and physical plant which makes up all or part of the urban environment (for example, a city district or a city block) or is designed to meet a specific urban function (for example, public transport or water supply).
Relationship to certification
The PSL Workbook provides an overview of all the issues stemming from regulations and possible voluntary undertakings. It results in a clear appreciation of the issues, thereby helping in ranking the issues and making the engagement for sustainable development more coherent.
The PSL Toolbox does not replace certification and rating systems. Instead it offers a consolidated and organised overview, bringing forward the most significant considerations.
The PSL Toolbox also allows one to extend considerations, both technical and financial, beyond legal requirements and regulations across some or all dimensions of sustainability with maximum effect and within the scope agreed with the project or programme's senior management.
A voluntary undertaking
A PSL is an entirely voluntary undertaking that testifies to an initiative for global quality in a way that is clearly stated, easily identified, and of value for stakeholders. It is the instrument of choice for coming to grips with the life-cycle cost of the components of a project or programme.
A PSL undertaking is in principle the responsibility of an 'owner' of 'client', or the owner's representative. However, nothing prevents a stakeholder, either current or forthcoming, to propose a PSL to the owner as part, for instance, of the engineering design in a proposal.
1.2 - PSL Workbook
The PSL Toolbox provides a pre-established framework for guiding those responsible for a project or programme: they must make choices within the PSL framework, justify the choices and keep track of the justification.
The main tool is the PSL Workbook, an Excel workbook made up of several worksheets (sometimes called tables or spreadsheets).
The PSL Workbook worksheets correspond to the each of the steps needed to ensure that the PSL process provides the rigour needed to ensure:
- a thorough analysis of the sustainability issues and objectives;
- that an important aspect has not been overlooked;
- flexibility for adapting to any eventuality by directing attention towards the phases, aspects of the project or programme and impacts that are the most relevant for sustainable development.
PSL Workbook worksheets therefore record:
Once established, the PSL Workbook serves as reference document for all phases, from initial planning to construction or rennovation through to completion and maybe an eventual end-of-life phase. The Workbook
The PSL Workbook comprises three worksheets.