A new self-assessment tool will help humanitarian agencies adopt more sustainable reconstruction practices following a natural disaster.
QSAND (Quantifying Sustainability in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters) has been jointly developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and BRE, one of the world’s leading construction and built environment research bodies.
“Promoting sustainable recovery and reconstruction after natural disasters is a common aspiration, but what is the definition of a sustainable approach and how can sustainability be measured?” says Graham Saunders, Head of Shelter and Settlements of IFRC. “QSAND is a much needed tool to benchmark the sustainability of the different elements that comprise a community or settlement. The partnership between IFRC and BRE has been key to the development of QSAND, combining IFRC’s experience and leadership in disaster response and BRE’s expertise in developing and applying the leading construction industry tool to assess building sustainability.”
Users have free access to the QSAND tool which can be downloaded from www.qsand.org. This contains an immediate ‘pre-assessment’ tool for rapid appraisal of the opportunities for sustainable recovery, and a ‘core assessment’ tool for longer term sustainable reconstruction, and ongoing monitoring and appraisal. It is intended for use by humanitarian agencies, donors and other relevant stakeholders operating in the field, at regional, national and international level.
“In developing QSAND alongside IFRC we are building on our 20+ years of research and experience with BREEAM, the world leading sustainable construction toolkit for buildings and communities” says Yetunde Abdul, project manager at BRE. “We are applying our knowledge on how long-term sustainability can be better considered and integrated into the decision-making processes during disaster relief and recovery operations carried out by humanitarian organisations, building on the valuable work that has already been done to improve outcomes.”
QSAND’s development was informed by a steering group comprising the Norwegian Refugee Council, Habitat for Humanity, WWF-US, UN-HABITAT and Oxfam. More information, including access to the online tool, can be found at www.qsand.org
For further information please contact
Linda McKeown, BRE, +44 (0)1923 664569, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or for IFRC, Benoit Carpentier, +41 79 2132413, email@example.com
Notes for Editors
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian organization. The IFRC, together with its 189 member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, reaches 85 million people through disaster response and early recovery programmes. Though well-known for its vital work in emergency and crisis, the IFRC also reaches 97 million people annually through long term and development programmes. As a part of their commitment to sustainable development, the IFRC has engaged with BRE in the creation of an assessment tool to promote sustainable development, which focuses on shelter and settlement in the aftermath of natural disasters www.ifrc.org
- BRE Trust
BRE Trust is the largest UK charity dedicated to research and education in the built environment. It was set up to advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit. The Trust uses all profits made by the BRE Group to fund new research and education programmes and to promote its charitable objectives.www.bretrust.org
- BRE Global
BRE Global Limited (incorporating LPCB & BREEAM) is an independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire, security and sustainability products and services to an international market. BRE Global’s product testing and approvals are carried out by recognised experts in our world renowned testing laboratories. BRE Global Limited is custodian of a number of world leading brands including:
- LPCB, for the approval of fire and security products and services, listed in the Red Books.
- BREEAM, the world’s leading environmental assessment method for buildings, sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de-facto measure of a building’s environmental performance. www.bre.co.uk