The construction industry is a key sector in many national economies, and often the largest employer. In addition to the construction of buildings and infrastructure, it provides services and products for export worldwide. ISO standards provide the sector with solutions for all aspects of its activity, from the traditional to the innovative, and they include tools to tackle new challenges such as pollution and energy performance.

The new brochure underlines how ISO standards tackle the challenges of sustainable development at the same time as providing requirements for technical and functional performance.

Implementing International Standards in construction not only provides technical advantages, but also social, economic and environmental gains for industry, regulators and consumers.

The brochure underlines the benefits of ISO’s consensus-based approach, and outlines ISO’s solutions for good business practice, optimal management of resources and limiting impacts on the environment.

Out of 19 400 standards from almost all sectors of business and technology, more than a hundred come from ISO technical committee ISO/TC 59, Buildings and civil engineering works. In addition, many other ISO technical committees have developed standards and related technical documents on construction products.

The brochure highlights the wide range of topics addressed by ISO's construction standards, including: terminology; requirements for joints, tolerances and fit; information technology in building and civil engineering processes; geometric requirements for buildings, building elements and components including modular construction, and performance requirements.

ISO standards also address vital and topical issues such as accessibility, responding to the UN’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights which states that everyone has the right to equal access to public services in his or her country.

When developing standards, ISO involves all stakeholders, from architects to designers, engineers, owners, product manufacturers, regulators, policy makers and consumers. Working through its network of national members, its standards are based on the foremost expertise in the world and disseminate it to both developed and developing countries.

In the future, the construction sector will have to deal with issues such as climate change and its impact on buildings, as well as the energy efficiency of buildings, thus requiring standards for accurate measurement methods for the thermal properties of buildings and building products. The development of standards related to the delivery process of buildings and civil engineering works is also one of the next steps.

The brochure, ISO & construction, published in English and French, is available free of charge from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department. It can also be obtained from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details).