The BDM approach (Sustainable Mediterranean Buildings) is a sustainable approach to building project management, designed to support decision makers.
In 2008 EnvirobatBDM, an association of building and planning professionals based in Marseille, decided to create an approach supporting sustainable building design adapted to the Mediterranean context and its specificities, e.g. summer comfort and heat island effect, water management or local materials. The approach also aims to support capacity building of the local industry through feedback on good practices as well as failures.
BDM is a locally focused quality assurance system that uses a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). It represents an alternative to third party certifications, particularly adapted to local markets and short supply chains.
The reference framework is organised in 7 categories: implementation site, energy, water, materials, comfort and health, social and economy, and project management. The framework is regularly revised according to new requirements on sustainable approach. A professional of sustainable building who is trained to the BDM approach carries out the assessment, which follows three main steps: design phase, building phase and operation phase. Throughout the whole process, he is in contact with the EVBDM team. A commission then provides feedback and advice, before awarding the final label (bronze, silver or gold).
The main beneficiaries are project owners (public and private), project managers (architects, consultants, etc.), production companies, manufacturers, material traders and PACA citizens living in these buildings.

Resources needed

Two types of human resources are mobilised in the BDM system: professional volunteers and employees of the association. Four employees organise the workshops, the commissions and the trainings. The volunteers participate in the workshops and are mobilised as members of the commission.

Evidence of success

In 2017, EnvirobatBDM featured:
-over 300 members (for 13,500 jobs) including project owners (public and private), project managers, consultants, production companies, manufacturers and material providers
-over 250 professionals trained to the approach and tool
-over 370 Mediterranean Sustainable Buildings (more than 1 million m² overall)
-an online directory of over 5000 sustainable construction professionals
-demand for the development of a similar approach on urban scale set up in 2016

Difficulties encountered

The main weakness is that this label is not recognized as a standard by the national authorities.

Potential for learning or transfer

The BDM approach offers a methodology for a contextualized supportive system to local development of sustainable buildings. This methodology can be applied in different territories willing to address sustainability issues locally.
This is what is being experimented in the neighboring Occitanie Region, as well as in the Ile-de-France Paris Region which are setting up the same approach inspired by BDM.
Discussions are taking place with some other French regions.
In Europe, thanks to its participation in Interreg projects, contacts have been taken with other European regions that have shown great interest in the approach.
Main institution
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Start Date
January 2008
End Date


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