The paper aims at developing a 'planning grid' to address sustainable social housing interventions. The purpose lies in acquiring integrated competences to support, develop and monitor residential proposals, from the pre-feasibility up to the on-going phase, covering multi-dimensional impacts on housing costs, investment sustainability, energetic performances as well as on the quality-of-life level induced in the neighborhood surroundings.The methodological approach is based on the analysis of 30 tools currently widespread in the international building sector to assess environmental and energetic performances. Among them an in-depth analysis extrapolated 7 main certification protocols (LEED, ITACA, CASAClima, BREEAM, LiderA', Audis, SB100) and selected 132 indicators (out of the total 448), specifically pertaining to social housing.The selected indicators, useful to measure the environmental and energetic performances beyond the minimum mandatory levels requested by the Italian building sector, have been grouped together into new classes and sub-classes. Furthermore, each sub-class has then been analysed according to the macro-categories defined by the CEN TC 350 standard in order to integrate and uniform the check-list of requirements, purposes and goals coming from the different protocols. The synthetic 'planning grid' obtained, covering the whole life-cycle of a social housing intervention, considers, at the same time, the economic, social and environmental impacts on the building and its context, housing costs, life quality and the users' awareness of the housing resources consumption.The study represents a first attempt in the Italian context to organise a grid of fundamental minimum requirements to develop sustainable social housing initiatives. The set of 7 classes of indicators is out of doubt a strategic 'planning grid' useful to guide public and private decision making in defining design and management priorities, also within the field of public announcements.