Automation and robotics has been regarded as a leading area of innovation in construction, for the betterment of the industry. Research has been spread out for decades, and new automation and robotics technologies continue to be developed for the general manufacturing industry as well as for the construction industry (Bock and Linner 2015a). In the meantime, the building sector has received increasing attention under the worldwide agenda for sustainable development, since buildings account for more than 30% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and more than 40% of global energy consumptions (Unep 2009). Nevertheless, the development of sustainable buildings (SBs) has experienced problematic implementation on all levels [design, construction, operation, etc. (Pan and Ning 2014)]. Performance gaps, poor operation and management exist to impede the achievement of SBs, requiring advanced technologies and intelligent approaches (Goodier and Pan 2010). Construction automation and robotics has the potential to improve sustainability performance in terms of construction waste reduction, resource saving, workplace safety improvement, intelligent living environment, etc. Recently, the EU, for example, started to initiate and fund projects in which improvements in construction automation and prefabrication shall bring down cost for sustainable, highly energy-efficient components and buildings in order to foster their adoption in Europe in a large scale (BERTIM 2016; ZERO-PLUS 2016). Also, some construction companies already use advanced production technologies to reduce waste and resource consumption (Bock and Linner 2015a), and first approaches are on the way to use automation technology for controlled disassembly of buildings and urban-mining (Lee et al. 2015). However, in general, in the architecture and civil engineering filed, up to date most of the relevant research was focused on the adoption of new approaches and technologies in the operation and maintenance stages (Wood 2011) of buildings (e.g. smart grids, building automation, green building technologies, the use of information technology for maintenance automation, etc.), whilst the potential of automated/robotic technologies to achieve sustainability through the construction stage is a field that needs yet to be analyzed and developed in a comprehensive manner. Activities during the construction stage have significant impacts on SB: (e.g. on various types of pollution, construction waste and resource consumption, work conditions and public welfare, cost efficiency (Akadiri et al. 2012), reusability and flexibility of buildings, etc.) which can be controlled and influenced for better outcomes through automated/robotic technologies. The aim of this paper is to build the basis for the development of a systematic framework and assessment tool for the utilization of automated and robotic construction technologies for achieving SBs. The remainder of the paper is structured as follows. Section 8.2 reviews the state of the art of technology and approaches in construction automation and SB. Based on this, Sect. 8.3 outlines the key dimensions of the framework, and identifies relevant mechanisms and indicators summarized in a framework matrix. Section 8.4 provides a brief outlook on the future work which will detail the indicators, define quantifiable variables, and verify and validate the framework through application in case studies and real world projects.