Environmental Certification Systems for Buildings
Buildings exert an extensive direct and indirect impact on the environment. Their construction, occupancy, renovation, change of purpose, as well as demolition require energy, water and raw materials, generates waste and causes emission of potentially harmful substance to the atmosphere. We support leading environmental certification systems for buildings, minimising the impact of building investments on the natural environment.
A short guide to popular certification systems of buildings
Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method originated in the United Kingdom in 1990, where it is now a voluntary initiative in the private sector and mandatory in the public sector. The rates are awarded according to the sustainable approach to energy and water consumption, indoor environment, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology, management processes and the life cycle of buildings. The total of 109 rates are available as part of the certification system, out of which less than 30 mean pass, 45 – good, 55 – very good, 70 – excellent and 85 – outstanding.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design started in 1993 in the USA and has gained worldwide popularity. It evaluates new, existing, commercial and residential real estate and involves energy, atmosphere, water consumption efficiency, materials, resources and the quality of indoor environment. As part of the certification, a building may be awarded the maximum of 100 points: over 40 points – brown certificate, a silver certificate requires over 50 points, while a golden certificate is awarded for over 60 points, and the platinum one for 80 and more points.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachaltiges Bauen – German Sustainable Building Council was founded in 2008. It focuses on approximately 50 criteria, from environmental, through economic, technological and work processes aspects, up to the sociocultural and functional dimension. As part of the DGNB system, the entire life cycle of a building is assessed. Buildings can be awarded a brown, silver or golden certificate. It is also possible to carry out a simple initial certification in the planning phase.
Well Building Standard™ was introduced in 2014 by the International WELL Building Institute™ and now there are over 34,000 WELL projects in 98 countries. It is one of the global leading assessment systems concentrating mainly on the health and well-being of building users and methods of improving the comfort of use, including thermal and acoustic comfort, air quality and integration with nature.
Haute Qualité Environnementale – High Quality Environmental standard is the French initiative which started in 1996. Not as widely accepted as LEED or BREEAM, HQE is still pursuing the common goals, including reduction in energy and water consumption, minimum environmental impact, healthy indoor environment and full life cycle of a building. It includes new and existing buildings, from commercial real estate up to multi-family construction.