Building certifications for Sustainable Building

In the real estate industry, certification systems are gaining increasing attention, whether the buildings are new or recent renovations. Global developments such as climate change, lack of resources and demographic changes have made sustainability more important in the construction sector. In order to promote these trends, a multitude of different certifications have been developed for properties in Germany and around the world that assess the ecological, social and economic quality of buildings. These also apply to high-rise buildings.

Protection of ResourcesGreen Building is saving Resources

LEED Gold CertificationSchild of a LEED Gold Certification

The building and housing sectors account for around 50 percent of the world’s resources, as well as a large share of energy and CO2 emissions on Earth. At the same time, energy requirements and CO2 emissions vary at each step, both during and after construction. It starts with the extraction of raw materials as well as further processing, then it goes through the construction of new buildings or conversion and sanitation measures, then the supply of the buildings with heat and light, until finally it reaches disposal of waste. Even after the end of its useful life, high-rise buildings produce emissions: they have to be elaborately removed and the materials are fed into the recycling circuit or disposed of.

No Basic Methods Available

Unfortunately, there is still no basic consensus on the structuring of tools for evaluation at the international level. Each certification system and every quality label is based on an individual, self-defined organisation. Consequently, there is no best system for certification. Often the choice falls on a certification system that has already been decided. The comparability of existing methods is often not given because the individual assessment systems have specific criteria adapted to their region, for example, with regard to different cultural, climatic or political situations.

In the case of high-rise buildings, the certification systems LEED and DGNB have appeared.

Certification - Nature in Frankfurt - LEED - BREEAM - SCORED
Certification systems should help to save resources and reduce CO2 emissions

Keywords for this article:

  • Certification systems
  • Sustainability in high-rise buildings
  • Green Building
  • BREEAM
  • DGNB
  • LEED

Overview of green building valuation systems for real estate and buildings

SystemOrganisationWebsite  
BREEAMBRE (Building Research Establishment)http://www.bre.co.uk
DGNBDGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen)http://www.dgnb.de
LEEDUSBGC (U.S. Green Building Council)http://www.usgbc.org
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