The top 5 green building certifications in Europe.
The effects of global warming on our planet have become a topic of conversation around the globe. Nearly everyone is concerned about climate change, and many forward-thinking companies are coming forward with solutions to make their products greener.
Creating newer, greener buildings is just one example of this new trend, and green building certifications are popping up with some regularity. Here are 5 of the top green building certifications, what they are, and how they are different (in no particular order).
Creating newer, greener buildings is just one example of this new trend, and green building certifications are popping up with some regularity.
Although this certification program started in the United States, it is also one of the most important green building programs in Europe. LEED has a point system divided into three different categories, as do many of the different certification programs here. Points are given for every green feature added to a building, with the total amount of points determining whether the building is certified, and to which tier it qualifies for.
2. WELL Building Standard
WELL Building Standard is an international certification program. This building standard recognizes that while we spend 90% of our time in buildings, the buildings themselves may be unhealthy environments. By building to this standard, you are creating a healthy place to live and work.
The WELL building standard advertises itself as the first architectural benchmark exclusively for human health.1The standard focuses on 7 points: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The certification is ongoing, and must be updated once every two years.
While we spend 90% of our time in buildings, the buildings themselves may be unhealthy environments.
BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method and is an international program. The program is divided into six quality categories, ranging from “Pass” to “Outstanding.”
BREEAM targets many of the same areas that other certification programs do, such as air, water, and health, but it also takes into consideration different categories such as waste and materials. Although this certification originated in the US, it has been adopted around the world.
4. Green Globes
Green Globes is a certification program available through the Green Buildings Initiative. The certification is divided into three categories: New Construction, Existing Buildings, and Sustainable Interiors. In order to be certified, the building or interior design needs to meet at least 35% of the 1,000 possible points. An independent third-party team, a survey, and a post-assessment assess the points.
5. Living Building Challenge
What would happen if every single building created, not only tried to avoid negative impact, but actually had a positive impact on the environment? In general, new buildings have a negative impact on the environment. For example, dark coloration traps heat and can make cities even warmer than natural areas, while the building itself takes up space where vegetation and wildlife used to exist.
The goal of the Living Building Challenge is to change all that with buildings that connect people back to nature through light, water, food, and air. The buildings must be self sufficient, and create a positive impact for both people and wildlife. This is an international certification, available everywhere including Europe.
There are dozens of different certification programs around the world. Many of them share common similarities, such as striving to improve air, water, and energy use. All of them have something unique that makes their certification program stand out. The certification program you choose will depend largely on what your focus is, from human health to planet health.
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