All Services

Green Buildings Certification

Certified Green Buildings are those that have been certified by a rating system, such as LEED-NC (new construction). The ‘greenness’ of a certified building depends on many factors, not least the standards (benchmarks) of performance, the persistence over time of the enhancements introduced, the scoring used, the actual credits and grade achieved, and performance verification.

Benefits of certification have been cited in a number of studies, and these include reduced capital cost (through design integration, and energy modelling), reduced construction time and change orders (through commissioning), reduced energy and operating costs, and improved indoor environmental quality. Clearly, realization of these benefits depends on the credits and grade achieved. Nonetheless, recent studies in the US and UK suggest that certified green buildings command higher sales value, higher rents, and better return on investment (ROI).

Sustainable construction according to ISO is the ability of a building to fulfil required functions or behaviour when in use, with the least unfavourable environmental impacts. Greenbuildings, according to ASTM, are buildings that provide the required building performance while minimizing disturbance to and improving the functioning of local, regional, and global ecosystems both during construction and over the specified service life.

Integrated Design Approach Green building rating systems offer credits for compliance with the assessment criteria. Point mongering, the process of collecting individual points or credits should be avoided. Rather an integrated design approach is much more likely to achieve the desired goal of a high rating, such as Gold or Platinum, and at a lower cost, since synergistic relationships between various performance aspects (credits) can be optimized. Projects team should be aware of the interrelationships between credits to avoid contradictions in the design and construction information submitted for review to the certification body.

Costs premiums for building green varies with the building type, site circumstances, and client preferences. Typically, the cost premium for a ‘silver’ level of certification is around 2% of construction cost, whereas ‘Platinum’ may require 6-10% more.

ECOFAC Unique Position A decade of experience gained through market research, assessment tool development, consultancy services, and certification services, and a thorough knowledge of building design, construction and use places ECOFAC in a unique position to advice clients on the most cost-effective approach to achieving certification, as well as an energy efficient and productive building with increased marketability and asset value. ECOFAC can assist the client and project team with the rating system registration, assessment and certification requirements for planning, design, tendering, construction, handover and post-occupancy phases.

View Projects