Green building standards and labels

We strongly support efforts to improve the sustainability of the built environment. A lifecycle approach ensures long-term and holistic evaluations and takes into account the energy efficiency of a building during its lifetime, that is, the energy that is saved. We support the evaluation of sustainability based on CEN and ISO standards. 

A standard “Sustainability of Construction Works” is prepared in the CEN Technical Committee 350. ISO Standards on lifecycle assessment and environmental product declarations are also available.

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European committee of standardisation 
International Organisation for Standardisation

Voluntary rating systems

With the help of the ratings systems for buildings, investors, authorities and users can compare real estate objects with a unified methodology. Ratings systems allow transparency in showing the performance in the planned environment throughout the entire life span. Ratings systems evaluate buildings using indicators in different categories. These indicators have threshold values both in national and international regulations. By the use of coefficients, the indicators are combined to obtain the total rating for the project.

A number of countries have set up Green Building Councils to lead green building certification. The national green building councils have founded a World Green Buildings Council in order to compare experiences and learn from each other.

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World Green Building Council

PromisE

PromisE is a Finnish environmental assessment and classification system for new and existing buildings. The system includes four main categories: the health of users, the consumption of natural resources, environmental loadings and environmental risks. The following table introduces the categories and indicators for new buildings.

Weighted value of the indicator  Office buildings  Residential buildings 
Health of users

25

25

Consumption of natural resources
30 30 
Environmental loadings  35 35
Environmental risks
10 10

 

BREEAM

The Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues to enable developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings to clients, planners and other initial parties. BREEAM uses a straightforward scoring system supported by evidence-based science and research. It has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings, and it defines and maintains a technical standard with quality assurance and certification.

BREEAM is used in a range of formats from country specific schemes, adapted for local conditions, to international schemes intended for the certification of individual projects anywhere in the world.

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BREEAM 

    LEED

    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during the construction and use of a building.

    A building requires at least 40 points for certification. Silver level requires 50 – 59 points, gold requires 60 – 79 points, and platinum requires 80 – 110 points. The levels correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. LEED can also award points for, for example, innovative design and for material characteristics.

    LEED certification, which includes a third-party commissioning process, offers proof to the client and the public at large that the environmental goals are achieved and the building is performing as designed. Certification offers the advantage of a growing number of government incentives, and can help boost press interest in a project.

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    Green Building Certificate Institute