Skip to content
Follow us
Contact us
Robert Irving Burns

Green Building Certification: What is it and How can Businesses Achieve it?

November 18, 2020    |   Robert Irving Burns

In recent years, there’s been increased focus on sustainability in business, and rightly so. Companies operating in an eco-friendlier way are not only ‘doing their bit’ for the environment, but also enhancing their brand, and winning the approval of their clientele.

Although it’s not mandatory to get a ‘green building’ certification for your commercial premises, there are many good reasons to want to achieve it voluntarily. Here’s more information about what this certification is, and how it can benefit your commercial property.

What is green building certification?

There’s no universal, globally accepted green building certification. Instead, most countries have their own versions, with different criteria required for achieving each one. This makes good sense, as each country has a different geography and climate. For example, in some countries, it’s more sustainable for commercial premises to moderate water usage, while in countries like the UK, this wouldn’t be the top priority.

However, there are three certifications that are recognised on a global level. These are:

  • BREEAM – Building Research Establishment Global Environmental Assessment Method; the certifications are: Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum.
  • LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; the certifications are: acceptable, pass, good, very good, excellent, outstanding.
  • WELL – This certification focuses on human health and wellbeing in a workspace; the certifications are: Silver, Gold, Platinum.

There’s also the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) which assesses various aspects of commercial property assets.

The benefits of getting your commercial property certified

  • Opportunity to be an industry-leader. There’s little doubt that sustainability is good for business. By achieving green certification, you’ll stand out from the competition, and be more appealing to your target market.
  • Reduced costs. Generally speaking, sustainable buildings are heat, electricity and water-efficient. That equates to reduced utilities bills; a real selling point for businesses.
  • Driving change. The more commercial premises that achieve these certifications, the more likely it is that others will follow suit. That’s good news in environmental terms, and it doesn’t harm your reputation to be one of the first to embrace an eco-focused approach.

How to obtain the certification

The main challenge is understanding the diverse requirements of each certification and working out which one is most appropriate for your commercial premises. As illustrated above, each certification has different ratings, and it’s worthwhile going for as high a rating as you can.

Bear in mind too that, while these green certificates are optional at present, that might not remain the case in the future. The climate situation is becoming ever more critical, which may mean that the government makes these certifications mandatory in a few short years. By acting now, investors can get ahead of the game, and make their property investments even more appealing.

What will the future hold?

At this stage, it’s difficult to say with any certainty; though some industry experts are predicting a universal green building certification may be introduced, which would set global standards, while offering adaptability for different countries and climates.

Either way, it makes sense to review your commercial property, with a view to boosting its eco-credentials in the future.

If you would like to know more about Green Building Certification, contact the RIB team today on the contact details below. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Similar Articles