Green Building Rating Systems
This is a good example of:developing criteria and incentives for greener buildings and sites
Third-party certification rating various measures of resource efficiency and performance, mainly to encourage adoption of sustainable green construction techniques, materials and maintenance over time.
Benefits & Problems Addressed
Determining cost savings and value added: Architects and real estate developers can use rating systems during the desi phase to find cost-effective design options, operating cost savings and/or return on investment for sale or resale.
Environmental benefits: Buildings account for the largest share of energy use and pose significant opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste.
Community goals: Cities can adopt green building performance targets (mandatory or suggested) to lower the energy, water, transportation and other impacts of building stock
Credibility: Ratings give credible authority to the score.
Tips & Techniques
Audience: Ratings systems can be used by (1) architects, (2) real estate developers and redevelopers, (3) real estate managers, (4) real estate agents, (5) energy/water authorities,
Goals & categories: The most common assessments across all ratings systems are: (1) Life cycle assessment, (2) Location and structure efficiency, (3) Energy efficiency, (4) Water efficiency. (5) Materials efficiency, (6) Indoor environmental quality, (7) Operations and maintenance optimization, (8) Waste reduction. Other systems look at (1) Transportation, (2) Parking, (3) Employee productivity.
Example rating systems: major national rating systems in the United States include LEED® (US Green Building Council), the National Green Building Standard (National Association of Homebuilders), and ENERGY STAR® (US Environmental Protection Agency). International systems include BREEAM (United Kingdom), LEED (United States and Canada), DGNB (Germany), CASBEE (Japan), and VERDEGBCe (Spain)
Hot Buttons: criticism that ratings can reward green buildings in energy inefficient locations, cost to conduct assessments, post-construction analysis to compare predicted performance with actual performance, a mismatch in economic incentives when real estate developers have fewer incentives than owners who manage the building.