These days, it has become critical to construct and renovate buildings in an energy and resource-efficient way. If you’re stuck on knowing whether your building is, in fact, sustainable, rating systems have been created known as Green building rating systems. But as they consistently expand and increase in popularity, it becomes more and more complicated to know which one to choose or to know which one is right for you and your business.
So we’re here to give you some insight into how these rating systems work and which one will be best for you and your business.
What are green building rating systems and why are they useful?
Green Building rating systems use an objective way of certifying that your building is in fact as sustainable as you claim. Green Building rating systems use benchmarks from buildings around the country and the world to understand what is possible for best practice reduction in resource consumption and other green building areas. The systems are extremely useful as guides to help the design and construction team to think of and cover as many aspects to sustainability as possible.
How do the rating systems work?
Rating systems can be applied to new or existing buildings, to both the design and construction as well as the operational practices. Most rating systems work on a credit or point systems which are broken down into categories. The building project will earn points to the degree that it is compliant with the available credits. The project is audited and the points are accumulated to determine what rating (silver, gold, platinum etc.) the building will be awarded.
The implementation of these systems requires some experience and expertise as the scope is large and the documentation relatively intensive. Fortunately this can be outsourced to external accredited professionals who can guide and lead you through the process. At Ecolution Consulting we can offer all of this and more in the form necessary for you and your project.
The benefits of these ratings certifications include:
- Reduced environmental footprint
- Improved health & productivity
- Lower operating costs
- A future-proofed building and investment
- Enhanced Marketability
What are the different rating systems and which one is right for me?
- GREEN STAR
One of the fastest growing global green building rating systems, this system is used by the The Green Building Council SA to recognise and reward environmental leadership in the existing environment. The certification promotes integrated, whole building design whilst reducing the environmental impact of developments and recognising environmental leadership.
Different rating tools exist for every market sector, consider this certification if:
- You are working on a new build / major renovations.
- You would like your existing building’s operational performance to be re-evaluated and assessed.
- You are working on master planned developments at precinct and neighborhood scale and require consultation on how to make them as sustainable as possible.
- You are working on interior projects and would like assessment on the interior fit-outs and their environmental attributes.
At Ecolution Consulting, we drive Green Star submission processes to ensure each building that we work with is as sustainable and innovative as possible, whilst ensuring that the Green Star certification criteria are met and the project is recognized and rewarded as such.
2. NET ZERO
The Net Zero Certification is aimed at projects that go beyond the partial reductions that are recognized in the Green Star tools, and have taken the initiative to reach the endpoint of completely neutralizing or even positively redressing their carbon emissions; water consumption; solid waste to landfill and their negative ecological impacts.
A Net Zero building will implement efficiency measures and interventions first and then offset the remaining demand through either on-site solutions, off-site solutions, or offsets, such as carbon credits and similar initiatives.
You can achieve a Net Zero Certification in the following fields:
- Net Zero Carbon
- Net Zero Water
- Net Zero Waste
- Net Zero Ecology
At Ecolution Consulting, we guide building projects through the Net Zero certification submission to ensure they are as sustainable as possible, meet the certification requirements and are recognised as such.
LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design), the rating used by the US Green Building Council, is the most wide-spread and internationally recognized green building certification. Through a rigorous, documented process that relies on performance and measurement, LEED rewards and certifies best-in-class building strategies and their practices.
Consider this certification if you are working on any of the following projects:
- Building Design & Construction
- Interior Design & Construction
- Operations & Maintenance of existing buildings
- Neighbourhood Development
Ecolution Consulting drives LEED strategy and submission process to ensure each building that we work with is as sustainable and innovative as possible, whilst ensuring that the LEED certification criteria is met and the project is recognised and rewarded as such.
Read our LEED service page.
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a tool aimed at increasing energy, water and materials efficiency in the South African residential sector. EDGE is a measurable way for residential developers to optimise the performance of their building design. The certification requires achieving a minimum saving of 20% in the three categories: operational energy, water usage and reduction in embodied energy.
The benefits of the EDGE certification results in Residential Developments and homes that:
- Are at least 20% more energy efficient and use at least 20% less water
- Have at least 20% less embodied energy (energy associated with materials use)
- Have sustainability embedded into construction processes
- Lead to long-term environmental savings
- Sell better, are affordable and lead to long-term economic savings
EDGE is a relatively new certification scheme by the Green Building Council of South Africa, there aren’t many companies that can claim experience in this field. Ecolution Consulting was responsible for guiding the first EDGE project to receive final certification in Africa. We are able to assist in the roles of Project Admin and Auditor on behalf of the client. We also have a proven track-record in reducing the overall cost of certification, thereby driving down costs and increasing project margins.