Tips for Successful Green Building Certification
Over the years, we’ve helped a range of clients create cleaner, healthier spaces for their staff and clients. Healthy indoor environments have been shown to reduce absenteeism, help staff retention, and increase productivity. One of the best ways to communicate your commitment to staff, tenants, and guests is to achieve a green certification standard like those developed by USGBC (LEED), IWBI (WELL), and GIGA (RESET).
While getting certified might seem like a big investment with hard-to-measure financial payback, there are many studies now which prove there is a clear financial payback in addition to the intangible benefits. According to the US Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings normally achieve a rate of return of 20% or more on their investment, while LEED buildings sell for around 30% premium over non-LEED buildings due to the economic benefits they offer. GreenBiz Group’s Green Building Market and Impact Report found that the average energy savings for LEED construction projects built in 2009 is up to 32% greater than non-certified buildings, while water usage is lower by as much as 30%.
Green buildings can also help staff retention and employee health and productivity. A series of studies conducted in 2015 by Harvard University found that occupants of high-performing green buildings showed higher cognitive function scores, fewer symptoms of sickness, and higher sleep quality scores than workers in high-performing buildings without green certification. It is also increasingly important to clients and occupiers to have a green building with lower operating costs and better indoor environmental quality. Research from Nielsen has concluded that two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for green and sustainable products and services.
Productivity Increases in Analytical Tasks
Source: Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment Report.2015.
Achieving certification is not always the easiest thing to do since there are many requirements which must be met. PureLiving has vast experience working with clients across industries to aid their certification process to give them the best chances of getting certified. We are proud to announce that all projects in which we have been involved have achieved target certification, with some of our recent projects recognized in October’s GreenBuild China conference.
There are a number of measures that can help buildings to reach green certification:
1. Focus early on having the right IEQ solutions integrated into your space - if possible, during the design process. Often, clients have not calculated what filtration requirements will be needed based on their local pollution level, building tightness, and ventilation situation!
2. Carry out in-depth monitoring and analyse the results throughout the renovation or construction period. Checking chemical levels on an ongoing basis will allow you to identify and fix problems as they arise.
3. Conduct full pre-verification testing and make sure it is the same method of lab testing the assessor will use before the assessor arrives - spot testing with handheld equipment alone is not enough. IAQ certification testing is a serious of very specified tests covering many pollutants that cannot be measured through spot testing. Doing a proper trial run is the best way to identify failure points before the big day.
4. Use an IEQ specialist to advise you and work together throughout the process. Engineers and facility managers usually don’t have the specialized experience to design an air quality system, recognize any problem, and pass IEQ requirements on the first go.
Some of the clients we have assisted include:
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