Frequently Asked Questions about Green Building
There are many regulations and legislations such as EU taxonomy rules to propel sustainability. There are also self-assessment tools available online that can provide an indication of the CO2 performance of the building. With our knowledge through the entire building lifecycle and accumulative expertise across all relevant building domains, we have put together some inputs based on the frequently asked questions from our clients.
A green building is a building developed under the guiding principle of sustainability which is governed by the social, environmental and economical aspects. This concept is to be abided throughout the entire building lifecycle from planning, construction, operation and maintenance, as well as, ultimately demolition.
There are international and national regulations such as EU Green Deal in which the overarching objective is for EU to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It demands transparency in the built environment for energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
A green building requires minimal energy to operate and emits very little CO2 during construction and operation. Renewable energy sources such as solar energy are used to power the building. Critical equipment such as lifts and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are energy efficient and optimised. Building management systems are in place for monitoring and regulating of the equipment.
For new building, daylighting is considered to ensure maximum amount of natural light through the placement of the windows or other openings of the building to reduce the dependency on artificial lightings. It also increases the energy efficiency of the HVAC systems by reducing the cooling load. Thereby, supporting the well-being of users and providing a healthy and pleasant working and living environment. This can be done in the design phase by creating a building digital twin via Building Information Model (BIM).
For existing building, sensors and building management systems can be installed to monitor the existing building conditions. By understanding how the building operates, practical measures can be implemented to reduce energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions.
Higher asset value
It is proven in many cases that a green building has a higher asset value as compared to a conventional building. A green building can achieve higher sale price and rental value.
Lower energy costs
A green building has lower energy and water consumption as compared to a non-green building. With the recent increase in energy prices, the attractiveness of a green building continue to rise.
Access to more funding options
With the necessary green ratings, green buildings are more likely to attain a higher appraisal value by banks. This ensures a higher return-of-investment (ROI) which gives the building owners access to more funding options.
Higher occupancy rate
Green building often has a higher occupancy rate as it is usually built with modern and up-to-date interior environment which makes it ideal for working and living.
Stay ahead of competition
Many companies are feeling the pressure from the market to mitigate the environmental impact of their business. Big corporates are outdoing each other in achieving the sustainability goals to stay ahead of the competition. Being sustainable can improve the company’s branding as well as increase customer retention rate.
Foster corporate social responsibility
Green building helps to foster corporate social responsibility which increases the morale of employees and generates higher level of productivity.
To the contrary, green building is not as expensive as it seems. The long-term savings on energy, operation and maintenance costs outweigh the initial design and construction costs.
There are several iconic green buildings in the world that we can use as references.
To walk the talk, TÜV SÜD had constructed TÜV SÜD @ IBP, the ASEAN Headquarter, located in Singapore, using reverse lifecycle approach to achieve the sustainability goals. The building was awarded Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Platinum. The building was built with the end in mind to optimise building sustainability, operation and maintenance through best-in-class design and construction excellence.
Always start with the end in mind. By creating a building digital twin and utilising the latest technological advancement, simulation and parametric benchmarks, the desired sustainability outcomes can be achieved before the physical building is being constructed. The best energy performance can also be derived from the analysis result and varying simulation parameters.
For existing buildings that are not designed and built to the most updated sustainability standards, demolition might not be the most viable and sustainable option. Understanding the existing conditions of the building can provide clarity on where it stands on the scale of sustainability. Self-assessment tools such as Green Building Calculator can provide an indication of the CO2 performance of the building. Installing sensors and implementing building management systems can also help to collect data on the building performance.
Based on the CO2 performance as well as the collected data points, an action plan can be created to address the issues. Step-by-step implementation of the action plan ensures optimal ROI. For example, resources can be allocated to areas that have the most impact in achieving the sustainability targets.
Last but not least, you can gain recognition and stay ahead of your competition through attaining necessary green building ratings such as BREEAM, LEED, GDNB, BCA Green Mark, etc.
Before embarking on the journey of obtaining a green building certificate, it is important to evaluate which green building standards are the most applicable to your building. After which, select the auditor to guide you through the certification process.
TÜV SÜD green building certification experts can accompany you on every step of your green building certification journey.