About Green Buildings Worldwide

Photo: OBOS, Ulven Oslo Norway – Breeam-Nor Very Good

Construction has long been recognised as one of the most resource-hungry and therefore least sustainable industries in the world. However we continue to depend on buildings of all kinds – our homes, offices, hospitals, shops, cultural centres and more. Despite increasing awareness of the need to develop a more sustainable approach within the construction industry, this proved difficult without a reliable method of evaluating and comparing the environmental impacts of different construction materials.

The Building Industry accounts for 40% Co2 outlet and waste worldwide. In addition to transport, non-renewable resources, indoor climate and toxic chemicals require more attention.  To tackle these issues in a lifespan of a building and materials, there are several tools and initatives worldwide.

Benefits ecocertified buildings

  • Lower environmental impact
  • Increased Public and Private Demand
  • Responsibility
  • Physical and mental health
  • Lower insurance cost
  • Lower financial cost
  • Professional Investors Demand
  • Innovation

3 principles of Climate Neutral Buildings by Bjorn Berge

  1. Choose Low Impact Materials and Construction
  2. Reduce Operational Energy
  3. Maximize Storage of Carbon

Read more

Building materials in a lifespan – more important than energy efficiency in use

ZEB Pilot Buildings – Overview “The illustration shows the different phases of a building’s life that are included in the various ZEB definition levels. The renewable energy production (green circle) compensates for all greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life span of the building in the example.” Find illustration and read more

In addition to climategass pollution, there are local production of mining,logging, chemical treatment and hazardious pollution.

Breeam – Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

The BREEAM assessment process evaluates the procurement, design, construction and operation of a development against targets that are based on performance benchmarks. Assessments are carried out by independent, licensed assessors, and developments rated and certified on a scale of PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD, ExXCELLENT and OUTSTANDING. Read more 

To achieve the different levels there are 10 categories where developments score points – called credits – for achieving targets, and their final total determines their rating:

Bjørvika, Oslo
  1. Management
  2. Health and wellbeing
  3. Energy
  4. Transport
  5. Water
  6. Materials
  7. Landuse
  8. Waste
  9. Pollution
  10. Innovation
    *Pre-requisite in some categories
    Read more 

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: CERTIFIED, SILVER, GOLD and PLATINUM.

  1. Integrated process 
  2. Indoor Environmental Quaility
  3. Energy and Atmosphere
  4. Location and Transportation
  5. Water Efficiency
  6. Material and Resources
  7. Sustainable Sites
  8. Regional Priority
  9. Innovation
  10. Pilot points


“The main difference between the two methods is the process of certification. BREEAM has trained assessors who assess the evidence against the credit criteria and report it to the BRE, who validate the assessment and issue the certificate. ” Read more about BREEAM & LEED – strengths and weaknesses of the two main environmental assessment methods (BSRIA 2009) 

DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Nachliges Bauen

Levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold

Credits and points:

  1. Global and local environmantal impact
  2. Resource Consumption and Waste Impacts
  3. Quality of Planning
  4. Quality of Construction
  5. Health, Comfort and Userfriendliness
  6. Functionality
  7. Aestetic Quality
  8. Quality of Technical Implementation
  9. Site Quality
  10. Life Cycle Cost (LCC)
  11. Financial Performance
    Read more 


Other Good Green Build Initatives


ZEB  – Norwegian Science Center for Zero Emission Building

Oxford Brookes University 

Gaia – International netwerk for radical eco-design 

SINTEF Byggforsk

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“It is a lack of attention of the environmental aspects of building materials” Breeam Auditor, 2017
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Book: The Ecology of Building Materials, Bjorn Berge
Zero Emission Building definitions

Environmental Documentation – Products

3 Pricipals Bjorn Berge
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Europe
What is Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?
Nordic Ecolabelling
Global Ecolabelling Network