Get to know sustainable building certifications that reaffirm the environmental friendliness of buildings globally

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  • Get to know sustainable building certifications that reaffirm the environmental friendliness of buildings globally

When talking about sustainable building rating tools, what are those you’ll be thinking of? The very first ones would be USGBC’s LEEDs or TREEs of the Thai Green Building Institute.

Complying with these criteria is to domestically and internationally guarantee that this specific building possesses recognized and standardized environmental features, and generate further positive results, one of which is for the part of the economy. The building will be increasingly preferred by companies and investors who have environmental policies in place. Secondly, it’s about the environment. As the building is less likely to negatively affect the environment and society, the building, people, and the environment will be improved in their quality.

Apart from the two, if focusing on the international sphere or other countries, there are also many other interesting criteria; for example, Japan’s CASBEE, Singapore’s SGBC, New Zealand’s Green Star, or the US’s International Living Future Institute.

All of these contain categories covering the beginning stage through to post-construction, as well as similar sustainability features. If our buildings can achieve criteria other than LEEDs or TREEs, it’d enhance growth or investment opportunities and ensure that the buildings will be accepted internationally.

What are the sustainable building criteria? How important is it in this era?

Sustainable building criteria, or green building criteria (as we’re familiar with), is a certification established to measure quality in terms of energy and environmental impact of a building in order to assess and certify to what extent the building positively or negatively affects the world and how. With these criteria, what are taken into account are design, construction, materials, renewable energy, etc.

The reason behind these criteria is that construction is considered one of the industries that most disturb nature, as it uses natural resources for construction purposes and occupies extended areas. Thus, in an era where environmental care is important, more eco-friendliness and consciousness are an approach to ensure more sustainable co-existence with nature, as well as returning good quality of life to the community.

International sustainable building certifications and the shared category of environmentally friendly materials

There are two certifications for sustainable buildings that we are familiar with: US Green Building Council’s LEEDs and Thai Green Building Institute’ TREEs. The TREEs criteria contain a similar evaluation approach and topics compared to LEEDs; for instance, materials and construction resources, which address the use of domestic materials with environmentally friendly or recycled production processes, as well as water management, other energy saving systems and building environment quality, all of which will be evaluated, starting from the design steps, the pre-creation process, post-construction management through to occupancy. The assessment is divided into levels according to the set score criteria, such as Gold, Silver and Platinum. The higher the level is, the more it confirms that the building has good sustainability performance.

In addition to LEEDs and TREEs, there are other criteria that are equally interesting, such as New Zealand’s Green Star certification. Not only the green properties or water management does it assess, but its focus is also placed on transportation and decent surroundings; or Singapore’s SGBC certification that prioritizes innovation in environmentally friendly materials, carbon footprint, as well as the use of materials produced from recycled scraps.

There are also certifications that we are not familiar with. For example, the UK’s BREEAM and LBC (Living Building Challenge) of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) of the United States, which lists down intensive building assessments in 7 areas; or Japan’s CASBEE, which takes into account both advantageous and disadvantageous environmental properties of buildings.

SYS provides sustainable construction throughout its lifespan

We can see certain differences among the certifications. However, looking at the big picture, they all are very similar, as they’re centered mostly on the construction process, water management, surroundings, and most importantly, construction materials and resources.

The reason behind the importance of materials is that they are part of the core structure, floor, walls, and roof of the building, and are also associated with the production, energy used, transportation, life cycle and dismantling after use. Thus, construction materials must be chosen carefully to make sure that the building fulfills the certification criteria as much as possible.

Frankly, SYS structural steel is one of the materials suitable for construction in this era and resonates with the certification criteria, whether of Thailand or other countries, as SYS steel is produced domestically and energy-efficiently using recycled steel scraps. This means that the materials are recyclable after use. Furthermore, SYS steel is comprehensively certified in terms of eco-friendliness by, e.g., CFO, CFP, EPD, and adopted for construction of green buildings globally. As a result, SYS does not only suit the local standard, but also satisfies all international qualities required, as it offers materials that are environmentally sound throughout its lifespan, thereby ensuring the preservation of the environment throughout the life cycle of that specific building as well.