Growing interest in passive construction, green building, bio-construction, sustainability and energy efficiency has in turn fostered interest in what has come to be called sustainable building certification certifications or certification tools.

These score according to certain parameters or requirements, giving the construction greater or lesser range depending on the quantity and quality of requirements collected.

 

INDEX. CERTIFICATION TOOLS

1. PASSIVHAUS, (Passive House)

2. BREEAM

3. LEED

4. GREEN

5. WELL

 

At the time of writing this article, November 2019, they are not obligatory, they are completely voluntary, although it would not be surprising if in the near future there were legislation on the matter given the movements that are taking place in the market model.

A Bass Houses, as a builder specialising in green building and passive construction, receives a request for quotations in which the developer or client is interested in knowing our opinion on these certificates, or directly that they would like their new home to be certified Passive House, Breeam or another.

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On most occasions, except honorable exceptions, they have no idea what they want. They have heard or read something about it, the brother-in-law in turn has explained the need to have one of the possibilities to guarantee qualities or directly the seller has placed the need in the foreground for purely economic interest. It is the task of the chosen construction company to fully advise the client or developer on the options available to them according to their needs and the configuration of the project.

I will try in this short article to mention the certifications, the most relevant or known certification tools and their main objectives or characteristics. If the construction company chosen has the professional qualification expected of it, it must have technicians qualified to advise and certify with guarantees. Bass Houses has them.


1. PASSIVHAUS, (Passive House)


Passivhaus- Passive House

Of German origin. Emerged in the late 80’s of the last century

Certification based on optimizing thermal insulation, obtaining high energy efficiency with very low heating and cooling consumption

It is best known as a certificate.

For lovers of numbers and technical data you can visit this Wikipedia link, where you will find detailed information as well as technical links.


2. BREEAM


BREEAM Certification

Of English origin. Emerged in the late 1980s.

Broader than above. With more ambitious goals

Focused on reducing the impact of the execution of the work and subsequent life of the building. Seeking the greatest comfort and health for those who use or live in it

They subdivide it into 10 categories

  • Management
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Waste
  • Ecological use of soil
  • Pollution and Innovation

You can get much more information at Breeam España’s website or visit this article in our Blog where we summarized its characteristics.


3. LEED


LEED Certification

Of American origin. Emerged in the early 1990s.

Very interesting certification tool. More widespread in the United States than in Europe.

Score the following concepts:

  • Location and transport of construction materials and subsequent uses
  • Sustainable location of project sites
  • Efficient use of water
  • Energy and Atmosphere in relation to energy efficiency and savings
  • Materials and resources used in construction with an interest in recycling and origin of procurement
  • Quality of the indoor environment to obtain adequate ventilation and comfort also at acoustic and light level
  • Innovation in Construction Design.

You can get more information at own web. Very interesting also the notes collected in this Wikipedia article.


4. GREEN

GREEN Certification

This certificate is of Spanish origin. Created by the association GBCE, (Green Building Council Spain), with the idea of promoting a more sustainable movement of interest in the world of construction.

The aim is to assess the economic, social and environmental impact through protocols and procedures. The areas of study to work are:

  • Indoor environment quality
  • Economic and social aspects
  • Location and orientation of the plot
  • Impact generated in the construction phase and life of the building
  • Energy efficiency

Through this link you can get to the GBC España website, where you will find a complete extension of the above if it is of interest to you.


5. WELL

WELL Certification

In its own words, Well Certification allows us to identify, measure and monitor the characteristics of constructed spaces that have an impact on the health and well-being of their occupants.

These are the concepts that value:

  • Air. Whose objective is to improve the quality of the air that is breathed in the building.
  • Water. Provide access to high quality water.
  • Food. Availability of fruits and vegetables and nutritional transparency.
  • Lighting. The objective is to achieve the design of natural and artificial lighting systems that improve comfort, lucidity and nighttime sleep.
  • Movement. Its aim is to encourage physical activity, active living and discourage sedentarism.
  • Comfort Thermal. Focused on increasing productivity through the design of the air conditioning system.
  • Sound. Improve comfort by controlling acoustic parameters, external noise intrusion, privacy and reverberation.
  • Materials. To reduce the exposure of people to the contaminating components of construction materials.
  • Mind. Support for emotional and cognitive health through design strategies, technology and treatment.
  • Community. Create an inclusive and integrated community through social justice, civic engagement and accessible design.

Es this link you can get more information if you are interested.


There are a few more certification tools. From my point of view these are the most recognized.

Although I have a personal preference I don’t think this is the place to pronounce myself on it, (I’ll tell you my opinion by ear if you need it). All of them grant a level or score according to the series of parameters established by them, more parameters you fulfill and in better conditions because greater level or qualification is granted.

All final grades for each of the certification tools must be issued and argued by a qualified technician, a certifier.

All final grades for each of the certification tools must be issued and argued by a qualified technician, a certifier.

The belief is also being implanted that having a certification or not having one at all will have repercussions on the subsequent resale price; this is probably the case, and although we should not obsess over the possibility it is interesting to consider the possibilities within reach and assess which one interests us more when planning a new construction, be it a private building, a single-family building, or a public building, etc.

Making use of certifying tools such as those mentioned above can guarantee that our building or home meets the characteristics and conditions for it to be considered as sustainable, ecological.

At Bass Houses we have opted for the strategy of combining the best of each of them in our construction system (Bass System), making it easy for us to obtain the certification that the client or developer requests from us by providing the highest and best scores in each case; Why are you going to stay with one if you can have the best of them all?

If you’re going to build, if you’re going to hire a construction company think about it, it’s important. Sustainable construction, green building is a concept that has come to stay.


Gaudencio García
Director of Communications
Bass Houses