Guidance and certification of sustainability labels

More and more companies feel the need to opt for a sustainable project when they are building, renovating or even for an existing building. A sustainability certificate makes this complex issue somewhat more accessible. One of the best-known certificates is BREEAM.

BREEAM was developed in the United Kingdom and is now also starting to be adopted in our country. It is a rating system used to map out the sustainability status of buildings. More than 100,000 buildings worldwide have already been BREEAM certified. LEED is the counterpart of BREEAM in the United States.

Although most companies in Europe opt for a BREEAM certification, a LEED certificate is also a common sight in our region. Most of these concern companies whose head office is located in the US. Even though the objective for both certificates is very similar, the rules and applications for both systems differ.

What does the certificate imply?

The system features different levels: from one to five. But even after one level, a company does much better than the law requires. Most companies opt for level two or three and are required to follow a specific procedure. The final award of the certificate will take place at BREEAM's headquarters in Great Britain or in the Netherlands for Dutch companies.

More than just energy

BREEAM examines some 70 parameters or credits in nine categories: management, health, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use & ecology and pollution. Energy consumption is only one aspect of the sustainability certificate. If a company wants to obtain a BREEAM certificate for an existing building, Encon can use a BREEAM scan to find out which credits the company is already scoring well on. By doing so, the certificate can be obtained in the most cost-efficient way.

Why consider a certificate?

Why should you consider obtaining a certificate if it would make your building more expensive and it is not required by law? There are several good reasons for investing in a certificate. For large companies it can be interesting to compare their international business sites with each other. For property developers and owners, the higher occupancy rate and rental price are important advantages. In addition, by simply referring to a certain BREEAM level, they can impose a considerable effort on the building contractors. The users themselves enjoy direct cost reductions and lower operational costs. Also, a BREEAM certificate is an interesting instrument for obtaining green loans from banks.

Cost-efficient credits

Encon is an official auditor for both BREEAM and LEED certificates and has the necessary accreditation for this, which allows Encon to assess and supervise buildings itself. Thanks to Encon's extensive experience in engineering projects and budgeting, we can ensure that the certificate will be obtained in a cost-efficient manner.

Our experience allows us to correctly estimate the costs associated with certain credits and to select the right credits for obtaining the certificate. In this context, we will examine which level of sustainability can be achieved with which efforts and we will optimise our efforts in order to achieve the best possible result.

BREEAM & LEED put into practice

In 2018, Encon designed one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe: Infinity. Infinity is an experience centre on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability. The building is the first SME-size building to be awarded both certificates, BREEAM & LEED. In the near future it is expected that the Well certificate will also be obtained. You can arrange a visit on the Infinity website to experience the sustainability certification process first-hand.

Please click here for more information about Infinity.