Building certification has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to ensure that buildings are constructed and operated in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. However, the impact of building certification on local communities is often overlooked. In this article, we will explore the impact of building certification on local communities and why it is an essential consideration in sustainable development.
Building Certification: An Overview
Building certification is a process that assesses the environmental performance of buildings. It considers the building’s design, construction, and operation to determine its impact on the environment. Building certification programs vary globally, but they share common goals, including reducing carbon emissions, conserving energy and water, promoting sustainable materials, and creating healthier indoor environments.
Some of the most widely recognized building certification programs include LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), and WELL Building Standard. These programs provide a framework for building owners and designers to create sustainable buildings and measure their performance.
The Impact of Building Certification on Local Communities
Building certification can have a significant impact on local communities. Here are some of the ways in which building certification can affect local communities:
- Improved Health and Well-being
One of the primary benefits of building certification is the creation of healthier indoor environments. Sustainable buildings are designed to promote the health and well-being of occupants by reducing indoor pollutants, increasing natural light and ventilation, and providing access to green spaces. This can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of local communities, as residents spend a significant amount of time indoors.
2. Reduced Environmental Impact
Building certification programs encourage the use of sustainable building materials, energy-efficient appliances, and renewable energy sources, among other measures. These measures can significantly reduce the environmental impact of buildings, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. This can benefit local communities by reducing their exposure to air and water pollution and promoting sustainable living practices.
3. Increased Economic Development
Building certification can also promote economic development in local communities. By encouraging the use of sustainable building materials and technologies, building certification programs can create a market for sustainable products and services. This can lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs in local communities, as well as increased investment in sustainable development projects.
4. Enhanced Property Values
Sustainable buildings that are certified under building certification programs are often more valuable than conventional buildings. This is because they are designed to be energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and promote occupant health and well-being. This can have a positive impact on local property values, leading to increased tax revenue for local governments.
5. Improved Community Relations
Building certification can also improve community relations by promoting sustainable development practices. Sustainable buildings are designed to be energy-efficient, reduce waste, and promote healthy living. This can lead to a more positive relationship between building owners and local communities, as well as increased community engagement in sustainable development initiatives.
Case Studies: Examples of the Impact of Building Certification on Local Communities
There are many examples of the positive impact of building certification on local communities. Here are a few case studies:
- The Bullitt Center, Seattle, WA
The Bullitt Center is a six-story commercial building in Seattle, WA, that is certified under the Living Building Challenge, one of the most rigorous building certification programs. The building is designed to be energy-efficient, use sustainable materials, and promote occupant health and well-being. The Bullitt Center has had a positive impact on the local community by creating new jobs and attracting businesses to the area.
2. The Edge, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Edge is a commercial office building in Amsterdam, Netherlands, that is certified under the BREEAM certification program. The building is designed to be energy-efficient, use sustainable materials, and promote occupant health and well-being.