Now more than ever, there is a growing emphasis on sustainability. In real estate, companies are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, with many organizations buying the “green premium” in order to achieve their corporate goals.
Today, the green premium is not just for increasing the value of the building—sustainability as a whole has become a growing priority for most companies, especially with the recent trend of ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance). Instead of the focus being just on locating the building in a prime location with a good view, there is bigger importance placed on championing net-zero carbon, climate change resilience, and promoting overall health and wellbeing.
According to studies by Harvard University and SUNY Upstate Medical University, employees working in high-performing green buildings tested with better cognitive function scores, higher sleep quality scores, and fewer sick-building symptoms than those working in buildings without green certification. Happy and healthier employees tend to be more productive—reduction in absenteeism and better perceived productivity through their work environment. All of this can help boost the overall performance of an organization.
Here are three of the most popular building certifications related to sustainability.
One way to benchmark the sustainability of a building is through the necessary certifications. One of them is LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification serves as a benchmark for the construction, design, maintenance, and operation of high-performance buildings. It is widely used around the world, providing building occupants with a healthier and more productive space, and reducing its overall stress on the environment by being more energy-efficient and producing less waste.
BERDE or Building for Ecologically Responsible Design Excellence is another green building rating system that was established locally by the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) in 2009. PhilGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), a global non-profit organization.
What makes BERDE different is that it is better aligned with the priorities of the Philippine landscape—ensuring each project is enhanced with ecologically sound principles guided by the best practices on sustainability. The core framework of BERDE includes the following areas: energy and water efficiency and conservation, waste management, use of land, green materials, transportation, indoor environment and quality, and emissions.
The WELL Building Standard is a system for measuring and certifying features to promote occupant wellbeing, weighing on several concepts such as air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, mind, and comfort. It is mainly used in assessing workplaces and commercial buildings as a response to the health risks posed by sedentary lifestyles. This is because it is believed that the buildings that occupants spend time on can have a great impact on one’s health and wellbeing.
Securing a WELL Certification can offer numerous benefits such as attracting top talents and tenants, improving productivity, boosting employee retention, increasing employee engagement, and establishing a business as a human-first organization.
Moving to a green office
As the trend of ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance) becomes a more relevant criterion, there will be a stronger demand for green buildings. Companies looking to move to a green office can get help from renowned real estate agency Santos Knight Frank. A real estate services company with years of experience in brokerage, advisory, asset management, property management, appraisal, Santos Knight Frank is your partner in property. Learn more by visiting www.santosknightfrank.com/.