With sustainable design and urban energy-efficiency becoming ever more popular trends in building across the world, it has become necessary for urban centers to develop rating systems to aid in the implementation of sustainable design solutions.
Not only do these rating systems serve as a design guideline for building projects, but they also help to drive the growth of the sustainable building industry as design elements are being shaped and improved to meet the high standards of these important systems.
Let’s take a look at some of the green rating systems used in Asia and how they are helping to drive the growth of the industry in the region.
The China Building Science Research Institute has developed a two-stage rating system called The Chinese Green Building Label-3, more commonly known as the 3-Star rating. In the first stage of rating, the building may earn a Green Building Design Label, which allows the building to be marketed as a building that has the potential for sustainable design to tenants, clients and potential investors.
The Green Building Operation Label is earned in the second stage of rating, which signifies that the building is reaching some or all of the targets set out by the system.
It measures elements of green design like water savings, energy savings, material savings, the efficiency of land use and indoor environmental quality. Buildings can then earn a 1-star rating up to a 3-star rating accordingly.
The Hong Kong Green Building Council introduced the BEAM Plus rating system in 2010. Since then, more than 400 sustainable building projects have been registered under the BEAM Plus for New Buildings and Beam Plus for Existing Buildings schemes – making up approximately 22 million square feet of registered building space – making it one of the most successful systems in the world to date.
Aimed at enhancing the health and wellbeing of occupants in sustainable buildings, The BEAM Plus for Interiors rating is a facet of the system that measures the quality of the indoor environment. The first commercial building to achieve a Platinum BI rating is a showcase of how eco-friendly building design elements can be incorporated into both the structure and interior design, making for a more sustainable and healthy functioning building.
The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore launched its Green Mark rating system in 2005. A decade later – according to a report on the World Green Building Trends – 89% of Singaporean design and construction firms reported that they expected green construction projects to make up more than 60% of the work that they were doing.
The Green Mark system also has various systems developed for the different types of spaces for its application, although the Green Mark for Non-Residential – and Existing Non-Residential – continue to be the most commonly used.
Overall, Green Mark is a massive success story of how an effective rating system, backed by government policy, can drive sustainability to be the primary method for design and construction in a particular region.
It is worth noting that in all of these countries, their respective green rating systems are not the only systems in use. They also use the global benchmark for sustainable design ratings, LEED. Developed by the USGBC, the LEED rating system is the most widespread system in use throughout the world and generally works concurrently with regional systems to help drive development in green architecture by pushing it to a higher standard.
The highlighted rating systems are helping drive the standard for sustainable architecture in Asia to a high level, as well as driving growth in the industry through incentivisation of having achieved global and regional recognition.