With a growing awareness of the need to mitigate climate change and reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, the country has witnessed a surge in green building projects in recent years. As of June 2023, over 1000 green buildings are certified under various international and local green building rating systems in the Philippines. These buildings first went under WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting to ensure they meet the eco standards of green buildings in hopes of transforming the country's skyline and setting a precedent for responsible construction and design.
But what do WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE certifications mean to the environment?
The WELL Certification prioritizes the health and well-being of building occupants by focusing on factors such as air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, and community. By adhering to WELL standards, green buildings in the Philippines ensure that their occupants access healthier indoor environments, leading to improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, and better overall quality of life. Moreover, these practices help reduce the strain on healthcare systems by promoting well-being and preventing health issues related to poor indoor air quality.
The U.S. Green Building Council developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Certification to primarily target the reduction of a building's environmental footprint, which makes this the most eco-friendly certification among the others. It encourages sustainable site development, water and energy efficiency, the use of renewable materials, and waste reduction. Consequently, LEED-certified buildings in the Philippines significantly reduce energy consumption, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the nation's broader efforts to combat climate change.
The EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) green building certification system, developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), significantly impacts the environment. Much like LEED, this certification is designed to encourage the development of more sustainable buildings. The primary environmental benefits of this certification include substantially reducing energy and water usage, which lowers greenhouse gas emissions and conserves vital natural resources. By setting standards for energy-efficient design and construction, EDGE helps reduce buildings' carbon footprint. Moreover, it promotes using sustainable materials, further reducing the environmental impact by minimizing waste and pollution. The certification also positively influences biodiversity, as sustainable building practices often include the preservation of natural habitats and incorporating green spaces in urban areas.
The Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence, or BERDE, is a local green building system rating exclusively developed by the Philippine Green Building Council for local construction management firms. Its core framework includes nine factors: energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste management, management, use of land and ecology, green materials, transportation, health and wellbeing, emissions, community engagement, and economic opportunity. BERDE certifications consider the Philippines' specific environmental and climatic conditions to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed in ways tailored to the country's unique challenges and opportunities. This approach helps preserve local ecosystems, mitigate the urban heat island effect, and conserve resources effectively.
Are Green Certifications Enough?
While WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting are valuable benchmarks, they should not be perceived as the sole determinant of sustainable development. It is essential to recognize that certification, on its own, does not ultimately guarantee the sustainability of a building. Even if a building fulfills all the prerequisites for green certification, it may still exhibit significant sustainability shortcomings.
Going beyond certification is essential to ensure that the built environment aligns with the principles of true sustainability. It involves a commitment to continuous improvement and pursuing excellence in sustainable building practices. To ensure your business goes beyond certifications, choose the best construction management firm for your WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting needs. This will assure you that your building only meets the highest standards for green buildings.
Regular maintenance should also be observed so your building maintains its sustainability. Continuously monitor and measure the environmental performance of the building and publicly report on sustainability achievements and goals to maintain transparency and accountability. You may also extend sustainability efforts beyond the building's boundaries by engaging with the local community on environmental initiatives and promoting sustainable practices.
Going beyond WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting demonstrates a genuine dedication to environmental responsibility and can yield long-term benefits for businesses and the planet. By incorporating these strategies, companies can elevate their commitment to sustainability and contribute to a greener future while setting a positive example for others in their industry.
Go Green With JCVA!
The growth of WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting in the Philippines signals a promising shift towards environmentally responsible construction and design. These certifications have ushered in an era of healthier indoor environments, reduced environmental footprints, and a heightened awareness of sustainability's significance.
While these certifications play a pivotal role, it is vital to remember that they are not the sole determinants of genuine sustainability. To truly make a difference, businesses should look beyond certifications and prioritize ongoing maintenance, community engagement, and transparent reporting of sustainability achievements. By adopting these holistic approaches, we can foster a culture of environmental responsibility that contributes to a greener and more sustainable future.
Are you searching for a reliable construction firm for your WELL, LEED, EDGE, and BERDE consulting needs? Look no further than JCVA! Reach us at email@example.com or visit www.jcvassociates.ph/well-leed-berde-consultancy to learn more about our sustainable services.