There is currently no consensus regarding a single standard governing energy certification for office buildings. The increasing use of the three leading standards – LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and DGNB, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German sustainable building council) – shows the growing importance of certification in Europe. There are large differences among the individual countries.
Some countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic are developing their own national standards for energy certification, while other countries such as the Netherlands and Poland are using international standards and customizing them to their national needs. The first office building to be awarded LEED Gold was the new office building of the Süddeutsche Verlag publishing house in Munich in 2010.
Harmonizing these standards would be advantageous to the entire European Real Estate business. An increasing number of new buildings is being energy certified. New buildings only make up a small percentage of the existing total housing stock. Therefore, the emerging practice of post-certifying existing buildings contributes to a positive development.
The current leading standards are:
More information on LEED at: www.usgbc.org
More information on BREEAM at: www.breeam.org
More information on DGNB at: www.dgnb.de