Green building – concepts & certifications

Green building is often associated with sustainable construction, which is confirmed by a green building certification. But it is much more than that. Real estate developers, owners and investors face increased pressure from regulators, tenants, financial markets, and municipalities to develop sustainable, green buildings and to modernize the existing building stock.

Build on our experience in green building certification and related services

Manage the impact of your buildings in a holistic way. From BREEAM and LEED certification to decarbonization, biodiversity or energy and waste strategies. We are experts in all these areas.

What is green building and sustainable architecture?

Green building and sustainable architecture go beyond the design and certification of a sustainable building. Land consumption and impacts on biodiversity are just as much a part of this field as induced mobility behavior. Decarbonization, waste and other environmental effects are also related topics of green building and green architecture, which puts eco design in the spotlight.

Why is the decarbonization of buildings important?

Decarbonization of buildings has become imperative since they account for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. However, our green building services do not just mean driving forward the decarbonization of buildings. In addition, socio-economic aspects of buildings such as high-quality indoor and outdoor spaces, the proximity to local amenities and infrastructure, or thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort have considerable effects on our health, well-being, and productivity. That shows that working on green design is much more than meeting the requirements of eco-buildings. Therefore, green building services require expertise in many areas.

Our EY denkstatt approach to green and sustainable buildings puts long-term value and optimized life cycle costs at the center with clear sustainability objectives – derived from the intended building qualities and operationalized through a sustainability concept – as the anchor for project planning and development.

LEED & Co. – building sustainability certifications

Building certification – through the globally leading certification schemes BREEAM, DGNB, and LEED – plays a major role in integrating sustainability into the design and construction process, both for new constructions and refurbishments. The LEED rating system is one of the most widely used green building standards. Every certification process for Green Buildings follows a clear procedure, as you can see in the example of a BREEAM certification:

1. Gap analysis

2. Design stage support

3. Construction stage support

4. Certification

Our green building services

From life cycle cost analysis and other steps of your sustainability concept to LEED-certified buildings

– our EY denkstatt experts know how to handle it!

Green building sustainability concept


Green building certification

Compliance with internationally recognized green building standards helps you as an engineer, architect or building owner to develop sustainable buildings that meet the tests of both environmental protection and user-friendliness. At EY denkstatt we provide you with technical expertise throughout the various phases of sustainable building design work and project implementation, including DGNB, LEED and BREEAM green building certification support.


We support you in different stages of your processes and find a strategy that suits your company!


Frequently asked questions on green building

Green architecture, also called sustainable architecture, focuses on the impact of buildings such as greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption or waste. Green architecture is guided by the standards of sustainable design.

Green architecture serves several purposes regarding sustainability. In addition to environmental aspects, such as energy and water consumption or the use of green building materials, general health aspects also play a major role. Green architecture should lead to liveable and sustainable communities. These consider the impact and well-being of all – including ecosystems.

The sustainability of a building depends on various factors – for example, whether it is a new building that is to be constructed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner or whether it is a modernization of existing building stock. In all cases, it is necessary to deal with the effects, ascertain the status quo through analyses, and derive goals and measures from this. green building certification proves its success afterwards.

No matter where you are at the moment: We are happy to support you in developing and implementing your green building sustainability concept.

LEED certification is based on the so-called LEED rating system. It is the most used green building standard. Buildings that go through the LEED verification process receive a certain number of points. LEED Platinum and LEED Gold are the highest scores. The score represents the evaluation of the following aspects of a building: emissions, energy, water, waste, but also transportation, as well as health and environmental aspects of the interior spaces.

LEED originated in the US while BREEAM is from the UK. The majority of the two systems are similar, however, there are differences between the certification process and the requirements as well. One of the big differences between the two certification schemes is the approved standards: LEED requires compliance with US standards while BREEAM accepts local standards in many cases.

BREEAM certification covers all stages of a building’s life cycle. BREEAM Communities applies to developments at the neighborhood scale or larger; New Construction for new-build domestic (international only) and non-domestic buildings; In-Use for existing non-domestic buildings in-use; while Refurbishment applies to non-domestic building fit-outs and refurbishments.

In general, sustainability performance is measured based on precisely defined assessment criteria, which depend on the relevant BREEAM scheme. In the case of new construction, 9+1 categories are defined and all these categories contain issues and criteria.

First of all, it is necessary to choose the BREEAM scheme that applies to the project. Then a BREEAM Assessor should be appointed, who registers the project with the relevant BREEAM scheme and conducts an assessment. The certification will be issued by BREEAM based on the performance of the asset.

As the first step of green building consultancy, we offer a GAP analysis to our clients. As part of this, the asset is analyzed in reference to the requirements of the relevant certification scheme, the available rating is determined, and all the relevant tasks are pointed out to the project team to achieve this.

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