Commercial Real Estate And The 11 Green Building Certifications You Should Know

August 13, 2020

Sustainability should be one of the significant concerns for anyone into commercial real estate. Studies suggest that tenants are willing to pay around 9% more if the building has sustainable features. Also, having a strong focus on sustainable features can help you keep up with your competition and also increase your property values by a significant margin.

Green building certifications are a great way to showcase your focus on sustainability. Here are 11 Green building certifications you should know:

1. LEED:

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most easily recognized sustainable building certifications, issued by the US Green Buildings Council. It has nine certification programs including ones for commercial, retail, new construction and existing building, etc. Each program has a points-based rating system. The points received for your building will determine whether you’re LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, or LEED Platinum.

2. Energy Star

Another well-known green building certification is Energy Star. This certification is offered through the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Your building should be at least 15% more energy efficient than traditional properties to qualify for this certification. These certifications are valid for one year.


BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) recognizes sustainable buildings and infrastructure projects. The buildings receive a star rating and a designation of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding

4. Green Globes

This certification is offered through the Green Building Initiative. It has three categories – new construction, existing buildings, and interiors. To qualify, you must pass an online survey, a third-party assessment, and a post-assessment where you need to score 35% out of the 1000 available points.

5. Living Building Challenge

This certification is based on your building’s sustainability performance for over 12 months. To qualify, you need to earn all seven “petals” which include materials, site, water, health, equity, beauty, and energy.

6. National Green Building Standard

This certification is for residential properties only, including single-family, multifamily and mixed-use developments. This certification has different levels of certification, ranging from Bronze to the much-coveted Emerald.

7. GreenGuard

The GreenGuard certification focuses on air quality and low-emission building materials, mould prevention, moisture protection, etc. The application process requires various planning meetings, reviews, test groups, compliance testing, and a final certification package.

8. WELL Building Standard

This certification focuses on seven core concepts, including air, water, nourishment, light, movement, and more. The certificate is issued by the International WELL Building Institute and focuses on the impact of building on human health and wellbeing.


This green building certification is available to Australian projects only. The buildings are rated on a six-star scale, which is based on energy use, waste production, water use, and indoor environment.

10. Green Star

Green Star is another Australia-based option that certifies interiors, building designs, energy performance, and even entire communities.


The Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) is a green building certification in Japan, though it’s currently being piloted for international use. The application process includes various assessments and certifies residential and commercial buildings.


Having a green eye for your buildings is good for the environment, the wellbeing of people and also a significant investment. If you need assistance with green building initiatives in commercial real estate, come to us at Perfect Real Estate Investment, and we can help you out with the best deals.

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