ERKE Sustainable Building Design and Consultancy provides green and sustainable building design services through its interdisciplinary team of accredited green building experts with experience in professional project design and application.
Green building consultancy is among ERKE’s most important fields of expertise and is managed by a holistic and integrated approach beginning at the design stage and remaining in function until the building is put into use.
ERKE provides computer-aided simulations for optimized and innovative solutions leading to green building certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) for the construction process. Its services cover building sustainability parameters from site selection to building envelopes, the design of more efficient heating and cooling systems, lighting, electricity, landscaping, construction management, materials, and indoor air quality.
The Brundtland Report, entitled "Our Common Future," published by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, first introduced the concept of sustainability. The principle of sustainability aims to promote a harmonious balance between the environment and human populations while preserving the planet's natural resources for future generations.
In the realm of architecture, sustainability is achieved through a conscientious utilization of resources throughout the entire construction process. This encompasses a responsible approach that considers the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the building's design and operation.
Kremers (1995) defines sustainable architecture as a design methodology that minimizes dependency on resources, leading to a reduction in natural resource consumption. On the other hand, Shaviv (1998) highlights the objective of sustainable architecture as the creation of structures that are sensitive to the environment, consume minimal energy, have a minimal impact on the environment, offer healthy indoor spaces for occupants, and provide optimal comfort conditions.
The benefits of implementing Green Building practices can be broadly categorized into three areas: Environmental, Economic, and Health impacts.
Many nations have established their own standards for environmentally sustainable buildings, reflecting the unique conditions and requirements of their regions. The most widely recognized system is the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the American Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. The LEED standard sets criteria for sustainable design, construction, and operation of buildings and cities, and is evaluated based on 110 points, with four certification levels (Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum). Other green building certification systems include BREEAM, established in England, Green Star used in Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, and Fitwel, which prioritizes the health and productivity outcomes of building occupants.
Our company, ERKE Green Building Consultancy, offers services related to these and other certification systems, including LEED, BREEAM, WELL, Fitwel, Envision, EDGE, GSTC, Passive House, and GSAS. These systems evaluate buildings based on various factors, including energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials and resources, transportation, and regional priorities. By obtaining these certifications, building design, and operation can be documented and evaluated, increasing awareness among conscious consumers and adding prestige to institutions.
Our Green Building Consultancy Services encompass a range of certifications to ensure environmentally responsible and high-performing buildings. These certifications include:
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
Developed by the American Green Building Council in 1998, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system. It is a voluntary standard that evaluates buildings based on 110 points in nine categories, including integrated process management, location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design, and regional priority. The certification levels include Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)
Established in England by BRE in 1990, BREEAM is a green building rating system that assesses the environmental sustainability of buildings. It evaluates buildings based on 100 points in categories such as land use and ecology, building management, health and satisfaction, energy, transportation, materials, waste, water, pollution, and innovation. The five levels of certification include Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Outstanding.
WELL (WELL Building Standards)
Developed to prioritize human health and comfort in building practices, WELL focuses on creating healthy spaces for building users. It evaluates buildings based on various factors that contribute to occupant well-being.
Fitwel is a certification system that focuses on improving health and productivity outcomes in buildings. It evaluates structures based on their design and operational strategies and is suitable for buildings of all sizes, locations, and construction years.
Issued by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, Envision certification requires approval from the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP). To become an ENV SP, individuals must undergo training and pass an exam conducted by the Institute.
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies)
Developed for emerging markets by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, EDGE is a green building certification system that utilizes software to optimize building designs. To qualify for certification, a building must achieve a minimum of 20% savings in energy, water, and buried energy in materials. The software uses local costs and climate data to provide realistic and project-specific results.
GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council)
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is an international organization established to promote sustainable tourism practices worldwide. It provides a common understanding of sustainable tourism and helps destinations, organizations, and businesses achieve sustainability goals. GSTC criteria are organized around four main topics: sustainable management, social and economic, cultural, and environmental. The GSTC Destination Criteria is the minimum level that any tourism destination should aim to achieve. By utilizing the GSTC criteria, destinations, organizations, and businesses can contribute to the long-term viability of tourism while promoting sustainable development and preserving local cultures, communities, and environments.
Passive House is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in buildings that results in low-energy structures with reduced ecological footprints. The standard, developed in Germany, prioritizes thermal insulation, air tightness, thermal bridge-free design, high-efficiency windows, and ventilation with heat recovery, leading to energy savings of up to 90% compared to traditional buildings.
GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System)
Developed in 2007 by the Gulf Organization for Research and Development in collaboration with the TC Chan Center at the University of Pennsylvania and other specialists, GSAS is the first integrated performance-based system in the Middle East and North Africa region. It evaluates buildings and infrastructure based on their energy and water consumption and indoor performance, contributing to improved quality, maintenance requirements, and longevity.
Parksmart is a certification program that evaluates and recognizes the world's most innovative and sustainable parking structures. It is developed by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the International Parking Institute (IPI). The program focuses on the environmental and operational aspects of parking facilities and evaluates them in categories such as sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, water conservation, materials and waste management, and innovation. Parksmart-certified structures aim to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize their impact on the environment while improving the user experience and maximizing operational efficiency.
PEER (Performance and Energy Efficient Rating) is a certification system for evaluating and certifying the performance and energy efficiency of electrical power systems in commercial and industrial buildings. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), PEER evaluates electrical power systems based on multiple performance metrics, including energy efficiency, reliability, and resiliency. The PEER rating system provides a comprehensive evaluation of the electrical power system, from the generation source to the distribution system. Buildings with PEER-certified electrical power systems can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency, and receive recognition for their efforts. PEER certification can help buildings to reduce energy consumption, improve energy management, and increase the reliability of the electrical power system.