Global industries are facing pressure to restructure and adopt sustainable practices in response to widespread concerns about climate change. Specifically, the construction sector is encouraged to reevaluate every aspect of designing and constructing commercial projects, given their substantial consumption of energy and materials. Green building certifications are the modern-day blueprint for creating efficient, adaptable, and eco-friendly buildings. They demonstrate a proactive commitment to sustainability.
What are Green Building Certifications?
Green building certifications are rating tools that evaluate and acknowledge building structures that meet specific sustainability criteria or standards. By establishing benchmarks, green building certificates make it easier for governments to integrate green building principles into building codes and regulations, ultimately promoting greener and more sustainable construction practices. These certifications recognize and incentivize companies and organizations involved in constructing and operating environmentally friendly buildings. The incentives include tax credits, grants, loans, and fee waivers. Although different programs have varying levels of standards, they all focus on building a healthier, more sustainable future in commercial buildings.
Different certifications have distinct requirements. Some emphasize the use of energy-efficient, natural building materials with a low carbon footprint, ensuring a safe product lifecycle. Meanwhile, some certifications focus on performance criteria. Understanding certification requirements is essential for guiding projects toward the desired sustainability goal.
Below are several commonly observed green building certifications:
- Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE): Spaces that earn TRUE certification demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility, heightened resource efficiency, and the conversion of waste into savings and additional income streams. Through a closed-loop approach, these spaces mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, manage risks, diminish litter and pollution, reinvest resources locally, generate employment opportunities, and contribute enhanced value to both their company and community.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building certification system in the world. Utilizing responsibly sourced materials and resources is a major contributor to achieving the certification. LEED-certified buildings save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier spaces for people.
- The Living Building Challenge is an ambitious and comprehensive green building certification program and sustainable design framework developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). It goes beyond traditional sustainability standards by creating buildings that are not just environmentally friendly, but also guarantee the preservation of resources for the well-being of future generations.
- WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being. Unlike traditional green building certifications that primarily focus on environmental sustainability, WELL places a strong emphasis on health and wellness through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
These certificates are designed to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the construction and operation of buildings. Each has its own set of criteria and standards that buildings must meet to obtain certification.
Utilizing Natural Resources for Green Building Certified Projects
Wood emerges as a resilient and reliable option for projects aiming to attain green building certifications. Architects and designers frequently give preference to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) Certified wood products, as they guarantee the ethical sourcing of building materials. The incorporation of FSC®-Certified products in commercial projects enhances transparency and traceability in the construction process.
reSAWN TIMBER co.’s Specification Consultants are trained to collaborate closely with architects and designers to fulfill the criteria and standards of green building certifications. Whether it involves wood flooring, exterior, or interior cladding, our products are designed to provide sustainable solutions for new and existing commercial buildings. Connect with our Specification Consultants for your next project!
Dartmouth College expanded and renovated its Hood Museum of Art, incorporating additional galleries and learning spaces to offer an immersive experience for both visitors and students. The FSC®-Certified European White Oak flooring displays inviting tones, establishing a connection between the exhibits and the natural world.
United States Green Building Council Headquarters :: CUSTOM North American White Oak – LEED Platinum
The U.S. Green Building Council in Washington D.C. downsized and renovated their headquarters to create a hybrid and healthy work environment for their employees. The office achieved a triple platinum certification in LEED, TRUE, and WELL by integrating biophilic features such as natural FSC®-Certified North American White Oak flooring, living plant walls, and strategically utilizing natural lighting.
The 27th floor of the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, PA, features a loft-style design in its headquarters, providing staff with flexibility in their workspace and work styles. Upon entering the office, occupants and visitors are warmly welcomed by reclaimed oak interior cladding, fostering a sense of inclusiveness and collaboration.
Two Rivers Middle School is a network of high-performing public charter schools in Washington D.C. that offers hands-on, project-based learning that fosters curiosity, character, and meaningful engagement among students. As students step into the school, the European White Oak wall and ceiling cladding creates an inviting and supportive ambiance, setting the tone for a positive learning environment.
reSAWN TIMBER co. offers accessible and reliable FSC®-Certified wood products, providing architects and builders with a sustainable choice. Check out reSAWN TIMBER co.’s Sylva™ FSC®-Certified Thermally Modified Red Oak products as a sustainable building solution.