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New digital library of exemplar sustainable buildings from across the world launched

World Green Building Council launches a new case study library showcasing excellence in sustainable development globally, featuring buildings that are net zero carbon and/or enhance human health.

19 November 2019, Atlanta, US – Today the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has launched a new digital case study library showcasing a selection of the world’s most cutting-edge sustainable buildings.

Each case study demonstrates enhanced performance in relation to health benefits or achieve net zero operational carbon, as verified by established certification schemes, rating tools or other third-party verification.

Buildings and construction together account for 36% of global final energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when upstream power generation is included. Additionally, people spend 90% of their time in buildings, and there is a consistent association between unhealthy indoor environments and negative human health impacts, for example exposure to damp and mould is recognised to raise likelihood of asthma attacks by 40%. Building operations, therefore, represent a significant opportunity to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, improve air quality and create healthier places for people and communities.

WorldGBC has launched the case study library in recognition of growing market demand to highlight the ‘best in class’ buildings that excel in key areas of sustainability, and the role of certification schemes to provide third party assurance of performance.

This ‘go-to’ resource for verified exemplar projects within the built environment globally will launch at USGBC’s Greenbuild conference in Atlanta on 19 November 2019. Following the launch, it will be open for new submissions via the website on a rolling basis.

Submissions are reviewed against qualification criteria, developed by WorldGBC with input of an advisory committee of development partners. This process is to ensure that each project featured in the library represents an outstanding example of sustainability in the built environment, as a net zero carbon building or across different areas of health and wellbeing.

Net zero carbon case studies are existing buildings or spaces that can demonstrate they have achieved high levels of energy efficiency and either generate or procure sufficient renewable energy to meet the building’s demand over 12 consecutive months. This can be demonstrated either through the use of Green Building Council or other market rating tools that certify net zero carbon performance, or by providing third party verified data to support the net zero claim.

Healthy case studies are existing buildings or spaces that can demonstrate they excel in the provision of features that enhance human health, as verified and certified using rating schemes demonstrating outstanding achievement of health elements of a holistic green building certification scheme, or achieve specific health-based certification, or demonstrate equivalent levels of performance using verified data.

The library also features industry “game changer” projects – those that have achieved the criteria for both healthy and net zero performance criteria – and information from the case studies about their specific features, lessons learned and additional useful project information. It is therefore a useful resource for sharing and learning about best practice approaches to achieving pioneering levels of sustainable performance.

An example of a “game changer” project is Floth’s office in Brisbane, Australia which has been certified as carbon neutral by the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) standard, and which achieves exemplary performance for healthy impacts in both NABERS Internal Environment and the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star rating system.

CBRE’s Vancouver office is also included on the map for achieving Gold certification under the WELL building standard and for its multiple features that promote a healthy work environment.

Several buildings that have recently been awarded certification under DGNB’s Carbon Neutral Framework for demonstrating best practice in energy efficiency and a balance of renewable energy are also featured, including City Hall in Freiburg, Germany, the biggest surplus energy building in Europe.

Over time, the case study library will be developed to respond to the changing nature of sustainability and the impact of the WorldGBC global network of almost 70 Green Building councils, closely linked to the UN’s Global Goals.

By keeping track of these projects, WorldGBC will be able to share insights about global trends in providing solutions to reducing the environmental impact of buildings, to help inform policymakers, designers, and developers about the feasibility, best practices, while promoting advanced sustainable building performance.

Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council said: “As a global network committed to achieving a sustainable built environment, I’m delighted to launch our new case study library. It showcases the most cutting-edge examples of sustainable building worldwide as verified by our local Green Building Councils. Buildings are a vital part of the solution to the climate crisis as they are the fastest, most viable and cost-effective means to achieve emissions reductions. Therefore, our case study library will be a valuable resource to further inspire commitment towards improving human health and eliminating the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions to reach net zero before 2050.”

Developed in partnership with Delos, Integral Group and Saint-Gobain, this interactive digital resource is a joint initiative between two of WorldGBC’s global projects: Advancing Net Zero – accelerating uptake of net zero carbon to 100% by 2050 – and Better Places for People – accelerating market demand for sustainable buildings through demonstrating people-centred co-benefits.

Whitney Austin Gray, Senior Vice President, Head of Delos Insights, Delos said:

“Delos is excited to contribute to the development of WorldGBC’s case study library. It’s imperative that we harness leading global examples of certified green and healthy spaces in one place to catalyze the global marketplace. Data that links to direct performance targets is key. Our hope is that the WorldGBC’s case study library will be an industry leading reference for the best-in-class in sustainable and healthy building design worldwide, and we look forward to seeing the resource grow as more high-performance healthy buildings designed with people and planet in mind continue to be built.”

Megan White, Chief Sustainability Officer, Integral Group said:

“Integral Group is proud to support WorldGBC’s case study library. As a global deep green engineering firm, we are committed to making an impact through high-performance sustainable building design that respects and enriches the earth and improves people’s lives. Therefore, we welcome this important new resource that showcases exceptional buildings that bridge the intersection of planetary sustainability with people-centric design to help inspire greater uptake of sustainable building globally.”

Pascal Eveillard, Sustainable Construction Director, Saint-Gobain said:

“Saint-Gobain welcomes the launch of the case study library and is proud to support its development. This valuable digital resource comes at a critical time when we are seeing growing global demand for a more sustainable built environment, and an urgent need to demonstrate solutions to accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings. Therefore, we look forward to seeing the case study library become the go-to reference for exemplary green building practice worldwide.”

The case study library will be regularly updated to display the latest leading examples of sustainable building worldwide. WorldGBC will be accepting submissions on a rolling basis. Applications for case studies can be submitted here.




Georgina Eldridge, Marketing and Communications Manager, World Green Building Council, +44 (0) 7584 082 027

Notes to Editors

About the World Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is a global network leading the transformation of the built environment, to make it healthier and more sustainable. Collectively, with our Green Building Councils (GBCs) in around 70 countries, we accelerate action to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement, by eliminating the buildings and construction sector´s emissions by 2050. We are committed to green buildings for everyone, everywhere to build a better future.

Advancing Net Zero is WorldGBC’s global project which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050.

Better Places for People is WorldGBC’s global project to increase the demand and supply of green buildings which are supportive of the health, wellbeing and productivity of the people within them.

About Delos

Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company guided by the mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people around the world by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play.  Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for residential and commercial spaces. Delos is the founder of the WELL Building Standard™, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. Its subsidiary, the International WELL Building Institute, administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Delos’ advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, government policy, medicine and sustainability, including renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio.

About Integral Group

Integral Group is an interactive global network of design professionals collaborating under a single deep green engineering umbrella. We provide a full range of building system design and energy analysis services, with a staff widely regarded as innovative leaders in their fields. Located in 15 offices across North America, the UK and Australia, our passion for sustainable design runs deep.

About Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.