By rewarding measurable improvements to a building’s environmental performance, green building rating systems create market incentives that are transforming building industry practices globally.
Yet for Green Building Councils (GBCs) operating in developing country contexts with large-scale social and economic challenges such as poverty, poor public health, unemployment and lack of skills and education, focusing only on environmental outcomes has not been enough. These GBCs have recognised that they need to demonstrate how a more sustainable built environment can also help address these pressing issues.
To serve this need, the WorldGBC and the Green Building Council South Africa established a joint project to develop a framework to enable these more complex socio-economic issues to be integrated into any green building rating system in the world.
Developed in consultation with an International Advisory Panel (IAP) made up of representatives of Green Building Councils from fifteen countries and regions, this framework identifies key socio-economic priorities that can be addressed through the design and construction of individual buildings in the public or private sector. It also sets out performance indicators and examples of assessment measures and benchmarks.
A pilot framework was launched at the WorldGBC Congress in Cape Town on 16 October 2013.
Green Building Councils are encouraged to use this pilot framework as a starting point for integrating socio-economic impacts into their own green building rating tools. This broadening of the scope of green building rating tools is a vital step in the continuing growth of the green building movement and underscores the influential role that the building industry can play in meeting its country’s national priorities.