The three focus areas include:
1) Net zero carbon case studies of new developments, major renovations, existing buildings or spaces, that demonstrate either the following achievement:
— Net Zero Operational Carbon
For existing buildings or spaces, the case study should demonstrate how net zero operational carbon emissions have been achieved. The building should demonstrate the highest levels of energy efficiency with the use of either renewables generated onsite or renewable energy procured offsite.
The building must be verified and certified as “net zero operational energy and/or carbon” through Green Building Council or third-party certification schemes related to zero carbon and based on a minimum of 12-months data.
Verification of the compensation for residual emissions, if applicable, should also be provided.
— Net Zero Whole Life Carbon
For new developments and major renovations, the case study should have achieved both net zero upfront embodied carbon and net zero operational carbon. The case study should demonstrate maximised reduction of embodied carbon emissions during the design and construction phase, and optimised for maxmised reductions across the building lifecycle, according to local/regional/international benchmarks or targets. Any remaining residual upfront carbon emissions (A1 – A5) must then be compensated (offset) at the point of practical completion of the project.
The building should have its life cycle assessments (LCA) and whole life carbon data verified and certified under Green Building Council or other third-party certification schemes related to LCA/net zero embodied carbon/net zero whole life carbon. Verification of the compensation for residual emissions at the point of practical completion should also be provided.
Note: Case studies that have achieved reductions in embodied carbon, but have not compensated (offset) for any remaining residual upfront embodied carbon emissions (A1 – A5) at point of practical completion, should submit under the ‘Resources and Circularity’ category, as well as case studies that have only achieved net zero upfront embodied carbon but not net zero operational carbon.
Find out more about net zero carbon buildings through our Advancing Net Zero programme.
2) Health, equity and resilience case studies of existing buildings or spaces that provide features which enhance one or all of these elements.
The case study must demonstrate that outstanding performance in these elements can be done through a holistic green building certification scheme, or through achieving specific health or social-based certification or validation. Outstanding performance can also be demonstrated using verified performance data, such as Post-Occupancy Evaluations.
Find out more about healthy, equitable and resilient buildings through our Better Places for People programme.
3) Resources and Circularity case studies of buildings or spaces that illustrate the principles of the circular economy in an exceptional way.
This includes efficient use of natural resources, such as water, and the regeneration of nature. Reducing embodied carbon through efficient and low carbon design, materials and construction processes is important to start reducing whole life carbon across the built environment. Circularity principles must be demonstrated across the entire asset (individual product-level assessments cannot be used to verify an entire asset), and commitment to circular economy practices across the entire lifecycle must be demonstrated.
Find out more about circular and resource efficient buildings through our Circularity Accelerator programme.