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About the Case Study Library

WorldGBC’s interactive case study library map showcases some of the world’s most cutting-edge sustainable buildings.

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

WorldGBC launched the case study library in November 2019 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.


Submissions are reviewed against the qualification criteria, developed by WorldGBC with input from 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.

Sustainability focus areas

The case study library is a resource to showcase the ‘best in class’ buildings that demonstrate enhanced performance in relation to health benefits and net zero operational carbon; as verified by established certification schemes, rating tools or other verification systems. Over time, it will develop to respond to the changing nature of sustainability and the work of our member Green Building Councils (GBCs), to become more closely linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.



WorldGBC’s case study library is being created to showcase buildings globally that are elevating their response to climate change through leading certification schemes. This will enable us to fulfil our mission of communicating and educating on industry best practice, specifically in relation to healthy and net zero carbon buildings.

By keeping track of these projects, WorldGBC is able to share insights about global trends in providing solutions to these critical issues, to help inform policymakers, designers, and developers about the feasibility, best practices, and generally promote advanced sustainable building performance.

Buildings that have been certified under one or more of the schemes listed in the submission form are eligible to be featured in the case study library, due to the third party verification process and performance requirements of these schemes.

These schemes represent the highest market performance level in the focus areas of healthy buildings and net zero carbon buildings, and can be any building typology or location.

To see the list of questions in the submission form required for the Case Study Library, click here.

Project teams are encouraged to submit projects to demonstrate exceptional performance standards, and to promote the application of these key focus areas to different building typologies and locations.

Your project can stay on the library for as long as the performance level is maintained. This should be reviewed every five years, but may be reviewed as per the certification scheme pursued, for example if the scheme requires re-certification every 2 years. If the performance level is no longer achieved, please advise WorldGBC.

Game changer projects meet the qualification criteria for both healthy and net zero carbon buildings, and demonstrate the co-benefits of each. These projects have exceptional sustainability performance and are beacons for the sector in what can and should be achieved, inspiring others to elevate their ambition for the benefit of people and planet.

For projects to be identified as ‘game changers’ the submitter will be asked to explain the features of innovation incorporated into this building that would justify its presentation as a market leader on this forum.

Case studies may be accepted, but not granted game changer status due to enhanced eligibility criteria and importance of maintaining highest standard of performance within these specific case studies. We will review and consider buildings that have not been certified under one of the above schemes, but are able to demonstrate equivalent level of performance via third party verified data as a “special pleading case” (see below).

We will review and consider buildings that have not been certified under one of the above schemes, but are able to demonstrate equivalent level of performance via third party verified data as a “special pleading case” (see below).

We recognise that not all high performance buildings are certified, for many reasons. The “special pleading” option allows the inclusion of world class case studies that have not pursued a traditional rating tool path, but have externally verified performance as a sustainable building and meet same performance criteria (and in operation at time of submission).

We will accept projects that are able to demonstrate the equivalent level of performance, to maintain the exemplary standards demonstrated by the qualification criteria. The minimum requirement is third party verification of performance data, which is confirmed via the disclaimer in the submission form. Entries will be evaluated for alignment against the criteria.

Over time, we seek to develop metrics and benchmarks against key performance criteria, to expand the inclusivity of this initiative.

We appreciate that there are many buildings currently under design or construction that are seeking to achieve these performance standards. Currently we are focusing on buildings that actually achieve these in operation, in order to maintain alignment with our project missions, but look forward to including them in our library once they are completed and have verified their performance.

In cases where a building operates at an equivalent high performance standard, but for reasons beyond the control of the project team cannot achieve verified net zero carbon status due to legal, energy procurement or other restrictions, these are encouraged to be submitted as “special pleading” projects for consideration.

In these cases, the local GBC will also be consulted.