Your lawyers since 1722

About the Case Study Library

Our Case Study Library is the ‘go-to’ resource for certified best practice case studies in the built environment, showcasing some of the world’s most cutting-edge sustainable buildings.

Each case study demonstrates outstanding performance of an operational building that complies with at least one of WorldGBC’s three strategic impact areas: Climate Action; Health, Equity & Resilience; and Resources & Circularity. 

Travel the world’s sustainable buildings through our interactive map

Whether it be health benefits, regeneration of nature, or achieving net zero carbon, WorldGBC recognises these case studies as global leaders for sustainable built environments. Each case study has been validated by established certification schemes, rating tools or other third-party verification.

Our Case Study Library is continually evolving to highlight the ‘best in class’ buildings that excel in key areas of sustainability, and to recognise the growing market demand for low-carbon, healthy, equitable and circular buildings. 

Submit Your Case Study


Submissions are reviewed against the qualification criteria, developed by WorldGBC with input from an advisory committee of development partners. This process ensures that each featured project represents an outstanding example of sustainability in the built environment across our three impact areas.

Sustainability focus areas

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.



WorldGBC’s Case Study Library is an online tool showcasing buildings globally that are elevating their response to the climate emergency 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, circular, and net zero carbon buildings.

By keeping track of these projects, WorldGBC is able to share insights and provide solutions to these critical issues. Our aim is to inform policymakers, designers, and developers about the feasibility and best practices to advance sustainable building performance.

Relevant certification is required for buildings to be featured in the Case Study Library, and buildings must undergo a third party verification process and adhere to performance requirements of the appropriate schemes. 

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

Please refer to the criteria for each category.

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

Your project can stay in 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 recertification every two years. If the performance level is no longer achieved, please contact the relevant programme lead for each category. 

These projects will demonstrate exceptional sustainability performance, and will be pioneers in the industry, showing what the sector can and should achieve, whilst inspiring others to elevate their ambition for the benefit of people and planet.

When submitting your project via the form, there is a section called “Performance Area” where you will see the categories presented. Here, you can select the categories that your project falls under and you can fill in the required fields for each category. 

Case studies may be accepted, but not necessarily for all categories chosen. The teams responsible for each category will review your project and provide feedback. 

Following a review by WorldGBC, the submitter will receive an email confirming if the submission has been accepted or not. In some cases, we will contact you to clarify information if unclear and to avoid the submission being rejected. 

If your building is to be featured on our social media, you will be contacted by a team member to discuss the next steps. 

We will review and consider buildings that have not been certified under traditional schemes, but are able to demonstrate the equivalent level of performance via third party verified data, such 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 the same performance criteria (and in operation at time of submission).

We will accept projects that are able to demonstrate the equivalent level of performance and 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 and 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. Our current focus is on buildings that demonstrate how these standards were achieved post construction. This helps us maintain alignment with our project missions. We look forward to including your building in our Case Study Library once its been completed and its performance has been verified. 

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.

Find out more about the criteria required for acceptance into the Case Study Library.

For any queries, please contact the respective programme leads: 

Net Zero Operational Carbon/Whole Life Carbon case studies  — Rebecca Dilnot,

Health, Equity and Resilience case studies — Sara Kawamura,  

Resources and Circularity case studies — Carolina Montano-Owen,