Green Building Certification Studies
The attribution of certain Green Building Certification scores involves the need to conduct specific evaluation studies or studies that will inform decisions pertaining to their implementation. The results of these studies provide evidence of compliance with the intended requirements.
Different study requirements are specified according to the intended certifications. Some of the studies that may be conducted by Engexpor are described below:
The purpose of this study is to characterise the site and the surrounding area from an environmental perspective, based on existing documentation and a visit to the site. Project design parameters should be defined based on the analysis of several environmental aspects, according to the intended requirements.
In this sense, the following aspects are analysed: Climate, Topography, Hydrology, Vegetation, Soils and Human Use.
The purpose of a Lifecycle Assessment is to determine and reduce the footprint and the economic and social effects of a building over its lifecycle, from development, operation and use to dismantling.
A lifecycle assessment study involves the following stages: a) collection and analysis of project data and technical sheets for all materials used (or, should the latter not be available, search in materials databases); b) lifecycle assessment; c) optimisation of results through a different selection of materials; and d) production of documentation and a final report.
This assessment will differ according to the certification system implemented:
LEED – Reduction of impact, compared with a benchmark, in at least 3 of the 6 impact categories assessed;
BREEAM – The assessment will include, as a minimum requirement, the mandatory building elements defined in the BREEAM MAT 1 tool. The score will be determined according to the building elements included in the assessment and the evaluation tool used.
Initial study: The purpose of this study is to determine the ecological value of the site through the identification of all stakeholders and classified/protected areas located in its surroundings. The initial study involves the characterisation of the flora and fauna found at the site and adjoining areas, such as to allow the identification of eventual areas of ecological value.
This study is followed by the definition of measures aimed at enhancing the ecological value of the site through development. In this sense, relevant ecological issues are taken into account during the design and construction stages and a Landscaping Project considered.
Final study: In order to minimise long-term impact on local biodiversity, compliance with current ecological standards and the adoption of proposed recommendations, based on the previous report, will be verified.
The final study involves the development of a Biodiversity Plan for the first 5 years of operation, including conservation objectives for local species and habitats after completion of the construction stage and adequate measures for maintaining and enhancing ecological value, including measurable, attainable, time-based goals, as well as the necessary resources for their implementation.
The Flood Risk Assessment aims to characterise the risk of flooding and define risk minimisation measures, if justified.
The aforementioned risk will be assessed based on the following flooding sources:
- Rivers and streams in the surrounding areas;
- A nearby sea and the possible effect of tides;
- Surface water (sheet runoff from adjacent land);
- Groundwater levels and nearby aquifers;
- Reservoirs, canals and other artificial water sources;
- A nearby functional flood plain.
Measures aimed at minimising the risk and possible consequences of an eventual flood will be defined based on the level of risk identified and site characteristics.