Going Green: The BERDE Certification and What it Means for Property Developers

To be considered a green building is not up to a property developer to decide upon. They must submit their project for an impartial assessment to a recognized body.

BERDE stands for Building for Ecologically Responsible Design Excellence, a Green Building Rating System established in 2009 by the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC). The PhilGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), a non-profit organization and global network of national Green Building Councils. 

Aimed at curbing the effects of climate change in the country, BERDE compels property developers to align their construction and operation initiatives to the best sustainability practices and submit projects to be green verified.

Global Compliance

The WorldGBC is an international community of Green Building Councils (GBC), with 70 member councils under it. Armed with the mission to make nations better positioned to address climate change in their respective regions, the organization encourages all nations to develop their own GBCs, such as BERDE in the Philippines. The scope of the WorldGBC is present in the following sectors:

  • Residential
  • Office/commercial
  • Leisure
  • Hospitals/healthcare
  • Educational

As mentioned, BERDE is the country’s representative to the WorldGBC. The well-known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of the United States is its counterpart. With the BERDE certification, Philippine property developers are able to align themselves with the WorldGBC’s global initiative. The green body is better qualified to assess the sustainability of a local development, as the LEED certification evaluates sustainable principles of the United States.

To be clear, the parameters for assessment draw similarities to other countries, which is based on a global consensus on a green rating system. BERDE diverges, however, from other GBCs on the weights given for each category. The sustainable living priorities of the Philippines would naturally differ from other countries such as Sweden, for example.

Green Advantages

A BERDE certification will benefit the residents of a development, as well as the surrounding community. Compliance means that the project being delivered is enhanced with ecologically sound principles. To attain it, property developers must be guided by modern best practices and subscribe to industry standards on sustainability. 

Aside from improving the well-being of residents, compliance to BERDE requirements lends a positive image not only to the project but to the company’s brand. This can be used as an advantageous marketing tool to attract prospective investors.

Another advantage a BERDE certification provides is transparency. It shows that the project was submitted to a disinterested third-party for assessment. The rating provided will ultimately give the general public an idea regarding where the project stands from an ecological standpoint. With a BERDE standard to satisfy, there’s no room for “greenwashing,” a marketing ploy that some companies enter into to pass off their unverified projects as green building compliant.

Essential Certification

Ultimately, a BERDE certification shows proof of a property developer’s compliance with environmental laws. As the acknowledged National Voluntary Green Building Rating System by the Department of Energy, it testifies that a property is in line with the national programs of the government, as well as on the local level. As such, it is being used as a model to guide the building sector to develop its programs and policies.

The Core Framework of BERDE consists of nine distinct sections in order to be considered a green building project. They are the following:

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Water Efficiency and Conservation Waste Management
Management Use of Land and Ecology Green Materials
Transportation Indoor Environment and Quality Emissions

 

To be certified, an applicant must be able to achieve the minimum amount of credits required under each classification. It is a three-part process of Registration, Stage 1 and Stage 2. Project owners are given a BERDE rating between 1-Star to 5-Stars at the end of the assessment procedure.

Environmental Emphasis

The Outlook 2018, happening on November 15, 2018, at Makati Shangri-La Hotel, will be recognizing real estate industry players who have displayed excellence in the past year under various categories. 

To show support for the country’s efforts towards sustainable development and emphasize the importance of BERDE compliance, Lamudi will be presenting the Best Green Project of the Year 2018 award to the property developer who most exemplified green building principles in their project. 

This includes not only form and function but how responsive the developer is to sustainable living and ecological principles. The award signifies the importance of leadership in environmental and socially conscious efforts in the face of climate change, promoting adherence to industry standards, such as BERDE.

For more information about The Outlook 2018, visit the event’s official website.

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