The Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) was founded in 2008 in The Netherlands as a market initiative. The aim was to make Sustainability in the building industry measurable by developing a sustainability label allowing for the uniform rating of buildings throughout the Netherlands.
The initiative came from the building industry itself. The industry felt a strong need for promoting the concept of sustainability quantification and assessing buildings unequivocally in a manner that is accepted internationally. The original five ’Founding Partners’ have already been joined by almost 370 other Participants representing almost all industry sectors. And since the first label for New Buildings has become operational in October 2009, this number is still growing consistently.
Need for CO2 reduction
From construction to daily operation, buildings in Europe are responsible for almost 40% of the continent’s CO2 emissions. With this in mind, the DGBC was formed to meet the growing demand for sustainable development from occupiers, investors and developers alike within the real estate industry. The council’s mission is to drastically improve sustainability levels in the built environment, working towards climate neutral buildings that are both pleasant and healthy to work in, and win back the Dutch leading position in the area of sustainability.
The choice for BREEAM
After consulting the participants regarding their criteria on a practical sustainable certification DGBC concluded they were looking for a system that provides international comparability, is adaptable to the local situation and standards (climate, building regulations, etc), is open and transparent, allows for a good balance between price and quality and provides for independent assessments. Having examined various international options for benchmarking buildings, the DGBC choose to use the English BREEAM methodology as the basis for their sustainability label. The ‘Environmental Assessment Method’ of buildings was originally developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a British research organization, hence the name BREEAM. BRE has had more than 100,000 buildings certified and operates in dozens of countries.
From Pass to Outstanding
BREEAM has nine categories:
2. Health and Wellbeing
8. Land use & Ecology
Scores can be obtained per category and through qualitative weighting a total score is obtained. Within bandwidths the total score of the examined building receives a qualification on the certificate: Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding.
The DGBC translated the original English version into Dutch. In April 2008, the council worked out the first adaptation of BREEAM-NL New Buildings to the local situation in the Netherlands. Five working groups comprised of retail, residential, office, industrial and regional constituents offered their feedback in May, and this input was used to form an optimal rating scheme for each building type and region. The next step was to implement what the Dutch GBC had learned. 13 Pilot projects commenced in February 2009. In March 2009 DGBC launched the beta version of BREEAM-NL New Buildings. The addition ‘NL’ makes clear that this is the Dutch version. The beta version was designed to be used for testing. Besides the thirteen official pilots many other organizations and individuals downloaded and tried the beta version. A dedicated Wikipedia page was opened to allow for anyone to assist in the development. Their findings, comments and questions contributed to the completion of BREEAM-NL New Buildings.
In September 2009, the council formally approved BREEAM-NL Version 1.0 for new buildings. This scheme can be used for individual offices, schools, shops, industrial buildings and major renovation projects. In October 2009 the scheme was publicly launched.
The council now develops the In Use- (BREEAM-NL In-Use) and Area Development-labels (Keurmerk Duurzame Gebiedsontwikkeling). The beta of BREEAM-NL In-Use was launched on juli 16 of 2010.
Evidence indicates that sustainable buildings have lower vacancy rates, higher rents, and increased property values. Yet to accurately assess the added value of sustainable investments a uniform measuring stick is needed. Environmental rating systems not only provide this standardized basis for comparison between different buildings in different regions, but they add additional value to the sustainable design and operation of these buildings.
A DGBC board member: “Buildings with the BREEAM-NL label are from now on guaranteed with a higher return on investment in comparison to non-sustainable buildings. The new label is a feature for new buildings that exceed the current Dutch national regulations in terms of sustainability. Public and private parties that do more than is legally required, will be highlighted using BREEAM-NL in comparison to other parties that merely apply generally accepted rules”.
The DGBC’s overarching goal is to advance the sustainability level of the built environment. In practice this leads to four primary goals. The first goal is to allow for the accurate and consistent measurement of a building’s sustainability level. The second goal is to raise the profile of sustainable buildings. The DGBC has already trained some 60 Assessors and more than 300 Experts to certify buildings. The third goal is to expand and share knowledge. Sharing knowledge within the industry is vital to obtaining smooth and rapid progress, and the DGBC organises numerous conferences and events related to sustainable buildings and regional development. In addition DGBC cooperates with universities and professional development institutions, and is involved in making educational material for high schools. The fourth goal is to ensure that sustainable construction becomes common practice and to fully integrate sustainability issues from planning through development and into final use. To guarantee sustainable use, it is necessary that occupiers change their habits, so the DGBC wants to study how buildings are being used and what actions should be taken to improve on this.
The DGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), which stimulates knowledge sharing between councils and sets the standard for high quality local councils. In turn the DGBC also supports other Green Building Councils, including the Belgian, Danish, French, German, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Swedish councils.
Dutch Green Building Week
First BREEAM-NL ‘Excellent’ sustainable building design in the Netherlands
Amsterdam, June 8 2010 – Today the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) issued the first BREEAM-NL New Buildings designcertificate with an ‘Excellent’ score (4 stars)at the real estate fair PROVADA 2010 (Amsterdam RAI). The new office for the Dutch Heart Foundation in The Hague, a development of OVG, reached the unprecedented score. Marlon Huysmans, Sustainability Director at OVG, responded enthousiastically: “We promised our client the certificate Excellent and now we have realized it. A tribute to the team involved!”
Additionally Flora Holland Naaldwijk and (for the second time) WDP celebrated their sustainable performance with both the high qualification “Very Good” (3 stars). Flora Holland Naaldwijk got a certificate for “Trade Parc Westland Mars”, a major expansion of the auction in Naaldwijk. The Belgian developer WDP scored again with a major logistics site, this time for the Ter Beke Fresh Food Group, in Wijchen near Nijmegen. So there are again three buildings who join the select group of sustainable buildings measured in the Netherlands.
One organization deserves a special mention. All the BREEAM-NL assessments were performed by C2N Construction in Zoetermeer. This independent construction management bureau focuses specifically on making sustainability concrete and measurable. They have also been an enthusiastic DGBC-participant for some time and were the first organization in the Netherlands with trained BREEAM-NL Assessors.
BREEAM-NL is a method for assessing the sustainability of new buildings, construction projects and major renovations to be determined. BREEAM-NL not only looks at the energy consumption of a building, but also to land use, ecology, construction, water use, waste, pollution, transportation, materials, health and comfort. The system uses qualitative weighting. Buildings can receive a score: Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding.
Heart Foundation office
Developer OVG will soon start the construction of a new office for the Dutch Heart Foundation at the Prince Willem Alexander Quarter along the A12 in The Hague. The building of over 5800 square feet is among the first projects in the high-quality area development at this location. For OVG and The Hague this is the beginning of a long-term cooperation. The new office features a transparent and highly durable design with special interest for the welfare of the user. It was designed by Meyer and Van Schooten Architects (Amsterdam). With a mostly glass facade is a high degree of daylight realized. The entrance features an atrium building a very spacious and open character. It uses heat/cold storage and has water-saving measures in the sanitary facilities. In construction and upholstery wood with FSC certification is used.
WDP’s site for Ter Beke
The Belgian WDP builds a new state of the art value-added logistics platform for the Dutch subsidiary Ter Beke Langeveld/Sleegers in Wijchen (Nijmegen region). Langeveld/Sleegers specializes in cutting and packing meat. Ter Beke is the parent company. All of the cutting activities of Langeveld/Sleegers and the logistic activities of Ter Beke will be centralized here. At the end of 2010 it will be finished. The logistics platform in Wijchen is an example of a sustainable building logistics site. In April 2010 WDP has scored a design qualification certificate “Good” (2 stars) for a logistics center for Kühne and Nagel in Tilburg.
Flora Holland Naaldwijk
Cooperative Flower Auction Holland began in 2006 with a newly developed area to make expansion in the future possible. Now in 2010, the zoning for “Trade Parc Westland Mars” is final and all land is acquired. FloraHolland develop 35 acres of land themselves, including water, green and infrastructure. Additionally FloraHolland construct the necessary logistical facilities too. Including a connection between the existing building and the new auction site, a bufferbuilding and a productionline. On either side of the transportsystem which is 12 meters wide and 500 meters long, lies a 260,000 square feet area for commercial businesses who are involved in floriculture. These companies will build against productline and with that connecting to the auctionlogistics. TradeParc Westland Mars was a pilot during the development of BREEAM-NL in 2009.
Dutch Green Building Council, MARIEKE OLSTHOORN, firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 (0)10 206 59 33.
Measuring sustainability in buildings of Schiphol Real Estate and WDP
Dutch Green Building Council awards first BREEAM-NL certificates
Amsterdam, April 15 2010
The Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) awarded the first BREEAM-NL certificates for new buildings to the office building “TransPort” of Schiphol Real Estate and a logistics platform in Tilburg of WDP, a Belgian investor in semi-industrial properties. The event took place at the Building Holland exhibition at the Amsterdam RAI on the the 15th of april. Giving these two buildings the label of being the first two sustainable buildings to be measured in the Netherlands. The BREEAM-NL New Buildings assessment method was launched in September 2009 as the first – for the Dutch market – sustainability label for buildings with an international status. The certificates were presented by Jaap Gillis, Chairman of the board of the DGBC and Paul Gibbon Director of Sustainability, BRE Global Limited.
The Dutch Green Building Council uses the BREEAM scheme because of the large role it plays internationally. It is the most important and widely used quality label for sustainable buildings worldwide. That the Dutch market broadly supports this development becomes clear from the fact that since the establishment of the DGBC (June 1 2008), 284 participants have joined. “We see an increased demand from global investors for buildings with a high degree of sustainability,” said Gillis. Schiphol Real Estate is one of the founding partners of the DGBC and believes that sustainable building is of great importance. “We are very pleased with their intense involvement. The TransPort office is one of the first pilot projects that has been put forward for the development of BREEAM-NL” said director Stefan van Uffelen of the DGBC.
Comprehensive assessment method
BREEAM-NL is an assessment method to determine the sustainability of buildings. BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method and was originally developed and introduced by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a British research body somewhat similar to the Dutch TNO. The addition NL makes clear that this method involves the Dutch version. In the BREEAM certification path focus is not only placed at the energy consumption of a building, but also to land use and ecology, construction, water use, waste, pollution, transportation, materials and health and comfort.
How does the certification system work?
The system uses qualitative weighting, as a result the building gets a total score of the following ratings: Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding. The TransPort building is qualified with the rating “Very Good” (three stars) and the WDP site in Tilburg is qualified with the rating “Good” (two stars). BREEAM-NL has been used for offices, schools, shops and industrial buildings with a standardised Assessment. Since 1 March the method for housing and apartments is also available.
TransPort is a development and investment of Schiphol Real Estate, the real estate subsidiary of Schiphol Group. The office building was completed on 16 March, 2010 and fully leased to transavia.com and Martinair to establish their headquarters in June. The sustainable concept and architectural design is established in collaboration with Paul de Ruiter Architects from Amsterdam. The construction is done by contracting firm De Vries and Verburg from Stolwijk. Sustainable building is fully in line with the strategy of Schiphol Real Estate and Schiphol Group to take an active role in sustainable building and development projects.
More information about the project is available at www.schiphol.nl/transport.
WDP develops, builds and leases semi-industrial and logistics real estate (warehouses and offices). WDP has more than 1.2 million m² of buildings in their portfolio divided into about 80 sites for storage and distribution logistics hubs in Belgium, France, The Netherlands and Czech Republic. Furthermore WDP is the owner of nearly 2 million m² of land in Romania. The new WDP project in Tilburg is the second major project of WDP in the Netherlands in 2010, besides the new building for the Ter Beke group Wijchen. With these project WDP has in the Netherlands a total of 8 state-of-the-art sites throughout the logistic hubs of southern Netherlands with a total area of more than 250,000 m² and a total investment value of 180 million euro, which give WDP an important position in the Dutch market.
WDP let the logistics platform in Tilburg for 5 years to the logistics group Kuehne + Nagel for a resource centre for a large Dutch retailer. The site covers an area of 27,500 m². WDP had the old building demolished, the site cleaned up and a new state-of-the-art logistics building built in an area of 17,000 m². Consequently WDP contributed to sustainable land use. The total estimated investment value of this site is 15 million euro.
WDP is listed on Euronext Brussels and Euronext Paris. More information about WDP can be found at www.wdp.be.
Dutch Green Building Council, MARIEKE OLSTHOORN, email@example.com, +31 (0)10 206 59 33.