(Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) A United Kingdom-based system that comprises a set of assessment methods and tools designed to help construction professionals understand and mitigate the environmental impacts of the developments they design and build. It is comparable to LEED in the U.S.

Carbon footprint (CF)
The CF reveals the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by a product, country or company – or even a building. As a rule, a CF covers the entire life cycle, including subsequent recycling or disposal. Where companies are concerned, it is a metric of the quantity of greenhouse gases released as a result of business activity. This data can be used to measure the company’s contribution towards CO2 reduction

Energy efficiency
A product or system is energy-efficient if it fulfils its purpose with the minimum possible energy use or if the energy supplied can be used with maximum efficiency.

Global warming
The gradual increase in average annual temperatures over many years, measured at the Earth’s surface worldwide.


Global warming potential(GWP)
Each greenhouse gas has a different capacity to cause global warming, depending on its irradiative properties, its molecular weight and its lifetime in the atmosphere. Its so-called global warming potential (GWP) encapsulates these. The GWP is defined as the warming influence of a gas over a set time period, relative to the GWP of carbon dioxide.


Green architecture
Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes harmful effects on human health and the environment. The “green” architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices.


The Haute Qualité Environnementale or HQE (High Quality Environmental standard) is a standard for green building in France, based on the principles of sustainable development first set out at the 1992 Earth Summit. The standard is controlled by the Paris based Association pour la Haute Qualité Environnementale (ASSOHQE).


Integrated planning and construction
Integrated planning and construction takes a holistic view of all sustainability factors and how they interact, and is thus an essential part of sustainable development projects. Green concepts can only be successfully realised by integrating all participants in the planning process – including architects, structural engineers, building physicists and developers, but also future users, public authorities and construction companies – right from the start.


LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

A worldwide certification system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Applicant properties are evaluated for sustainability in several areas and awarded certification based on 100 possible base points. Major types of LEED certification include: Certified – 40-49 points, Silver – 50-59 points, Gold – 60-79 points; Platinum – 80 points and above. LEED certification is also awarded by property function, with specific designations including NC (New Construction), CS (Core and Shell), CI (Commercial Interiors) EB (Existing Building) and OM (Operations & Maintenance).

Renewable energies
Unlike fossil fuels, such as oil, gas, and coal, renewable energies are produced from sources that regenerate as part of a natural process, e.g., solar energy, wind, geothermal power and biomass.


Resources (renewable and non-renewable; basic resources)
Natural resources are often divided into renewables and non-renewables. The former include forests, animals and plants, as well as inanimate materials such as soil, water, wind and all types of renewable energy. Non-renewable resources are mineral materials that cannot be recycled or “grown” again, such as the fossil energy sources oil, natural gas and coal. By definition, sustainability rules out use of these materials.


Smart Grid

An electrical power distribution network that, in addition to transmitting electricity, includes two-way, digital communications between producers and consumers. For example, when power is least expensive throughout the day, it could turn on selected home appliances such as washing machines or factory processes that can run at arbitrary hours.
A smart grid includes an intelligent monitoring system that keeps track of all electricity flowing in the system. It also incorporates the use of superconductive transmission lines for less power loss, as well as the capability of integrating alternative sources of electricity such as solar and wind.


Sustainable construction
The capacity to endure as viable organisations by renewing assets, creating and delivering products and services that meet the evolving needs of society, attracting successive generations of employees and entrepreneurs , contributing to a flourishing environment whilst retaining the trust and support of customers, shareholders and communities.


Sustainable development
The term sustainable development means that builders, architects, designers, community planners, and real estate developers strive to create buildings and communities that will not deplete natural resources. The goal is to meet today’s needs using renewable resources so that the needs of future generations will be provided for.
Sustainable development attempts to minimize greenhouse gases, reduce global warming, preserve environmental resources, and provide communities that allow people to reach their fullest potentials.

Zero energy buildings
The zero energy building is a technical evolution of the “passive house”, whereby the building generates its own energy over the course of a year. In practice, this requires installation of solar thermal power and photovoltaic systems with large storage units, which enable stand-alone operation. According to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, revised in April 2009, zero energy buildings should be the norm by 2019.