Research and practice roadmap for future development of green building certification schemes

This project aims to distil recent developments and propose a new framework of thinking and action on green-certified buildings and their direct impact on occupants.

To achieve this, we go beyond a systematic review of the existing literature and instead highlight the key scientific and practical questions that form an integrated vision for future pathways in the field of green building certification. We divide this effort into four main categories, starting from a high level summary of existing knowledge on differences between green building design objectives and actual outcomes. We summarise comparative evidence centred on IEQ performance and occupancy satisfaction between conventional (non-certified) and green-certified buildings.

We then summarise research and practical challenges that impede the performance of current green-certified buildings, and the progress in further refinement of the certification schemes. We discuss the state of environmental health knowledge and issues surrounding research design, the lack of metrics and guidelines for IEQ assessment, and the challenges of the current performance assessment methods. Although we recognise their importance in human health and well being, we omit factors such as social and economic well being, safety and security, accessibility and movement, and ergonomics, and focus on the four key IEQ factors: indoor air quality, thermal comfort, lighting and acoustics.

In recognition of the increasing aspiration for a transition to healthy buildings, this project sets the foundation for immediate and long-term steps both in research and practice that should be taken to bridge existing gaps. Although our attention is centred on green certification schemes, the proposed developments could find application in any future building, with or without certification.