The Importance of sustainable building certifications

Sustainable building certifications are very important to the construction sector, essentially with regard to energy optimization. This makes sense if we think that buildings account for over one-third of the energy used worldwide. In this article, we will focus on one of the most important certifications in the industry: the LEED certification. Read on to learn more.


Minimizing the negative impact on the environment is a priority for the construction industry. To this end, there are several certifications that arise from the need to have solid, rigorous and recognized standards to identify the environmental behavior of buildings and to motivate more sustainable decisions.



Energy Certifications Required

There are some certification processes that are mandatory in Portugal, such as Decree-Law No. 118/2013 of 20 August, regarding the energy performance of buildings (SCE). This decree regulates the Energy Certification System of Buildings, the Energy Performance Regulation of Housing Buildings and the Energy Performance Regulation of Commerce and Services Buildings, and transposes Directive 2010/31 / EU of the European Parliament and of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings.


Another mandatory process is the set of Technical Rules of Low Voltage Electrical Installations (RTIEBT), published in Ordinance No. 949-A / 2006, of September 11, which establishes the regulation in low voltage electrical installations.


Voluntary Energy Certifications

In addition to the mandatory processes, there are voluntary management and certification systems. The first ones emerged in the ’90s and are currently the most internationally recognized as symbols of sustainability. They are:

    • ISO 50001
    • BREEAM®
    • LEED®

These systems evaluate actions taken to improve them, based on analysis of various aspects of a building, such as:

  • Energy-saving;
  • Water use and CO2 emission reductions;
  • Internal improvement of environmental quality;
  • Resource management.


In these processes, the score level is directly linked to the certification level.


In Portugal, LEED® and BREEAM® are the best-known systems. These certificates are increasingly sought after in the building sector as they promote more sustainable construction, which results in economic, environmental and social benefits for all persons linked to a building (tenants, users, developers, owners, managers, etc.).


In addition, they assume an appreciation of the property and the company responsible for the work. This appreciation is recognized by both the society and the market.



LEED Certification

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an international standard rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in the late 1990s in the United States to foster the development of buildings based on sustainable and high-efficiency criteria. The importance of this system is also that it can be applied to any type of construction.


LEED® assesses building sustainability based on its impact on 5 major areas:

  • Sustainable location;
  • Water protection and efficiency;
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energies;
  • Conservation of materials and natural resources;
  • Quality of the interior environment.


Projects are rated against a standard set of credits and the sum of points earned determines the level of certification: Silver, Gold or Platinum Certificate.


Sonae Maia Business Center with LEED certification

Prudêncio was the company selected to carry out the waterproofing of the roof of Sonae Maia Business Center, which received LEED Gold level certification, the highest awarded to a building in the entire Iberian Peninsula.


See here the report of RTP about this building and see here the project.




Choose sustainable solutions

At Prudêncio, environmental responsibility, sustainability, and technical superiority are the three pillars that guide us in the development of our waterproofing solutions.


For this reason, we are proud to have the exclusive representation in Portugal of KÖSTER TPO Systems. This is a brand that stands out for its focus on innovation and sustainability.


SEE ALSO: KOSTER Waterproofing TPO Membranes


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