International Rating Systems for Smart Buildings and Smart Cities
“Buildings consume about 40 percent of global energy and 25 percent of global water.” In addition, they emit over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, the way we operate buildings nowadays has substantial, negative impacts on the environment and our health. Stakeholders in the building sector such as building owners, building management companies, architects, and engineers are aware of this threat to human health and nature and have been trying to make buildings more resource-efficient and sustainable. In recent years, buildings have become more and more efficient, and some recent developments have made even net zero-energy or net zero-water buildings possible. Organizations such as Building Research Establishment in the UK, the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the International Living Future Institute, and Green Globes have established rating systems for buildings in order to measure, evaluate, and certify their sustainability. With rating systems such as USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Living Building Challenge, or the British Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), buildings can achieve a certain number of points according to their efficiency and sustainability and receive a certain level of certification. In some countries, the building owner receives funding or tax incentives for achieving a certain level of sustainability. In the following, the most popular ratings systems will be described in more detail.