WHAT IS EDGE CERTIFICATION?
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification is an evaluation for new or existing buildings, available in more than 130 developing countries, including Mexico. This system was created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and proposes a reduction in the number of resources used through a comparative scale based on local standards.
WHO CAN OBTAIN EDGE CERTIFICATION AND HOW?
To obtain EDGE certification, a minimum of 20% energy, 20% water, and 20% embodied energy savings must be achieved. This evaluation is only applicable to new or existing buildings of the following typologies: airports, educational, residential, hospitals, hotels, light industrial, office, retail, and warehouses.
EDGE CERTIFICATION LEVELS
There are three levels of EDGE that sustainable real estate projects can achieve.
EDGE Certified. This is the traditional way in which this recognition can be obtained: it is awarded when a minimum savings of 20% in energy, 20% in water, and 20% in energy embodied in the materials in the building is achieved. These are the “base percentages” on which the EDGE evaluation is based.
EDGE Advanced. This modality rewards real estate projects that demonstrate a minimum 40% reduction in energy; while the percentages in water and energy savings incorporated in the materials remain at 20% as in EDGE Certified.
Zero Carbon. This demanding level of certification seeks the maximum reduction and compensation for the building’s energy consumption. To achieve this, a minimum of 40% of energy must be reduced through building design and strategies (as in EDGE Advanced), and the remaining amount to complete 100% of energy consumption must be mitigated through on-site renewable sources and/or carbon credits. Likewise, the percentages for water and embodied energy savings in materials are maintained at 20% as in EDGE Certified.
As a facilitating tool, EDGE makes available to any user the EDGE Buildings App: a free interactive cloud-based software with preloaded information adapted to all available regions, which allows real-time visualization of the percentage of savings and return on investment possible to achieve with the tentative strategies to be developed.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR DEVELOPERS/INVESTORS WHO CHOOSE TO OBTAIN THIS ASSESSMENT?
● Establishes leadership in the construction industry and real estate market.
● Validates achievements through an external, unbiased review process.
● Contributes to the growing green building knowledge base.
● Lower utility, maintenance, and repair costs.
● Higher selling price.
● More comfortable lifestyle.
● Greater pride is derived from owning a sustainable property.
● Protects the planet.
● Sends a positive signal to stakeholders.
● Generates profitability that allows for expansion.
● Increases property value.
● Ensures cost control and consistency between properties.
● Supplements efficiencies in construction and labor.
● Contributes to building a corporate brand consistent with sustainability.
WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE EDGE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
Client. It is the physical or legal entity that will develop the property.
EDGE Expert. Accredited person who accompanies the client in the design and construction stages and facilitates the registration, planning and documentation of the project based on the certification guidelines.
EDGE Auditor. It is the accredited person who has the appropriate skills for a review of the strategies applied to obtain EDGE.
Certifier. As part of an external reviewer, in Mexico the GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) serves as a reviewer of the reports prepared by the EDGE Auditor and that these are correct based on the relevant guidelines.
Certification. It is the set of rules, guidelines and specifications to follow that the process requires for optimal compliance.
WHAT IS THE EDGE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
To comply with EDGE certification, the project to be certified must pass an audit in its design, if it is for new buildings, and another in its construction, for new or existing buildings.
1. Data entry and project registration. The client, together with the EDGE Expert, enters the project design data into the EDGE App. Subsequently, the project is registered and the necessary documentation is submitted, i.e., architectural and engineering drawings and their compliance with EDGE requirements, in addition to any evidence of compliance (technical data sheets of materials and equipment, photographs, among others).
2. Design audit. The EDGE Auditor reviews the documentation and, if the project is eligible for certification, will suggest the project to the certifier (GBCI), which will issue a decision.
3. Preliminary EDGE certification. If the decision is positive, the project will receive a preliminary design certification.
4. On-site audit: Again, the project data is entered, recorded and the requested construction documentation is submitted. The EDGE Auditor evaluates that the design strategies have been implemented correctly and that they guarantee a minimum savings of 20% in the building’s performance.
5. EDGE Certification. Finally, the certifier reviews the documents prepared by the EDGE Auditor. If they are presented correctly and the building complies with the requirements, the EDGE Certification is officially obtained.
HOW MUCH IS THE COST OVERRUN INVOLVED IN CERTIFICATION?
According to the IFC and the EDGE website, the perception of how much it costs to design and build a sustainable building is much higher than the reality. The World Green Building Council’s “The Business Case for Green Building” report showed that, while cost increases range from 0.5-12% higher than conventional construction, the perception of developers is that it is 1-30% higher.
Builders in the United States and Europe report selling prices 4-9% higher for sustainable homes and they sell up to 4 times faster. Also, homeowners save 15-20% in utility costs.
However, it should be noted that each project is different in both cost and construction, so the cost overrun and return on investment is variable and it is impossible to create a standard applicable to all buildings.
SHOULD I CHOOSE EDGE OVER OTHER CERTIFICATIONS?
Choosing the right certification system for a project depends on many factors. EDGE offers a simple, fast and affordable system, powered by free software that has been nurtured by data collected worldwide. EDGE is one of many certification systems, each with its own purpose and advantage within a given market.
ARE THERE EDGE PROJECTS IN MEXICO?
According to the EDGE website, as of August 2019, there were around 280,000 square meters of registered construction and more than 2,300 EDGE housing units.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EDGE BROCHURE!
Just provide us with your first name, last name and email address and you will be able to download a brochure with the benefits and details that this certification provides.