The EDGE® (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification is an assessment for new constructions, available in more than 125 countries in developing economies, including Mexico. This new system was created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and proposes a decrease in the amount of resources used through a comparative scale based on local standards.
HOW IS IT OBTAINED?
To achieve EDGE certification, you need to meet a minimum energy savings of 20%, 20% in water and 20% in energy incorporated in the materials in the building. This evaluation is only applicable for new constructions of 5 types: residences, hospitals, hotels, offices and retail.
As a facilitating tool, EDGE makes available to any user interactive, cloud-based EDGE Buildings App with preloaded information tailored to all available regions, allowing real-time visualization of the savings and return percentage of Investments to achieve with the tentative strategies to develop.
WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE EDGE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
Within the certification process, 4 agents are involved:
- Client. It is the physical or moral entity that will develop the property.
- EDGE Auditor. It is the accredited person who possesses the appropriate competencies 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 produced by the EDGE Auditor and that they are correctly found based on the relevant guidelines.
- Certification. It is the set of rules, guidelines and specifications to follow that the process requires for its optimal compliance.
WHAT IMPORTANCE DOES THE CERTIFICATION HAVE?
- It establishes leadership in the construction industry and real estate market.
- The certification validates achievements through an external and impartial review process.
- It contributes to the growing knowledge base of green building.
WHAT IS THE EDGE CERTIFICATION PROCESS?
To comply with the EDGE certification, the project to be certified must undergo an Audit in its Design and during its Construction, as explained below:
This process is divided into two parts:
1.- DESIGN AUDIT.
The process for obtaining the EDGE certification starts with the entry of the project design data. Subsequently, the documentation, that is, architectural drawings, engineering and its compliance with EDGE requirements, as well as any evidence of compliance (such as technical material and equipment fiches and photographs, to mention a few) are recorded and presented. The auditor will create a report on the documentation, which will be reviewed by the certifier (in this case, the GBCI fulfills this function). If the decision is positive, the project will qualify for preliminary certification.
2. CONSTRUCTION AUDIT.
The construction process consists of the same steps as the design part. Once again, the project data is entered, the requested documentation for the construction is registered and the required documentation is presented. The Auditor evaluates that the design strategies have been implemented correctly and that guarantee a minimum saving of 20% in the performance of the building. Finally, the certifier reviews the documents prepared by the EDGE Auditor. If presented correctly and the building complies with the requirements, EDGE Certification is obtained officially.
HOW HIGH IS THE CERTIFICATION OVERCOST?
Despite the additional costs that can be generated by energy-saving strategies and / or equipment, according to the World Bank Group, the sustainable housing surplus in the moderate income sector is approximately 3% higher. This investment returns quickly by increasing the value of the property and obtaining operational costs lower than the conventional ones.
It should be considered that each project is different in both its cost and its construction, so that the over cost and return on investment is variable and it is impossible to create a standard applicable to all buildings.
ARE THERE ANY EDGE PROJECTS IN MEXICO?
Yes. Until February 2016, there were 9 certified projects that served as pilots to verify the viability of EDGE within Mexican territory. The first project corresponds to the Hotel City Express and the second to a housing development, located in Tabasco and Querétaro respectively.