Spain at the bottom of Europe when it comes to sustainable building certification

by Lorraine Williamson
sustainable building

The number of homes built and certified as sustainable in Spain is barely 0.2% of the total. This puts the country at the bottom of Europe in terms of sustainable building certification, according to the Green Building Council Spain (GBCe). 

GBCe is an organisation that promotes the transformation to a sustainable building model. Furthermore, it evaluates the impact of buildings on the environment, society and the economy at a national level.  

The organisation’s president, Justo Orgaz, wants “a clear line that indicates where the sector should go. However, this sector is undergoing a clear and profound transformation”. Moreover, Orgaz calls the strategy of continuing with the ‘obsolete’ current regulations ‘terrible’. Furthermore, he assures that if the sector takes the criteria laid down, as a reference, it will anticipate the change.  

Denmark as an example 

According to data collected by GBCe, these results contrast with those of other European countries. This includes Denmark, which, with 20% DGNB certification, is considered one of the countries with the most climate change measures.  

cogesa expats

GBCe’s head of certification, Yolanda del Rey, explained that Denmark’s high certification rate is due to the country’s long tradition of sustainability. This concept is part of the Scandinavian country’s mindset on the ecological transition of organisations, companies and society.  

Del Rey gave the example of Copenhagen . The city has installed more than 200,000 square metres of green roofs on its buildings. Furthermore, it has the aim of declaring itself carbon neutral by 2025. According to Bruno Sauer, CEO of GBCe, this sustainability model is an established dogma in the industry, with even ‘developers competing to ensure that their developments have the lowest carbon footprint’.  

In this regard, the GBCe president believes that in terms of sustainability and certification, ‘in five or six years’ time’ Spain should resemble Denmark. Consequently, by this time, around 15% of construction work is expected to have green certification.  

Also read: Environmentally friendly construction in Southern Spain

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