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Is EDGE the right certification for your project?

Green building certifications have become increasingly popular in recent years, as businesses and individuals seek to reduce their environmental footprint and save on energy costs. One among those is EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies. Developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) institution, a member of the World Bank Group, it promotes sustainable development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector.

EDGE Scope

Edge certification is based on three scopes: energy, water and embodied carbon of materials.

The energy scope focuses on reducing the energy consumption of a building by implementing energy efficient design features and systems, such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, LED lighting, or solar panels.

The water scope focuses on reducing the amount of water used in a building by setting up water-saving technologies and systems like low-flow toilets and rainwater harvesting systems.

Finally, the embodied carbon scope aims to reduce the carbon footprint of a building by utilizing low-carbon materials.

Benefits of EDGE Certification

There are many benefits to getting EDGE certified. First and foremost, it helps reduce energy and water consumption, which leads to lower operating costs. It also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boosts building's value and marketability, as more and more people become interested in sustainable living. Last but not least, getting certified EDGE gets you eligible for green finance.

Access to Green Finance

Building owners and developers who incorporate EDGE certification into their project plans may also be eligible for a range of funding options, such as low-interest loans, grants, or subsidies, from governments or international organizations that prioritize sustainable development. These funding options can help to offset the upfront costs of incorporating sustainable features into the building design, making it more financially feasible to pursue sustainability goals.

The EDGE app: estimate environmental improvements

EDGE also provides its users an online app which helps building owners and developers to identify early design strategies for more efficient and sustainable buildings. The online platform can be used to calculate the energy and water savings of a building, as well as the embodied carbon of the building's materials. This makes it practical for building owners and developers to see the impact of their design decisions and make more informed choices. The EDGE platform also allows users to compare different design options and scenarios to determine the most cost-effective and sustainable solution for their building. In addition, the platform provides guidance on how to achieve EDGE certification.

Cost effective Certification

One other advantage of EDGE certification compared to other green building certifications is the cost. EDGE certification is a more affordable option for building owners and developers compared to other green building certifications such as LEED or BREEAM. The certification process is streamlined and requires less documentation, which can help to reduce costs for building owners and developers. In addition, the EDGE certification system is designed to promote cost-effective solutions for improving energy and water efficiency, making it a more accessible option for buildings in emerging markets or developing countries.

Different Levels of Certification

EDGE offers three levels of certification: EDGE Standard, EDGE Advanced, and EDGE Excellence. To achieve certification, a building must demonstrate at least 20% improvement in energy and water efficiency, as well as a reduction in embodied energy in materials. The EDGE software, which is free to use, helps building owners and developers identify which design elements will result in the greatest resource savings and environmental benefits. Here are the requirements for each level:

Why do you need a consultant for EDGE?

Although there is an efficient EDGE online app to assist in the design of sustainable buildings, you will still need a green building consultant to obtain EDGE certification. Indeed, the data to be entered into the software is complex and requires building design experience. Moreover, a green building consultant’s mission is to maintain an overall consistency between all the building features so as to achieve high performance in energy and water management while maintaining a low carbon footprint and project cost. Finally, the consultant assists you on the procedure to obtain the certification as well as on the preparation of required documents and their submission.

Example of an EDGE project application: AHURP

We are currently providing EDGE consultancy for one of our signature projects which is AHURP (Ulaanbaatar green affordable Housing and resilient Urban Renewal Project).

AHURP’s objective is to deliver 10,000 green housing units that are energy efficient, affordable, and designed to maximize the use of renewable energy. 100 hectares of ger areas will be redeveloped into eco-districts that are both low-carbon and climate resilient as part of the project. Financed by grants of $50 million from the Green Climate Fund as as well as loans for a cumulative amount of $175 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Green Climate fund (1), the estimated impact in the economic lifetime of the project is that the direct greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 7.92 million tCO2e and the indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 39.59 million tCO2e (including direct emission reductions). A big focus was placed on energy efficiency as this is a primary key indicator of the climate fund. Indeed, the climate in Ulaanbaatar is characterized by extreme cold in winter, with temperatures ranging from -33°C to -11°C during the day throughout the winter (2). The main sustainable strategies adopted to reach these objectives include high performance insulation, triple glazing and convector radiators with thermostats, to cope with weather conditions in Mongolia.

In order to reach and certify the sustainability of AHURP project, decision makers have chosen EDGE as the environmental certification.

EDGE in Key Points


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