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Certification schemes Green-building certification schemes are used across several IARU campuses. Designing, building and renovating according to external certification standards for buildings is advantageous for environmental and financial reasons – from energy and water efficiencies that lead to monetary savings, to demonstrating best practice and enhanced image and reputation for the campus and the university as a whole.
It is important to involve the university's sustainability office in the design stage in order to challenge consultants and to push for higher environmental performance standards. Conducting an ‘eco-charrette’ is a good way to start and involves bringing various stakeholders together, from students and faculty to employees and administrators to engineers and architects (see A Closer Look).
The age of campus buildings need not be a deterrent. Older campuses can also see results by placing emphasis on major renovations and by conducting these according to the benchmarks set by certification awards, as most certification schemes also include assessments of major refurbishments.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER • Develop partnerships with service providers in the building supplychain – architects, consultants, builders, material suppliers, and campus regulatory bodies like the Fire Marshal and Environmental Health & Safety in order to get them involved at an early stage.
External certification schemes also provide for adherence to pre-determined and verifiable benchmarks for the environmental performance of a building, as well as offering a process and methodology for ensuring that these benchmarks are met in design, construction and actual performance upon completion.